Archive for the rock Category

Glam Rocks – No Sleep Til Chelmsford

Posted in 80's, gigs, glam, new wave, Punk, retromania, rock on December 2, 2008 by planetmondo
Me in my Mad Max Factor/Southend R.O.C.K period
(note tasteful band logo on left arm – and missing tuner on guitar head)

In a past life I was once the guitarist for a glammy band called The Ladykillers (dreadful name, not my idea). I say glam, it was more of a post-goth, pre-grebo garagey rock ‘n’ racket affair really (a local paper once did a piece on us claiming ‘They’re Glam, They’re pop, They’re Punk’ – which sort of nails it I suppose). Based in Southend and on the scene at the same time as, and crossing paths with an early era My Life Story – we seemed to get the support slots for any visiting rocky horrors and lower league goth monsters that put a buckle booted foot into the Essex area – a few incidents from my rock date diaries include…..

Two encounters with Zodiac Mindwarp (which you can read about on page 43 of this month’s The Word)

Our second only live date, (with Mal from My Life Story helping out on bass), supporting Flesh For Lulu to a pre-health and safety elastic capacity Pink Toothbrush, where the icy tinkles and cinematic style keyboard intro was blitzed by the drum machine’s improv’ Drum and Bass meltdown.

The third gig at a local youth club on the night it was populated by German exchange students – the only ones that danced. In a moment of randomness we’d hired a dry ice machine for this gig, not a popular move with the Middle-Aged-Ladies that ran the club – the amount of puff pumped from this rent-a-gadget gave the effect of being smothered by a creeping indoor fog. Cue a stage invasion from the M-A-L’s with damp dishcloths to smother the smoke “it’s no good they can’t see a thing in the ping-pong room” or some such was the cry.

Having a gun pulled on us at Harlow. Someone fainting in Romford.
And the gig where the above pic’ was taken – supporting Ghostdance in Chelmsford (which must qualify as the least rock ‘n’ roll phrase in human history) an experience not dissimilar to playing to an audience of Autons, until the drums turned to shrapnel and went a’rolling around the stage mid-set. These were patched up gaffer tape and Meccano style, we carried on with the set and the crowd literally went wild – I’ve got a video of this gig and the audience go from musical statues to wild things in the space of two songs..

It just took a collapsing drum kit and couple of covers to defrost the good people of Chelmsford, two tunes that were regulars in our set and fairly reflective of our ‘angle’…

Iggy Pop – Funtime

Adam and The Ants – Fall In

And of course this – a show closer from the first gig to the last..

The Where Are They Now Epilogue….
(Well, the ones I know about anyway)

The Singer works in the entertainment industry

The Keyboard player is a Professor at Leicester University

Bass player number 4 – is a soundman and plays in Cult tribute band Pure Cult

Drummer number 2 – is a professional drummmer and in a T Rex tribute band Too Rex

Mark Ellen – reads part of my Zodiac Mindwarp Experience – right here at 6 mins 30 secs

Thumbs N’ Roses

Posted in 80's, Bootleg remixes, GHP, mark vidler, mash up, rock, The Beatles on November 26, 2008 by planetmondo


A couple of rock’s heaviest hitters have both released new albums within the last few days:

McCartney (as The Fireman) with ‘Electric Arguments’
Axl Rose (as Guns N’ Roses) with ‘The Chinese Democracy’.

But what would the results have sounded like if they’d put their collective noggins together for a team-up (Maxl’s Metal Hammer?) Perhaps something like…

DJ Jimmi James – Sgt. Pepper´s Paradise (short version)

DJ Jimmi James – Sgt. Pepper´s Paradise (long version)

And on a similar theme… The Cult and The Beatles in

Go home productions – She Sells Tax, Man

So let me introduce to you – a couple of other G N’ R connections to the bands appearing in these two metal based booties…..

Guns N’ Roses covered McCartney’s ‘Live And Let Die’ on their “The Spaghetti Incident?” album

Axl was married to Erin Everley, the daughter of one of Macca’s musical heroes Don Everly.

Matt Sorum drummer for G N’ R and Velvet Revolver is a former drummer of The Cult, who, had Guns N’ Roses as their opening act on a US tour in the eighties.

If this post doesn’t get me blog-whacked nothing will.

Glamour Ghouls

Posted in 70's, Batman, bowie, Brian Eno, Comics, glam, halloween, Marc Bolan, rock on October 26, 2008 by planetmondo
I found a load of old scraps and cuttings like this in the loft recently

There’s a gallery of grotesques to choose from when you get to glam related rocky horrors…

Alice Cooper – The New York Dolls ‘Frankenstein’ – Iggy’s ‘Death Trip’ and ‘Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell’ – Suzi Q’s ‘Devil Gate Drive’- Bolan’s ‘Mystic Lady’, ‘Demon Queen’ (or his earlier John’s Children tune ‘‘Desdemona’‘ banned because of it’s “lift up your skirt and fly” line)- Bowie’s ‘Width Of A Circle’, ‘Please Mr Gravedigger’, ‘Beauty And The Beast’ – Roxy’s ‘Bogus Man’ or Eno’s ‘Spirit’s Drifting’ and ‘Everything Merges With The Night’ are just a handful of the Halloween themed hits and howlers available from the spangle age..but I thought these few tunes could do with being reanimated as pre-season of the witch friendly..

David Bowie Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).

An overlooked, underplayed thumper that gets lost in the shadows of ‘Ashes To Ashes’ and ‘Fashion’

Marc Bolan You Scare Me To Death

Hellraiser – a heavier-hitting side of The Sweet

Blockbuster –

Blockbuster could well have been inspired by the Batman bruiser Blockbuster(DC’s answer to The Hulk)

Which brings us back to Bowie who referenced Batman in Uncle Arthur

“Uncle Arthur still reads comics
Uncle Arthur follows Batman”

And that’s ‘doing the loop’

Pyjamarama

Posted in 70's, books, glam, perfect pop, rock, roxy music on February 27, 2008 by planetmondo

Inspired by completing this today (where Ferry gets much more of a roasting than is strictly necessary) and tuning into this from Mick over at Raiding The Vinyl Archive – I’m on a right ol’ Roxy buzz.

So how about the overlooked and underplayed great ‘ lost‘ single ‘Pyjamarama’ – apparantley the band never rated it and even Eno claimed ‘ Do The Strand’ should have been released instead. Nonsense I say! ‘Pyjamarama’ is perfect pop – all fizz and glitter, like Motown gone glam, and conforms to Paul Morley’s theory that all pop songs are truly great if…

“you can imagine them being sung by Elvis”.

Roxy Music – Pyjamarama.mp3

And a Roxy refresher (like anyone who’s read this far needs it!!)

How great they were…

Roxy Music – ‘Ladytron'(1973)

And still are….

Roxy Music – ‘Remake/Remodel'(2001)

Rolling Stoner

Posted in 60's, 70's, books, guitar, rock, Rolling Stones on January 14, 2008 by planetmondo


I read the Ron Wood biog’ last week, which is pretty much 350ish pages of drunken stumbles, lucky breaks and bad investments. But it left me thinking what must it be like to be a Rolling Stone? Possibly not too dissimilar to this….

Waiting on a Friend.

*Stoner update – I’ve just found out (via searching Friends Reunited)that I used to go the same Youth Club as Ronnie’s Sister in Law. I knew he’d made a few local appearances attended gigs, been spotted in pubs etc – all makes sense now.*

As an extra here’s a tune I came up with a couple of years ago. Well, it’s not really a tune – it’s a 1 take piece of tat that took 10 minutes to crack out as an experiment in ‘open G’ tuning. Open G is a technique regularly employed by Keith Richards, it’s the heart of the Stones sound and more importantly saves having to faff around remembering endless fancy chord shapes (nice and easy if your feeling a bit ‘relaxed’ of an evening). Tune the guitar to open G and one simple shape fits all frets. Please excuse any clunker notes and blame them on first take nerves.

Stoner.mp3

‘Are We Really 65 In The Charts ?’

Posted in 1977, anniversary, Punk, Questions and Answers, rock, The Damned on October 21, 2007 by planetmondo

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.

Certainly I see New Rose as one of the most important singles ever released, and being equal to anything Elvis , The Beatles or the Sex Pistols ever unleashed.

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

Help – The B Side of New Rose

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.

Recommended Reading
The Offical Brian James site
Brian James Gang myspace site
The Official Damned Site
One Way love – The Number One Damned fan site
Lords Of The New Church fan site

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

Sex Pistols Are Coming !!!!!

Posted in Punk, rock, Sex Pistols on September 18, 2007 by planetmondo


So the Sex Pistols are back !

They could reform every year and roll round the world as far I’m concerned. How often do you get to see real life legends, who’ve turned the music, fashion, media, and design industries up side down. Whose look, sound and attitude is still referenced as undiluted source material today.

Walk down almost any high Street and you’ll see the shadow of the Sex Pistols somewhere.

I doubt I’ll get tickets.I don’t care. It’s just a buzz to know they’re buzzing for it too.

I’m planning to upload a super rare bootleg next month Party Till You Puke – which is the complete and studio quality demo’s for the NMTB sessions including the only studio recording of Sid playing bass (on Submission).

So if you’ve got a Pistols buzz, treat yourself with some of these goodies

Ignore the ninnies who say the Sex Pistols can’t play, and blast this in their ears.

No Feelings – instrumental version.mp3

Sex Pistols poster – offline
A high Res version of the first ever Sex Pistols poster (as pictured above, but much larger), given away in the German music magazine Bravo.

Or why not have a peep at an earlier pistols blog of mine about at a Spanish Punk band’s cover of NMTB

Then have a nosey at this Filth and the Fury trailer and see why the tickets will probably sell out in less time than it takes to watch this clip