Dance Macabre

Dance Macabre

Friday, 24 April 2015

ESP Records Label Founder Dies

Bernard Stollman ~ 85 ~ Founder of American Jazz, Folk and Underground Rock record label ESP-Disk. ESP was an odd label orginally set up by Stollman to release records in Esperanto, an artificially created language which still has thousands of hobbyist followers. Realizing that this was not exactly a large audience base Stollman was persuaded to branch out into other music focusing on an eccentric collection of avant garde folk (The Holy Modal Rounders, Old Time Custard Suckers), Free Jazz (Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, Pharaoh Sanders, Sun Ra) re-releases of other jazz (Billie Holliday, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Paul Bley) underground Rock (The Fugs, Godz, Pearls Before Swine, Jayne County), spoken word (William Bouroughs, Timothy Leary) world music and assorted weirdness (Charles Manson, Yma Sumac) . The label suspended recordings in the 1970's although the existing catalog has always been kept in print. ESP recorded a number of artists who other wise might have been forgotten and kept their work in print. On the down side Stollman was notorious for not paying royalties to his artists.

THE GODZ ~ PROMO CLIP;


THE GODZ ~ "CANDY'S GOING BAD";


JAYNE COUNTY ~ "ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH TO BE A WOMAN?"


THE FUGS ~ "KILL FOR PEACE";


THE FUGS ~ "BOOBS-A-LOT";


THE HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS ~ "BOUND TO LOOSE";


ALBERT AYLER ~ "SUMMERTIME";


SUN RA ARKESTRA ~ "SHADOW WORLD";


ORNETTE COLEMAN ~ "ROMA";


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Some 1950's & 1960's Figures Pass On

Percy Sledge ~ 74 ~ R&B singer with Atlantic Records, had hit with classic hit version of "When A Man Loves A Woman"

PERCY SLEDGE ~ "WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN";


Wally Lester, 73, American singer w/1950's Doo-Wop group The Skyliners ("Since I Don't Have You" & "Pennies From Heaven").

THE SKYLINERS ~ "SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU";


Keith McCormack ~ 74 ~ 1950's & 60's American singer w/The Patio Kids, the Rock 'n' Rollers, the Latin Teens and the String-A-Longs and songwriter of "Sugar Shack" later covered in hit version by Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs

JIMMY GILMER & THE FIREBALLS ~ "SUGAR SHACK";


Tut Taylor ~ 91 ~ American Bluegrass dobro player from the 1960's on with The Folk Swingers, The Dixie Gentlemen, John Hartford's Aero-Plane, and Jerry Douglas

JOHN HARTFORD ~ "TURN YOUR RADIO ON";


JOHN HARDFORD'S AERO-PLANE ~ "STEAM POWERED AEROPLANE";


Monday, 6 April 2015

Some 1960's Prog & Psyche Rockers Pass On

Edgar Frosse ~ Keyboardist and founder of German electronic pioneers Tangerine Dream. Originally playing with a Psychedelic Rock band The Ones who recorded a single in 1967, Frosse formed Tangerine Dream and recorded their first album in 1969. Over more than a dozen albums Tangerine Dream's sound utilized the new technology of Moog synthesizers to make long insturmentals which paved the way for later electronic groups such as Kraftwerk and early Industrial groups like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire and later New Age electronic noodlers like Jean Micheal Jarre and Yani. Unlike most other electronic groups who mostly kept to the studio Tangerine Dream toured heavily throughout the 1970's and 80's recording many live albums. They also moved into soundtrack work with influencial music for "Thief" and "Sorcerer". By the 1990's most other such groups evolved into dance music but Tangerine Dream instead drifted into dull New Age albums and some ill-advised attempts at crossover appeal by adding the occasional vocalist. By then after several lineup changes Frosse was the only original member left although his son did join the group.

TANGERINE DREAM ~ LIVE 1975;


TANGERINE DREAM;


Dave Ball ~ Guitarist for 1960's Prog-Rock band Procul Harum ~ 65

PROCUL HARUM ~ "WHITER SHADE OF PALE";


PROCUL HARUM ~ "A SALTY DOG";


Preston Ritter, 65, American drummer w/The Electric Prunes, later w/Beach Boys, Linda Rondstad

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES ~ "I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT";


THE ELECTRIC PRUNES ~ "GET ME TO THE WORLD ON TIME";


THE ELECTRIC PRUNES ~ "LONG DAY'S FLIGHT";


Micheal Brown ~ 65 ~ Keyboardist for 1960's Baroque Pop band The Left Banke ("Don't Walk Away Rene"), later in Montage, The Stories, The Beckies.

THE LEFT BANKE ~ "WALK AWAY RENEE";


John Renbourn, 70, British guitarist w/ 1960's folk-rock band Pentangle, later solo and with Stefan Grossman

PENTANGLE ~ "MAY THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN";


PENTANGLE ~ "LIGHT FLIGHT";




Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The People Who Died (so far) ~ 2015 Edition



Clifford Adams, 62, American trombonist (Kool & the Gang)

Daevid Allen ~ 77 ~ Australian musician with 1970's British Prog Rock bands Soft Machine, Gong

Sam Andrew ~ Guitarist with Janis Joplin's Big Brother and the Holding Company ~ 73

Maurizio Arcieri ~ 72 Italian singer (The New Dada, Krisma)

Dave Ball ~ Guitarist for 1960's Prog-Rock band Procul Harum ~ 65

Inezita Barroso ~ 90 Brazilian folk singer

Jeremy Brown, 34, American guitarist (Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts)

Micheal Brown ~ 65 ~ Keyboardist for 1960's Baroque Pop band The Left Banke ("Don't Walk Away Rene"), later in Montage, The Stories, The Beckies.

Bob Burns ~ 64 ~ American drummer w/Lynyrd Skynyrd

Billy Butler ~ 1960's R&B singer recorded with OKeh Records with hits like "The Right Track" also songwriter and guitarist with brother Jerry Butler and Gene Chandler ~ 69

Brian Carman ~ 69 ~ Guitarist with surf band The Chantays ("Pipeline")

Nicholas Crisostomo ~ 25 ~ Drummer w/Georgia Death Metal band Khaotika

Aldo Ciccolini ~ Italian-born French classical pianist who had some crossover success in the late 60's with his recordings of the works of Erik Satie and Claude Debussey ~ 89

Scott Clendenin ~ 47 ~ American bassist (Death, Control Denied)

Dave Cloud ~ Singer/Guitarist with 1990's Nashville Garage Punk band Dave Cloud & The Gospel Of Power ~ 58

Don Covay ~ American R&B singer and songwriter ("Chain of Fools") ~ 76

B.J. Crosby 63 ~ American jazz and Broadway singer and actress ("Smokey Joe's Cafe")

Andre Crouch ~ American Gospel singer from the 1960's on ~ 72

Bruce Crump ~ American rock drummer (Molly Hatchet) ~ 57

Milton DeLugg ~ 96 ~ American composer, band leader and producer for Jackie Wilson and Buddy Holly ("Rave On")

Little Jimmy Dickens ~ American country music singer from the 1950's on("May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose"), Grand Ole Opry regular ~ 94

Popsy Dixon ~ Drummer for Soul/Gospel group The Holmes Brothers ~ 72

Ervin Drake, 95, American songwriter ("It Was a Very Good Year", "I Believe", "Good Morning Heartache")

Tim Drummond, 74, American bassist (Bob Dylan, Neil Young)

Kim Fowley, 75, American record producer, band manager (The Runaways)

Andy Fraser ~ 62 ~ British 1960's bass guitarist w/ John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Free

Edgar Froese, 70, German musician (Tangerine Dream),

Jeff Golub ~ American Jazz & Rock guitarist, worked with Rod Stewart, Billy Squire ~ 59

Celina González, 85, Cuban singer and songwrite

Lesley Gore ~ 68 ~ 1960's Pop singer ("It's My Party", "You Don't Own Me")

Jurgen Gothe ~ 70 ~ German-born Canadian radio broadcaster for long time CBC show DiscDrive

Jimmy Greenspoon ~ 67 ~ American keyboard player and composer with Australian Pop/Rock Band Three Dog Night

Lawrence Gushee ~ 83 ~ American Jazz historian

Johnny Helms ~ American Jazz trumpet player w/Clark Terry, Oscar Peterson, Red Rodney, Woody Herman ~ 80

Jørgen Ingmann, 89, Danish musician with 1960's instrumental hits "Apache", "Tequila" (with the Champs)

Paul Jeffrey ~ 81 ~ American Jazz Sax player w/Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Lionel Hampton and B.B. King.

Josie Jones ~ 57 ~ English singer w/ 1980's new wave group The Mighty Wah!

Orrin Keepnews ~ 91 ~ American jazz record producer, executive and writer w/RCA, Fantasy, Riverside, Milestone and Landmark Records from the 1950's on. Produced Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, Cannonball, Nat Adderley, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Griffin, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins, Kronos Quartet.

Johnny Kemp ~ 55 ~ Bahamian singer ("Just Got Paid")

Wayne Kemp ~ 73 ~ American 1970's country music singer and songwriter

Glen Kimberley ~ 50 ~ Drummer for Toronto rockabilly bands The Millwinders, The Tin Eddies, The Swingin' Blackjacks

Andriy Kuzmenko ~ 46 ~ Ukrainian singer (Skryabin),

Cynthia Layne ~ 51 ~ American jazz singer,

Curtis Lee ~ American 1960's R&B singer w/Phil Spector ~ 75

Neil LeVang ~ American session guitarist w/ Frank Zappa, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Glen Campbell, Frank Zappa, Bobby Darin, Bobbi Gentry, David Clayton Thomas, Neal Hefti ("Batman Theme"), Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond and Noel Boggs. Also played for Lawrence Welk Show ~ 83

Jim McCann 70 ~ Singer/Guitarist w/Irish folk band The Dubliners

Ian McKinney ~ 30 ~ Alabama Death Metal Band Wormreich

A. J. Masters, 64, American Country Music singer

Keith McCormack ~ 74 ~ 1950's & 60's American singer w/The Patio Kids, the Rock 'n' Rollers, the Latin Teens and the String-A-Longs and songwriter of "Sugar Shack" later covered in hit version by Jimmy Gilmer

Ray McFall ~ British nightclub owner of The Cavern Club ~ 88

Joe Mauldin ~ Bassist for Buddy Holly's Crickets ~ 74

Albert Maysles ~ 88 ~ American documentary filmmaker on Rolling Stones Altamot doc Gimme Shelter

Vassil Mester ~ Drummer for Toronto and Montreal punk bands Diemonds, Heavens On Fire, Absolut and City Sweethearts

Margot Moir, 55, Scottish-born Australian singer w/ 1960's The Moir Sisters)

Zane Musa, 36, American jazz saxophonist (The Nikhil Korula Band)

A. J. Pero ~ 55 ~ American drummer for Twisted Sister and Adrenaline Mob

Mike Porcaro ~ 59 ~ American bassist 1980's Pop/Rock Band Toto

George Probert, 87, American jazz clarinet and sax player with Kid Ory and later music editor

Margo Reed ~ 73 ~ American jazz and blues singer

John Renbourn, 70, British guitarist w/ 1960's Folk-Rock group Pentangle, later solo and with Stefan Grossman

Preston Ritter, 65, American drummer w/ The Electric Prunes, later w/ Beach Boys, Linda Ronstadt

Ronnie Ronalde, 91, British 1950's music hall singer, whistler and yodeler

Ralph Sharon ~ 91 ~ American bandleader w/ Tony Bennett

Percy Sledge ~ 74 ~ American R&B singer ("When a Man Loves a Woman")

Lew Soloff ~ 71 American jazz and R&B trumpeter w/Blood, Sweat & Tears

King Sporty ~ Jamaican-American reggae musician/producer/DJ, did the original version of "Buffalo Soldier" ~ 71

Bernard Stollman ~ 85 ~ Founder of American Jazz, Folk and Underground Rock record label ESP-Disk (Albert Ayler, Holy Modal Rounders, Fugs, Godz, Ornette Coleman, Pharaoh Sanders, Sun Ra

Steve Strange ~ Singer with British New Wave band Visage

Ward Swingle, 87, American musician (The Swingle Singers, Les Double Six)

Dallas Taylor, 66, American drummer (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)

Tut Taylor ~ 91 ~ American Bluegrass dobro player from the 1960's on with The Folk Swingers, The Dixie Gentlemen, John Hartford's Aero-Plane, and Jerry Douglas

Clark Terry ~ 94 ~ Influential American BeBop Jazz trumpet player. Played with Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Oscar Peterson, Big Joe Turner, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Teddy Wilson and T-Bone Walker

Bill Thompson, 70, American band manager (Jefferson Airplane)

Paul Truesdell ~ 29 ~ Alabama Death Metal band Wormreich

Trevor Ward-Davies, 70, British bassist (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich)

Julie Wilson ~ 90 ~ 1940's Big Band and Hollywood Musicals singer w/ Ray Anthony

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

50's & 60's Figures Pass On

Sam Andrew ~ 73 ~ Guitarist with Janis Joplin's Big Brother & The Holding Company (Another Piece Of My Heart", "Summertime","Ball & Chain"

JANIS JOPLIN ~ "ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART";


JANIS JOPLIN ~ "BALL AND CHAIN";


Neil LeVang ~ 83 ~ American session guitarist who played Neal Hefti (Batman Theme). Later played w/ Frank Zappa, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Glen Campbell, Frank Zappa, Bobby Darin, Bobbi Gentry, David Clayton Thomas, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond and Noel Boggs. Also played for Lawrence Welk Show.

NEAL HEFTI ~ "BATMAN THEME";


Brian Carman ~ 69 ~ Guitarist with 1960's Surf band The Chantays with classic hit "Pipeline".

THE CHANTAYS ~ "PIPELINE";


THE CHANTAYS ~ "RUNAWAY";


THE CHANTAYS ~ "THE WAYWARD NILE":




Jørgen Ingmann, 89, Danish musician with 1960's instrumental hits "Apache", "Tequila" (with the Champs) also played backup on Eurovision contest;

GRETHE & JORGEN INGMANN ~ "DANSEVISE";

Trevor Ward-Davies ~ 70 ~ Bassist with British Rock group with the unwieldy name of Davey Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich who scored some hits in Britain in the mid 60's.

DAVEY DEE, DOZY, BEAKY, MICK & TICH ~ "HOLD TIGHT";


DAVEY DEE, DOZY, BEAKY, MICK, & TICH ~ "LAST NIGHT IN SOHO";


Maurizio Arcieri ~ 72 ~ Italian singer with 1960's Rock & Pop groups The New Dada and Kisma.

THE NEW DADA ~ "NON DIRNE PIU";


Joe Mauldin ~ ~ Bassist with Buddy Holly's Crickets on his classic hits "That'll Be The Day", "Peggy Sue", "Rave On", "Heartbeat".

BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETS ~ "PEGGY SUE"


BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETS ~ "THAT'LL BE THE DAY";


Andy Fraser ~ 62 ~ British 1960's bass guitarist w/ John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Free

FREE ~ "ALL RIGHT NOW";


Lesley Gore ~ ~ 1960's Pop singer with melodramic classic hits "It's My Party" (later covered in a hit version in the 1980's version by Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin) and "You Don't Own Me" (covered by Joan Jett).

LESLEY GORE ~ "IT'S MY PARTY";


LESLEY GORE ~ "YOU DON'T OWN ME";


Don Covay ~ 76 ~ American 1960's R&B singer and songwriter. Scored hits under various pseudonyms including "Bip Bop Bip", and "Pony Time". Later wrote songs done by Wilson Picket, Solomon Picket, Gladys Knight, Gene Vincent, Wanda Jackson, Connie Francis, Steppenwolf, Bobby Womack, Small Faces, the classic "Chain Of Fools" recorded by Aretha Franklin and "Have Mercy" covered by The Rollin Stones.
DON COVAY & RON WOOD ~ "SOMEBODY";


THE ROLLING STONES ~ "HAVE MERCY";


ARETHA FRANKLIN ~ "CHAIN OF FOOLS";


Andre Crouch ~ 72 ~ Multiple Grammy Award winning American Gospel singer from the 1960's on.


Little Jimmy Dickens ~ 94 ~ Honky Tonk country singer from the early 1950's onward. A courful figure known for his diminutive stature, exhuberant energy and flashy Nudie Suits. Dickens specialized in upbeat songs such as "Hey Ma; Hide The Daughter" and "I Got A Hole In My Pocket" in the early 50's. In the 60's he somewhat addapted to the slicker sounds with some ballads but he was always known best for his irreverant songs. He scored a crossover hit with the goofy "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose". One of the longest standing members of the Grand Ole Opry, he was still performing regularly as of a couple of years ago.

Little Jimmy Dickens ~ "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose";


LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS ~ "ASLEEP AT THE FOOT OF THE BED";


George Probert ~ 87 ~ American traditional Jazz clarinet and sax player with Kid Ory and later music editor.

KID ORY ~


Clark Terry ~ 94 ~ Influential American BeBop Jazz trumpet player from the 1940's on. Played with Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Oscar Peterson, Big Joe Turner, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Teddy Wilson and T-Bone Walker

CLARK TERRY ~ "STARDUST";


Orrin Keepnews ~ 91 ~ American jazz record producer, executive and writer w/RCA, Fantasy, Riverside, Milestone and Landmark Records from the 1950's on. Produced Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, Cannonball, Nat Adderley, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Griffin, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins, Kronos Quartet.

THELONIUS MONK ~ "ROUND MIDNIGHT";


Paul Jeffrey ~ 81 ~ American Jazz Sax player w/Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Lionel Hampton and B.B. King.

Aldo Ciccolini ~ 89 ~ Italian-born French classical pianist who scored some surprise crossover success in Hippie/Psyche circles with his recordings of Erik Satie pieces and to a lesser extent Claude Debusey.

ALDO CICCOLINI ~ "GYMNOPEDIE NUMBER 1";


Monday, 2 February 2015

RIP to Kim Fowley

Kim Fowley ~ Best known as the hustler who discovered/birthed Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Cherie Curie and The Runaways and as portrayed in the Runaways film by Micheal Shannon as a cross between Col. Tom Parker, Donald Trump, Malcom MacLaren and a carnival barker dressed as David Bowie, Kim Fowley actually had a long history in rock & roll.
THE HOLLYWOOD ARGYLES ~ "ALLEY OOP";


Born in the Philippines if you can believe it, in 1942, Fowley was a grandson of Rudolph Friml, a Czech born composer of Broadway operettas and son of actor Douglas Fowley. When rock broke out in the mid-fifties the teenage Fowley was quick to jump on the bandwagon starting with a Doo Wop group called The Jayhawks who scored a hit with a cover of "Stranded In The Jungle", originally done by the black group The Cadets in 1956. It was typical of the time to have quicky covers of current hit songs, but the Jayhawks were able to do a credibly rowdy version unlike the lame, whiter shade of pale versions done by Pat Boone or the Crewcuts, although their version was still not as good as the Cadets original. The New York Dolls would later do their own cover version. Like most Doo Wop groups The Jayhawks were a one hit wonder who soon broke up but the stubbornly persistent Fowley moved on with a group called The Sleepwalkers. That band included such later stars as Skip Battin (later of the Byrds), Gary Paxton, drummer Sandy Nelson and reportedly Phil Spector but did not last long enough to record. When the Sleepwalkers took a permanent nap Fowley moved into songwriting and production with Battin & Paxton along with stints as a radio DJ. Battin & Paxton formed a group called Skip and Flip for whome Fowley produced a few minor hits, including one called "Cherry Pie", starting a theme Fowley would later return to. While doing a DJ gig in Boise, Idaho of all places Fowley stumbled on to a largely instrumental group from the North West called Paul Revere & The Raiders for whom he produced a number of early singles including a local hit "Like Long Hair" and covers of songs like "Road Runner", "Moondawg" and "Tall Cool One" in 1961. Paul Revere would later rework the band with producer Terry Melcher; toughening up the sound, adding singer Mark Lindsey and dressing the band up in over-the-top revolutionary war costumes. The new Paul Revere & The Raiders would go on to score a number of hits becoming one of the major American bands of the mid-sixties. Fowley no doubt noticed and took a few notes.

THE JAYHAWKS ~ "STRANDED IN THE JUNGLE";


PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "LOUIE LOUIE";


Meanwhile Fowley returned to his Doo Wop roots producing The Paradons who scored hits with "Diamonds And Pearls" and his second hit called "Cherry". The Paradons were an authentic Doo Wop group but his next project was another Doo Wop novelty song in "Alley Oop". Done with Skip Battin and Surfaris producer Bobby Rey as The Hollywood Argyles and named after a cartoon caveman, "Alley Oop" became a surprise hit. Fowley tried his hand at instrumental rock by working with B. Bumble & The Stingers, getting a composer credit for a 1962 hit "Nut Rocker" which was based on "The Nutcracker Suite" and was similar to some early Paul Revere demos. Another Doo Wop novelty followed with "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" by the Rivingtons and a follow up "The Bird Is The Wurd" (both 1962) which were both sizable hits. Only to have an obscure garage band called The Trashmen turn the tables by mashing both songs together and amping them up to warp speed in a new song "Surfin Bird" which would become one of the all-time classics of sixties surf & garage. Once again one assumes Fowley took more notes.

THE RIVINGTONS ~ "PAPA OOM MOW MOW";


THE TRASHMEN


When the Beatles broke the ever opportunistic Fowley raced to Britain where he worked with emerging stars like PJ Proby, Cat Stevens, Soft Machine and Slade, he scored no hits though and returned to California after the Summer Of Love broke. Back in L.A. he briefly joined Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention, produced albums for Gene Vincent and Johnny Winter, co-wrote some songs with Skip Battin for the Byrds and another song for the "Easy Rider" soundtrack. He also worked with Doug Sahm, Warren Zevon and a young Jonathan Richman, with generally mixed results. Fowley's attempts at solo success were equally mixed. A psychedelic single "The Trip" was a minor hit but the new generation of underground artists considered Fowley an old-style industry opportunist trying to cash in on their scene, which of course he was. The critics especially despised him giving his solo albums scathing reviews.

KIM FOWLEY ~ "The Trip"


By the 1975's the psych/garage underground was a spent force and Fowley was floundering, with abortive projects with aspiring stadium balladeers REO Speedwagon being a highlight, when he got the idea to cash in on glam and the budding proto-punk scene by creating an all-girl glam rock band. He recruited teenagers Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Sandy West Kari Krome and Micki Steele into a band which he called The Runaways. Krome and Steele would later be dumped for not looking glamorous enough; Krome was short and wore glasses and braces while Steele was tall and a couple years older than the others, she would be replaced by Jackie Fox. The final product would encapsulate all that Fowley had learned in the past twenty years. The Runaways would have the straight ahead amped up sound of Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Trashmen, New York Dolls and Slade, the over-the-top look of The Raiders, New York Dolls, Gene Vincent and Slade, the rambunctious teenage-ness of The Hollywood Argyles, Jayhawks and Trashmen, the swagger of Gene Vincent and PJ Proby and the calculated outrage of Frank Zappa and Fowley's own solo work.

The Runaways would score a moderate hit with "Cherry Bomb", Fowley's best cherry based song yet, co-written with Joan Jett and Kari Krome and named for singer Cherie Currie. But they got most of their press attention due to their image as sexy jailbait rocker girls with guitars, an image that Fowley exploited with a feverish glee. By all accounts Fowley's utterly shameless hucksterism and control freak manipulation of the starstruck teenage girls is well documented in "The Runaways" bio-pic as is his manic personality. It is not hard to see why earlier and more savvy artists like Frank Zappa, Warren Zevon, Jonathan Richman, Slade and REO Speedwagon quickly tired of his pushy behavior. The Runaways were young and hungry however and stuck with him longer than they probably should have as he stage-managed the girls into a life of rock and roll decadence even as he alienated the influencial journalists and the emerging punk scene that Joan Jett at least wanted to be a part of. An old school hustler like Fowley could never have been accepted by the punk scene however even if he had taken it seriously which he did not, instead trying to position the Runaways as stadium rockers like Aerosmith or Alice Cooper. The mostly male audience of such bands would never have taken an all-girl band seriously however and the Runaways were often greeted by thrown bottles when opening for the likes of Rush (who famously heckled the band). The only audience who would have given the Runaways an fair shake would have been the punks, but many found Fowley's trashy marketing off-putting. The Runaways albums had some some excellent songs but they sounded a little too seventies glam for the emerging punk era.

THE RUNAWAYS ~ "CHERRY BOB";


Fowley encouraged rockstar behavior among the band including rampant drug use and jealous infighting, believing it would make them easier to control. Instead it led to drug induced breakdowns from Cherie Currie and Jackie Fox who left the band. The Runaways struggled on until Joan Jett finally quit in 1979. As we all know Jett would go on to a hugely successful and even more influential solo career in the 1980's. Lita Ford would go on to a less successful but still respectable solo career of her own. Cherie Currie's solo career petered out after two solo albums and a couple of movie roles, due mostly to her heavy drug use. She would later get her life in order, write her memoirs and tour occasionally with a solo band. Jackie Fox quit music altogether to go to law school and become a lawyer. Micki Steele would join The Bangles. The other Runaways drifted into obscurity with drummer Sandy West dying of cancer some years back. The Runaways are now universally seen as role-models for every guitar slinging girl band since and all their albums are still in print.

THE RUNAWAYS LIVE IN JAPAN;


As for Fowley the end of the Runaways seemed to hit him harder than it did the still teenage girls in the band. Certainly none of his abortive projects since amounted to anything and he was mostly reduced to hanging around the scene with radio DJ Rodney Bigenhiemer like the ghost of Christmas Punk Past and repackaging compilations of Runaways demos and out-takes. An attempt to form a second version of the Runaways in the 1990's with zero original members was an embarrassing flop. The success of "The Runaways" film with it's scenery-chewing performance by Micheal Shannon revived interest in Fowley as well as the band and he was able to reunite with some of the former Runaways encouraged by Cherie Currie, now clean of drugs and ready to forgive old wounds. There were reports that Currie, Ford and Fowley (but not Joan Jett) were working together on a project when Currie announced he had became sick with terminal cancer last year.

THE RUNAWAYS ~ "WASTED";

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Some Classic Canadian Punk Bands



Rob Brent ~ Guitarist with London, Ontario (later Toronto) punk band The Demics. The Demics recorded the classic song "New York City" on their fist ep "Talk's Cheap" in 1979 which became a surprise hit in Canada. They later rerecorded it on a subsequent album in 1980 getting an American release and becoming a mid-size hit there as well. By that time Brent had left and been replaced by Steve Koch as the Demics moved from London to Toronto. Following the usual turmoil the band soon broke up without any more releases. The DEmics may have been a one-hit-wonder but it was quite a hit; "New York City" is one of the most beloved songs of the Canadian early punk era and was chosen as the greatest Canadian single of all time by Chart Magazine in 1996 as first "Talk's Cheap" and later a full album were released.

THE DEMICS ~ "TALK'S CHEAP" (full ep);


THE DEMICS ~ "NEW YORK CITY";


Brian Goble ~ Bassist with The Skulls, one of Vancouver's first punk bands. After they broke up singer Joey Shithead went on to form DOA while Goble became singer and singer with The Subhumans. He would later rejoin DOA in the 1990's ~ 57;
THE SUBHUMANS "FUCK YOU";


THE SUBHUMANS ~ "TWO BIT WHORE";


DOA ~ "WORLD WAR 3";


JEFF DEPEW ~ Drummer for London Ontario punk band 63 Monroe. A band of the early eighties who scored a minor hit with a goofy run through of the Herman's Hermits song "Henry VIII". That wasn't really an accurate taste of the band's sound which was a much heavier and louder New York Dolls type of Glam-Trash Punk. 63 Monroe put out a few albums locally throughout the 80's but never left London. Various members also had a side band named Osterberg, which as you might assume started out as a Stooges cover band before later turning to originals. I actually booked them a few times in the 2000's and they were a rock solid live band. 63 Monroe also did a session at CIUT a few years back. A version of 63 Monroe, including Depew, was playing as late as a couple of weeks ago when they did a benefit for a Christmas Toy Drive in London.

63 MONROE ~ "HENRY VIII";


63 MONROE ~ "GIVE 'EM UP";


Glen Kimberley ~ 50 ~ Drummer for Toronto rockabilly bands The Millwinders, The Tin Eddies, The Swingin' Blackjack

THE MILLWINDERS ~ "HIGH HEELED HOT ROD";


THE MILLWINDERS ~ "EACH DAY";


THE MILLWINDERS ~ "TOO LATE";


THE TIN EDDIES ~ "BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY";