Archive for the Questions and Answers Category

More Songs About Chocolate and Girls

Posted in 70's, new wave, Punk, Questions and Answers, the undertones on October 14, 2008 by planetmondo


Like John Peel I can remember my first earful of The Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’. I was off school on a not-strictly-legit’ ‘sickie’ – and applying my trusty ‘convalesence’ technique of staying firmly tucked up in bed until middayish with a pile of comics (Whizzer and Chips, Krazy and anything Marvel or DC), a packet of chocolate digestives and my trusty tranny radio (with mono earplug).

It was during one of these recovery bed-ins that Paul Burnett cranked ‘Teenage Kicks’. Burnett, or his producer, always had healthily punky playlist – Sham 69, The Strangers, Ian Dury album tracks and the Sex Pistols/Tenpole Tudor ‘Rock Around The Clock’ (with it’s discreet effing and jeffing) were all fed to his lunchtime listeners.

However the first Undertones single I paid a few pocket money pence for was the Power-Pop meets Parka-Punk ‘You’ve Got My Number’, heard by way of Radio Luxembourg’s Thursday night New Wave chart rundown.. It’s a sizzling piece of guitar riffery that I still clonk out on my SG today -so after picking up the recent Undertones Anthology (loaded with one full disc of rarities and demos), being the cheeky blogger I am, thought I’d get in touch and fire off a few questions, and Tone me I only got a reply didn’t I ….from Mr Damian O’Neill himself….

Was there one song, album or artist that made you pick up a guitar and go from passive listener to active learner?
Quite a few actually…Van Morrison and Them doing Bob Dylan’s ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’, John Foggerty’s solo on ‘I Put A Spell On You’, Keith Richards piercing guitars on Beggars Banquet, Johnny Thunders on ‘Babylon’, Wilco Johnson.

How did you first become aware of the growing punk scene, and if being Undertone hadn’t worked out, where would you have ended up?
I remember reading Neil Spencer’s review of the Sex Pistols at the Marquee in the NME in early ‘76. People forget how provocative it was then to call your group ‘The Sex Pistols’. We then heard the brilliant ‘New Rose’ by the Damned, followed by Anarchy in the U.K and I also remember cutting out an Observer article from Dec. ‘76 which talked about the English punk scene.

Was there a long term plan with the band – and did you expect to still be going in 2008?
Are you kidding! You couldn’t plan anything in the Undertones as usually someone would quit every couple of weeks/months (except me of course)

No and neither do I expect to be going in 2058

Are you listening to any albums or artists in 2008 that you wouldn’t have expected to (or admitted to) back in the seventies?
Plenty! Joni Mitchell, Fairport Convention, The Incredible String Band, Faust, Can, Brian Eno, Free (are all these people hairy enough for you?)

I can hear The Undertones influence in a ton of other bands from seventies new wavers to noughties US punks – is there anyone you’ve ever heard and recognised an echo of The Undertones tone in?
Supergrass, Blur, Ash, Sigur Ros (only joking)

Any plans for a complete album gig?
No.

Excepting That Petrol Emotion, have you ever been tempted to do an album or selection of acoustic tracks, covers or dance tunes?
No.

What’s the breakdown of an Undertones audience?
Supermodels, wags, A-list celebs and fat baldy old fellas with beer bellies slam dancing at the front.

The first Undertones single I bought was ‘You’ve Got My Number’ which features a blistering riff (and great cover on the B-side too) – do you feel other ‘Tones tunes get overshadowed by ‘Teenage Kicks’?
Absolutely and it’s all John Peel’s fault!

Do you know how often ‘Teenage kicks’ gets aired per day on radio or TV, and if so what’s an average day’s play?
No, maybe you should ask my brother’s accountant!

Given a second chance is there anything you’d do differently – or any advice you’d give to aspiring groups or songwriters?
Well, I wish that I gave my tuppence worth in all those dreaded group meetings I’ve had over the years instead of nodding my head in silent agreement.

What’s your most pinch-yourself rock ‘n’ roll moment?
Just recently, playing on stage again with That Petrol Emotion at the Electric Picnic festival in Ireland….amazing cos I never thought it would happen again.

The Undertones – ‘You’ve Got My Number’

The B-side of ‘Number’ was ‘Lets Talk About Girls’ – a cover of a Chocolate Watch Band tune featured on Lenny Kaye’s legendary Nuggets comp’

The Chocolate Watch Band – Lets Talk About Girls

And it’s against the law do an Undertones post without….

Teenage Kicks (1978 Demo)

A big thank you is due to Ian Peel and Damian O’Neill for their help in putting this together

Advertisements

The Company Of Wolves Part 1

Posted in glam, new music, perfect pop, Punk, Questions and Answers, The Wolfmen on September 29, 2008 by planetmondo

How long have I been howling about The Wolfmen now ? Oh, almost one full year – and in a years of worth hearing the singles, flips sides and Myspace oddities I’ve never become numb-eared to any of Wolfies tunes.

I finally got my paws on the album a couple of weeks ago and it is wall-to-wall wallop all the way, not so much an album more a bespoke collection of killer could-be singles and potential heavyweight hits (staggeringly several tracks were recorded live in the studio) – It’s as close you’ll get to Slade stomping through The Supremes songbook , The Sonics singing ‘Sugar Sugar’ or ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’ re-jigged by Georgio Moroder with splashes and swatches of Roxy, solo Bryan Ferry, T Rex and the Sex Pistols all glazed with an electro pop gloss – but don’t just take my word for it. How about an exclusive track by track guide from the Wolf-gang themselves….

Needles In The Camel’s Eye

Chris Constantinou
We both love the song (‘Needles’ is the opening track from Eno’s ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’). We were trying to come up with something based around it and thought bollox – let’s just do it. We did a decent demo, then worked with Chris Hughes (ex-Ants drummer) who put the drums on – Steve Musters and finally Alan Moulder mixed it.

……………………

While London Sleeps

Marco Pirroni
Another tune left over from our ‘Jack the ripper” musical idea (which
we stole from Spinal Tap), the title’s also stolen from the Rin Tin Tin silent movie which’ll come as a surprise to Chris as I told him I thought of it.

CC
Lyrically and vocally it’s a mixture of stuff – I think it’s pretty obvious what it’s about 🙂 I get to play harp at the end – we have 3 demo versions of this, all totally different!

…………………

Love Is A Dog

CC
Another one started at mine and Marco’s , then worked on with Steve
Musters at Raezor and finally mixed by Alan Moulder ..
…………………

Up All Nighter

MP
You will find this hard to believe, but this started as our take on
Northern Soul, it didn’t end up as anything that you could have played
at Wigan Casino but these things happen in the creative process. But maybe we will get round to finishing the Wolfmen 20 great lost soul classics album one day.

CC
This one started off as a demo from me and Marco’s place – we worked on it at Chris Hughes studio who put the drums on it …
………………………

Better Days

MP
I frown heavily on songs with an optimistic feel and on positive thinking in general,but I like this and it’s going to be our next single.

CC
I had these lyrics for years, and even used to play a version of this with Jackie Onassid …but this has been totally transformed into a new song and BRILLIANCE by Marco ! The guys in the band did a great job with it … check the surf video out on youtube .. Recorded live at Raezor and Steve Musters mixed it ..
……………………….

Buzz Me Kate

MP
I’m told I know who this is about…but I honestly have no idea ask Chris

CC
Hmm …. I think it’s obvious what this is about lyrically. Recorded live at Raezor and Steve Musters mixed it ..

Side 2 of the ‘The Company Of Wolves’ is right here

To check out all the dates details and new tracks – beam on over to…
The Wolfmen’s Myspace site

The Book Of Revelation

Posted in 1977, 70's, books, Punk, Questions and Answers, retromania, Sex Pistols on September 16, 2008 by planetmondo

The Sex Pistols last pre – Bill Grundy ‘Filth and Fury’ interview, was by Barry Cain for Record Mirror – click on the photo to supersize the original article….

If Nick Cohn’s Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom is Ye Olde Testament of Rock, the New (Wave) Testament being Jon Savage’s Englands Dreaming, then Barry Cain’s 77 Sulphate Strip is surely the Dead Sea Scrolls, revived and risen again from the russet coloured copies of his Record Mirror reports, reviews and interviews, and scrapbooked against a lip-smacking-ace-tasting-page-turning-eye-bulging micro dot-to-dot diary of the key moments, movers, groovers and shakers of 1977. The year that groups of grey-faced, straight-laced politicians and hair flare bunches of prog and pop stars went twelve rounds against a fistful of prickly punks. 365 days with more dynamics, dramatics and dualility than any year since pop records began.

After his stretch at Record Mirror, Barry went on to launch Flexipop, one the snappiest music mag’s ever published, I found a few copies in the loft recently and had forgotten how they crackle with facts, fun and features – including a genius parody of The Face’s famous ’82 ‘Hard Times’ cover – ‘Really Hard Times’ starring two turps glugging tramps which perfectly burst The Face’s snoot-nosed, yell and bellow bubble .

So some questions for Barry Cain then….

77 Sulphate Strip is one of only a handful of rock books I’ve read without any acknowledgment or nod to The Beatles – it’s like they never existed. Was this the mood at the time?
No. The Beatles meant everything to me and most my mates throughout the sixties. They were my teenage idols and helped take the sting out of those years. There’s an unsubtle homage in the names of the characters in Streatham Locarno at the beginning of Strip. I stopped dancing to The Beatles after Rubber Soul because that’s when they started inviting me back to their place – via the Pye Black Box in my bedroom – where I could listen to their darkest thoughts. They changed the way I thought, simple as that. And thank you, for your very kind words. They mean so much. Incidentally, one of the ‘Hard Times’ tramps in the picture is my dad who will be 91 this year and was, I guess, my fifth Beatle. I was an only child and my parents (my mum is 81) have had four dogs all dying tragically and leaving my mum and dad desperate and bewildered. The last one, Bobby, a cute black poodle, died a week ago in my dad’s arms, and it’s eating them both alive. I buried Bobby in my back garden alongside the previous two and that nearly fucking killed me. I felt like some canine-killing version of Fred West.

Sorry to veer off the path , it’s just worrying me right now.
Pray, continue.

How did you go from being part of a Motown loving Boot Boy and Suede head set to becoming Record Mirror journalist?
Pure genius! If you came from a council estate in London at the time, you became either a straight, a skinhead or, if you took a lot of hallucinatory drugs, a working class hippy. It got interesting when the skinheads got into hallucinatory drugs in the late sixties, but that’s another tale. It was rare to stay on at school after 16 but I went to a grammar and emerged, at 18, with two low grade A Levels. I always kept my school friends and my flats’ friends far apart. As a result, I became, around 15, two people – schoolboy and coolboy. Two heads are better than one and after a bit of luck and a lot of graft, I went from trainee court reporter to indentured journalist on a local paper to entertainments’ editor to Record Mirror. That’s a Yellowbrick Road a lot less travelled these days.

Your first meeting with Rotten reads like a snake charmer being hypnotised by the snake – have you met any other performers with a similar charisma?
Malcolm McLaren. He and Rotten both possess the ability to paint stark pictures with barrages of meticulously chosen words that give delight and hurt not. They’re in a class of their own. Joe Strummer was a little boy lost who dug his way out of his nightmare with remarkable songs and a hunk of devotion that swept me away. Paul Weller was hopelessly devoted to rue, the secret behind his genius. Hugh Cornwell and Jean Jacques-Burnel were deepsea divers in the psyche and there was nowt more challenging than a Stranglers interview. The Damned had collective charisma – they were the commie punk band. Who else? Barry White, Bob Marley, Paul McCartney? Heaps of charisma. But not a patch on Malcolm and Johnny.

In 77 the Pistols were possibly the most hated band in history. It wasn’t just the older generation or other youth movements that were anti-Punk, but politicians, musicians, record exec’s, DJs and almost everyone who wasn’t directly involved with the Pistols (or Punk) that seemed to despise them. Do you think it’s possible we’ll ever see such international outrage caused by a single rock act again?
Impossible. Music has popped its cork. It’s no longer the force of nature it was (what an old git). Outside the X Factor comfort zone, records just don’t sell that much anymore. That’s why TOTP was dumped. That’s why Smash Hits, RM, Sounds, Melody Maker all fell by the wayside. How many generations to go before music is just a bowl of cherries? Before life gets in the way? Before its portability and a few billion options make it futile, obvious, an easy lay? I give it twenty years, tops. My kids’ kids will give the odd flying fuck for a stunning song. Their kids? Different world. Different ballgame. Different tune.

For a movement that was all momentum and ‘of the moment’, Punk styles, sounds, designs and influences are still with us and everywhere from US metal to Top Shop clobber. What do you think has kept Punk (and New Wave) enduring without dating?
Punk was all about bright minds in bondage who wanted to fuck off out of old Durham Town. Sleepy time girls and the boys of summer dancing to a ’77 beat. Punk’s callous, disruptive demands – an anathema to Joe Public – could dislodge reality in exciting minds and create innovation. Originality breeds contempt and contempt breeds originality. It was a vicious circle that has continued to spin unabated like a flaming Catherine wheel shooting flames in every direction. And you didn’t need a voice like Sinatra’s to make the punters sway. Lapsed punks haunt the corridors of power.

I loved the piece about your mum and dad and the pub scene with the piano players, costermongers and comedians having a sing-a-long. Do you think the real seventies get overlooked with all the novelty nostalgia and ‘Abbafication’ of that decade?
I don’t think there ever was a real seventies. It was the itsy-bitsy-no-focus post Beatles decade kicking off with dross, glam, Philly, dross, New York disco, dross and ABBA. It welcomed punk with open arms, shook hands with high-street ska, gave birth to the New Romantics and invented Freddie Mercury. If you were in your late twenties in 1970 the next ten years meant fuck all really. You wouldn’t get it. The seventies had to be ‘Abbafied’ because the sixties were too sad.

Caining It – Barry with beard and Buzzcocks

Malcolm McLaren once said “I have brought you many things in my time” which included breaking Punk, World Music and Hip Hop, but equally there’s a trail of broken relationships and bad blood.” What’s your take on him – genius or jinx?
Genius. I mentioned in the book that Malcolm asked me to ‘ghost’ write his autobiography in 1979. I got to know him as well as anyone after countless interview sessions in my living room over a three-month period. He made me dance all night and still beg for more. He’s the Brian Clough of pop who should’ve managed England. Knowing Malcolm, I think love got in the way – he’s an incurable romantic. But we should all be thankful he turned the world dayglo.

In the book, the music press seem just as hardcore and heavy living as the bands – almost like The Sweeney with press passes rather than police badges. Were there a few juicy nuggets, tear ups and tales you couldn’t include?.
Yes.

If you could beam back to 1977 and take someone aside for a word of advice – who would it be, and what would you say?
It would be me, I’m afraid, and I’d say, ‘Don’t get married, keep your finger on your trigger and put all your money on Man Utd winning the FA Cup, Red Rum winning the Grand National and The Minstrel winning the Derby’. Oh, and to Sid Vicious I’d say, ‘Go for it’.

The Damned, The Buzzcocks, The Stranglers, The Wolfmen (Marco from The Models and Adam and The Ants new band), Carbon Silicon (Tony James and Mick Jones) have all released new albums over the last few years. Have you heard any of the original Punk players’ new songs?
I saw Hugh Cornwell play live a year or so back – great show at Scala – and downloaded his impressive Hoover Dam album, but that’s about it. I don’t listen to much music these days and when I do it tends to be through headphones attached to my laptop as I write. Usually, it’s Michael McDonald’s tribute to Motown, which is just wonderful, interspersed with Steely Dan. I’m a dude. Hey dude, don’t make it bad. Just let it out and let it in.

You were involved with Flexipop, are there any plans for an 80s sequel to 77 SS using Flexipop as source material?
Writing it now. Starts in 1978 when I resigned from Record Mirror, teamed up with then PR guru now PR mogul, Alan Edwards, running a punk PR company out of a Covent Garden squat, discovered I wasn’t cut out for a career as a publicist, became a freelance writer and spent the next two years travelling the world with rock stars, doing big, fat, hairy interviews. It ends 20 years later with the death of pop. Don’t worry, there’s not much to tell after ’84. I launched Flexipop together with my ex-partner Tim Lott (now, of course, a hugely successful novelist) in 1980, and after three bizzarre years I found myself alone, publishing mainly one shot poster mags on pop’s latest flames which I continued to do for the next decade and a half. Got myself a family, a house, a Porsche. Cost myself contacts, desire, drive. Naturally, I blamed everyone but myself for those sad losses – complacency is a cancer of the spirit. But if you catch it early, the prognosis is good. Life can be groovy again Oh, and there’s a few twists and a fucking shitload of watusis. The book should be available this time next year, if anyone has any money by then….

If you were a Record Mirror reporter in 2008 – what would get you picking up your pen and pad, and who would you be trying to interview or avoid?
The song Distant Dreamer made popular by Duffy, who rocked my boat when I saw her perform it at Glastonbury. The version by MC Almont & Butler is a work of art. Pop music at its finest. I think Leona Lewis has an incredible voice. I’d love to interview her. And Duffy. Shit, I sound like an old perve. Who else? Paul Weller, for old times’ sake; Eminem., for Pete’s sake; Alex from Big Brother, for fucksake. That’s five cracking interviews.
Never avoided an interview in my life.

And finally, are there two tunes one Pop, one Punk that sum up 1977 for you?
Anarchy In The UK and Anarchy In The UK.

Anarchy In The UK – from the Filth and Fury

Anarchy In The UK – Early version, slightly rowdier than the single, but possibly my fave take.

Anarchy In The UK (EMI rejected 7″ Single Version) with alt.solos

Anarchy In The UK – Los Punkrockers – yes it’s those crazy punko latinos again.

Beam back to summer of 77 by clicking on the pic’


77 Sulphate Strip MySpace site

Funky Friday – Spliced Krispies

Posted in Bootleg remixes, Funky Friday, GHP, go home productions, guest blogger, mark vidler, mash up, Questions and Answers, spliced krispies on May 15, 2008 by planetmondo

For as long as DJs and remixers have been recycling rock, rap and pop scraps into home made hybrids and patchwork tracks – I’ve been collecting them.

The King of cut and paste pop is Mark Vidler/Go Home Productions (the legendary ‘Ray Of Gob’ and ‘Can’t Get Blue Monday Out of My Head’ are both GHP creations ) whose brand new booties ‘Spliced Krispies’ have been rocking my noggin for the past two weeks. And as if he’s not busy enough making mashups and a full set accompanying videos, Radio One appearances, magazine features, podcasts guest spots and a new album – the Grand Master of Mashups himself Mr Mark Vidler is here, right here to give us some exclusive snap, crackle and pop on a selection from his latest tasty treats ‘Spliced Krispies’

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice To Have A Finger Of Fudge”

OK, I was born in the original Summer Of Love (not the attempted ecstacy-fuelled 80’s version), pre-Pepper by a month yet the smell of Strawberry Fields was still strong, if you get my drift. So…that means I grew up in the Seventies:

Space Dust, Planet Of The Apes, The Double Deckers, Krazy Comic, Horror Bags crisps, Top Deck, Space Invaders, Glam Rock, Punk Rock, New Wave, Mod Revival, Texan Bar, Curly Wurly, Finger of Fudge (got there in the end).

The Cadbury’s Fudge jingle / TV ad appeared at the tail end of the 70’s and well into the 80’s, so if you’re of a certain age you’ll either remember it fondly or dismiss it for being a mild irritant. I guess I’m somewhere between the two camps but back in April when I started creating the “Spliced Krispies” album, I always knew I was going to ‘doctor’ it in some way. It’s light and breezy feel (mostly a capella) and school boy charm was just crying out to be bastardised with something from another universe (in musical terms).

Fact 1: Mike D’Arbo (formerly of Manfred Mann) wrote the jingle.
Fact 2: I originally matched it up with Nirvana’s “Teen Spirit”.

Thank God I didn’t stick with that idea though. It’s one of those ‘For every 5 gems, there’s 50 shit ones’ scenarios. So I continued trying to find Fudge a partner well into the wee small hours, fuelled by a bottle of Columbian Gallo and roast chicken (Hong Kong style), until Pet Sounds came calling from the corner of the room. It was purely accidental If I’m brutally honest. I was listening to ‘Let’s Go Away For A While’ earlier in the week, so the CD was close to hand. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” seemed to good to be true. One of those ‘goosebump’ moments when I could hear that Fudge worked effortlessly with it…

I guess it’s the one track that’s getting the most attention since releasing “Spliced Krispies” to an unexpectant public in May. Chris Moyles (Radio 1 DJ) picked and played it 3 times on his breakfast show. Fair play, he gave ‘The Vidler’ and ‘Go Home Productions’ website a very massive plug, questioning my sanity for even contemplating the 2 songs together yet describing it as genius. The phone was hardly on it’s hook that morning.
Funny what a ‘finger of fudge’ can actually do for you…

GHP – “Wouldn’t It Be Nice To Have A Finger Of Fudge”

“Grandstand Supreme”

Throughout March this year I was aquiring and listening to a hell of a lot of KPM Library Music, probably fuelled by my sudden ‘trying to reclaim my youth’ mood that was taking me back to the Seventies, so I was consuming a lot of Alan Hawkshaw, Keith Mansfield, Brian Bennett etc and dragging out my Blow Up compilation CD’s, DeWolfe comps and TV Themes albums. I felt like I was living out an episode of every BBC / ITV production between 1973-1979. Very weird but very enjoyable at the same time, so it was hardly suprising that something would filter through and end up on the album. The full Grandstand theme is quite simply a work of art. It’s probably Keith Mansfields’ most well known. The addition of the Supremes is probably not too much of a surprise really. I think the surprise lies in how well the vocal fits
with the backing track at certain changes. It took a bit of editing and shuffling around but I think that my decision to leave the song length the same as the opening titles was right. In the end it was probably more a case of making the music to fit the video that I was creating at the same time. Funnily enough Moyles played this track on his Breakfast show as well…

GHP – “Grandstand Supreme”

“Finally, Did You No Wrong'”

I can’t leave the Sex Pistols alone.They are my regular fix of energy and attitude, reference point and inspiration. See, I was too young to be a punk in 1976/1977. I was only nine years old and more into supporting my beloved Arsenal and playing with my Six Million Dollar Man doll than following bands or pop stars. I watched Top Of The Pops from a very early age (apparently) but never went out and bought records until I was 12. I can remember Gary Glitter, Slade, The Sweet, Suzy Quatro, The Bay City Rollers, Osmonds and T.Rex but I never indulged in the sacred plastic. Those bands seemed a bit cabaret to me at the time if I’m honest. Anyway, I witnessed the Pistols on the Grundy show and that definitely left an impression. Janet Street Porter’s ‘Punk’ documentary for the London Weekend Show was another slice of legendary TV that I caught as well, but it wasn’t until 1979 that I jumped right in and started buying the stuff.

By then the Pistols had run their course and the new wave was settling in but I bought ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ and am still amazed to this day by it’s awesome production and energy. It’s the best album to put on when the sun is out and the windows are open. It’s pretty well known that “Ray Of Gob” (Pistols vs Madonna) gave me the foot-up into the Music biz back in 2003, so I just felt like doing another one for a laugh and see what turned up. This one came about pretty quickly. In fact the video took longer to make because I spent so much time watching all my Pistols DVD’s for source material…I mentioned elsewhere that I had to bolster the bottom end by playing the bass part and mixing it back in but I think the track works well enough now and it’s quite strange how nicely female vox fit with a Pistols song.

GHP – ‘Finally, Did You No Wrong’

All the best

Mark.

I’m sending out extra special soul salute to Mark for finding the time rustle up with a great bowlful of goodies of for my blog – so please speed on over to Go Home Productions and fill your boots with his boots..

Prowling Wolf – Marco Pirroni (Part 2)

Posted in glam, guitar, Punk, Questions and Answers, The Wolfmen on March 3, 2008 by planetmondo

Part 1 one of my Marco interview is right here – just in case you’ve missed it.

Is it true that you own Dave Hill’s ‘Super Yob’ guitar? – How many guitars are in your collection, and which guitars or amps would you grab if the house caught fire?

I do have ‘Super Yob’ but I’m thinking of lending it to Rob Dickens new British Rock Museum which opens next year. I have about 50 or 60 guitars, but I don’t keep them at home. If I had to grab one it would my 59′ Les Paul Junior which is my number one live guitar,and my 65 hot rodded Fender Twin which sounds more like a Marshall but with that glam upper mid nasal feedback honk sound. I’m not a big amp collector, I have about 10 mostly small combos all pre seventies. I use these in the studio a lot sometimes combined with plug-ins like Guitar Rig 3.

As someone that was part of Punk scene from the beginning, were there any records or ‘guilty pleasures’ Disco or Pop tracks etc… you enjoyed during the Punk wars but had to keep ‘hush hush’ about at the time?

I never felt I had to keep hush about anything, in fact I worked at trying to think of the worst thing could say to piss off the Punk purists, but I will always insist that ‘I Feel Love’ by Donna Summer is one of the greatest records ever made coz it is! (And as if by magic – the original Moroder 12″ version of ‘I Feel Love’ )

The whole attitude to Punk seems to have become almost reverential now, are there any Punk myths you’d like to qualify or quosh?

Punk like beauty is in the eye of the beholder so Punk is anything you want it to be,which is the best thing about it.I’m tired of arguing about Punk and now I just say “I don’t care” or “I’m bored” which are standard 1976 answers to everything.

The pre Marco ‘Dirk’ era Adam and The Ants songs have an angular almost Indie clang about them (apart from the B sides) , it’s only later when you team up with Adam that the songs start to become chart topping tunes. Do you feel your input into the writing, sound and success of Ant music gets enough recognition?

Oddly I sometimes feel I get too much credit, that I single handedly transformed a cult Punk band into a mega international success…not so,our success was down to Adam and myself fed with where we both were in our lives and the dark days of the late 70s – without Adams drive and vision I wouldn’t be talking to you now.

What bands (new or old) are currently playing on The Wolfmen’s iPods?
this week I’m mostly playing Melody Gardot’s new album and Scum of the Earth as they sound exactly like Rob Zombie of whom I am a huge fan! Guitar Wolf are another fave of mine, as I write this I’m listening to the soundtracks to ‘Thunderball”‘and ‘Bladerunner'(the original Vangelis version).

So many traditional areas of the music industry Top of the Pops, music weeklies, unscripted radio playlists seem to have gone into meltdown over the last few years, how do you approach promoting The Wolfmen and their music in the digital age?

I think that all of us making music now, are still trying to find and create a music biz for the 21st century, clearly the internet is a massive part of this but its by no means the be all and end all, when people talk about the future of music they are really talking about the future of the marketing of music which I leave to more “interested” men. The Wolfmen will be releasing an 11 track album/CD I cannot defend accusations that this may be an outdated format all I can say is, that is what I have always liked, and I would like to continue that until it is no longer viable, the 7″ single is already a loss leader and although that format is what I grew up on I don’t mourn its passing anymore than I miss the rotary dial on telephones, basically… “in modern times the modern way”.

Where would you like The Wolfmen to be this time next year?

Winning Grammies and lighting cigarettes with £50 notes, but it depends on where the world is this time next year! In an ever changing world we have to take things a day at a time and see where it all leads us.

The Wolfmen – Jackie Says (Alan Mulder Mix)

The Wolfmen – Love Is A Dog (Alan Mulder Mix)

The Wolfmen ‘Jackie Says’

The Wolfmen – ‘Needles In The Camels Eye’- studio footage

The Wolfmens Re-make/re-model of Eno’s ‘Needle In The Camels Eye’ is released on the
10th March

Unfortunatley I couldn’t make the Embassy gig last week but a review of it is here on the Car Trouble website

Dates and details of live shows, releases and downloads are available at…
The Wolfmen’s official Myspace site

A special salute goes out to Marco and Ian Peel for their time, trouble and and accessibility in arranging this interview

Wolves In Chic Clothing – Marco Pirroni (Part 1)

Posted in glam, new music, Punk, Questions and Answers, The Wolfmen on February 25, 2008 by planetmondo

Chelmsford Odeon, December 13th 1980 – Adam and The Ants are on the final few dates of their Frontier Tour, the audience is split 90/10 in favour of spiky spitting punks over shiny new pop fans. An enthusiastic, energetic punch up between skuffling skinheads and mad eyed mohicans bubbles away in front of the stage until eventually Adam has to stop the band and scream at the scrappers “it’s not 1977 anymore”. The fight fizzles out and the show goes on all punchy double drums with glam twang guitars. And there’s me a trembly teen at his first ‘grown up’ gig watching wide eyed at the back .

Fast forward 27 years. The Islington Academy, November 14th 2007 – it’s The Wolfmen’s debut gig, slinking on stage they kick start with a spectacular sizzler – but hang on a mo’ isn’t that one of my favourite Eno tunes with added Roxy riffing? Now it’s glam garage guitars, flute solos and sitars sharing the same stage, and what’s that about the special guest star Dahler Mendhi? He’s unable make the gig due to an interview with Her Majesty’s finest, not a problem as the show goes on all snap, snarl and sparkle. And there’s me a seasoned salty ol’ gig goer watching wide eyed at the bar.


I thought The Wolfmen’s debut show last November was a stormer what were your feelings on it?

I think we pulled it off,we got away with it – we were rough, ready and raw which is great. One odd thing about doing this for 30 years is I do not have the ability to make mistakes any more which I miss,sometimes the best things come out of unpredictability…thats my excuse for not turning up to rehearsals and I’m sticking to it!

The set opened with Eno’s ‘Needles in the Camels Eye’ which is an inspired choice of cover version. Did you try out any other covers before ‘Needles’? And are there any more lined up for the future?

No we haven’t as yet worked on other covers, but at some point I would like to try ‘Homosapien’by Pete Shelley,’Don’t split It’ by The Subway Sect ,’The Telephone Call’ by Kraftwerk (don’t ask me how we are going to do that!), ‘Theres A Ghost In My House’ by R.Dean Taylor and even maybe ‘Sounds Of The Underground’ by Girls Aloud or ‘House Of Love’ by East 17, but at the moment we are working on our stuff so don’t expect these anytime soon. I think covers should be worked on in downtime for fun.

Everyone I’ve played Wolfmen material to is always hooked after a couple of plays, where do you start when writing new songs and what comes first the catchy tunes or rocky swagger?

Catchy tunes come first every time. Rock swagger is easy,we’ve had enough practice at that – I learnt Rock swagger before I could even play!

There’s some eclectic instrumentation on several tracks flute, harmonica over growling guitars. Do you write with a view to adding these touches, or does it get worked up later?

We think about it later,there’s always a space where we think “what can we do here?” shall we just stick yet another guitar solo over it or make an attempt at something different? Chris is a bit of a multi-instrumentalist so that comes in handy,I can only play the guitar and the intro to ‘Virginia Plain’ on a Stylophone,but to be frank I don’t get much call for that these days.

(I can also play ‘Run Run Run’ by the Velvet Underground on drums, but again that talent is not in demand anymore…well it never was.)

The Wolfmen are start their residency at the Embassy club tomorrow( future dates and details are on The Wolfmen Myspace site), are there any plans for a UK or international tour after this?

It all depends if people want us, we are in talks about touring India at the moment but it’s early days yet.

Who were the guitarists or artists that inspired you to pick up a guitar? And are you self taught?

Mick Ronson,Phil Manzanera,Marc Bolan,Link Wray,Pete Townsend and yes I am self taught (Steve Jones is also in my hero list but no way am I admitting that to him) .

If you could choose anyone dead or alive to jam with, or join The Wolfmen for one track who would it be and on what song?

I’d love Andy Mackay to come down and do something, or Simon House to do some violin but we don’t have the song yet, when we do I’ll be straight on the phone. And of course the great, incredible and unbelievable Ms Mo Tucker who ranks with Keith Moon as greatest rock drummer of all time!

The Wolfmen – ‘Cecilie’

The Wolfmen – ‘Cecilie’ (Alan Mulder Mix)

The Wolfmen – ‘While London Sleeps’ (Alan Mulder Mix)


Coming in part 2…

What is the connection between Marco and the rocking chipmunk Dave Hill?

Were there any ‘guilty pleasures’ at the height of the punk Wars?

Where will the Wolfmen be in a years time?

Recommended reading until then…

The Wolfmen’s Myspace site

The Wolfmen’s Wikipedia entry

The Marco compiled CDs

Biba: Champagne & Novocaine

Sex : Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die

The End Of The World From The Worlds End

Posted in 1977, anniversary, glam, guitar, Punk, Questions and Answers, Sex Pistols on October 27, 2007 by planetmondo