Friday, January 2, 2009

Marco Pirroni, The Wolfmen

Siouxsie & The Banshees
100 Club, London, Sept 21st '76
The first time I saw Marco Pirroni was at Siouxsie & The Banshees' debut performance at the 100 Club. He was 17, and along with Steve Severin (gtr), Sid Vicious (drums) and Siouxsie (vocals), they played a 24 minute 55 second set, which consisted of Siouxsie shrieking the words to the 'Lord's Prayer' and 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' over what amounted to basically one endlessly repeated guitar chord, some blues licks and the 'Satisfaction' 'Smoke On The Water' and 'Peter Gunn' riffs thrown in to relieve the monotony of Sid's thumping and feeble fills. Fortunately, Siouxsie quickly got it together and has, for the last 32 years, been a frequent presence on the charts. Last year's solo single, 'Into A Swan' counts as one of the best things she's ever done and was our single of the year, 2007.
I'm guessing Marco must have felt his talents were not being properly utilized cuz he formed The Models and, the following year, they gave us one single on Mark P's Step Forward Records, 'Freeze' b/w 'Man Of the Year' and a John Peel session. A short stint with sonic experimentalists Rema Rema and an e.p. on 4AD Records followed in '78 but T. Rex and David Bowie had shaped Marco in such a way that it was clear he wanted - and could deliver - much more so he hooked up with main Ant, Stuart Goddard, becoming first-mate in a newly reconstituted Adam & The Ants
(see my Adam posting here)
Marco Pirroni
"Antmusic" video still
Adam Ant, Marco Pirroni
photo: NME
Three number 1 singles, four top 10-ers, nine top 20 singles, two number 1 albums and an Ivor Novello Award ensued, clearly demonstrating Marco's chops as a quality songwriter and guitarist. In 1987, Sinéad O'Connor had him play on her classic debut 'The Lion and The Cobra'. He stuck around for her 'I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got' and came back for her fourth, 'Universal Mother' in 1994. While he took some time off to figure out what to do next, he put together a great compilation Sex: Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die featuring songs that were once on the jukebox in Malcolm MacLaren's boutique, SEX.
The lovely Jordan figures in the design (and I mean figures) and it's virtually a NoFoSo playlist with Roky, the Groovies, Arthur Alexander, Alice Cooper, The Strangeloves and Screamers Sutch AND Hawkins on it, so buy your copy here now.
The Wolfmen
photo: Tina Korhonen
Which brings us to The Wolfmen, a full-on rock & roll band consisting of Marco, Chris Constantinou, Phil Harvey, Preston Heyman and Daniel Strittmatter who've just released 'Modernity Killed Every Night' on the Damaged Goods label. Kicking off with a dynamite version of Eno's 'Needle In The Camel's Eye', a song I first heard on Little Steven's Underground Garage, the album powers along righteously combining just the right elements of glam, metal and rock with glimpses of the Ants, The Who, The Primals, Bolan, Spedding, Steve Miller, Butch Vig and just the right amount of Brian Jones-style 60's UK r&b harmonica (courtesy Chris C) to make it an album well worth investigating. Mostly self-produced with a little help from Chris "Merrick" Hughes and mixed brilliantly (as usual) by ex-Trident Studios alumnus, Alan Moulder, the whole thing takes many of the good bits from the last 40 years of rock & roll, kicks your door in and demands a place in your record collection.
Just before Christmas, Marco sent me a couple of songs they did with the King Of Pop(adum), the Punjabi philanthropist, Bhangra superstar and Bollywood icon, Daler Mehndi
. One of them, 'Two Eyes' is available at iTunes, but look out for the other one, 'Thieves'. It's amazing. There's already talk about the next album (alledgedly called Married To The Eiffel Tower) and a tour to support its May 09 release and there's rumours about some dandy highwayman - no, not that one - coming on board for the next single...stay tuned...
Marco Pirroni
"Jackie Says" video still


christopher said...

i own one of marco's guitars. a '61 gretsch jet firebird with a burns tremelo....a real beauty....c

lamf said...

I remember seeing the Models supporting the Heartbreakers at Bristol poly. Marco's guitar was so fekkin loud that as soon as a song finished and it feedback, the frequency actually made me and a few others lose balance. (half a dozen times during the set)I always thought Marco was a great and very underated guitarist etc etc and it's good to know he's still out there giving mid life delinquency a good name.

lamf said...

Of course i meant fedback not feedback. Oh, and Happy New Year HT

PS Rest In Peace Ron Asheton :(

The Wolfmen said...

Thanks for great article will be adding you to the Blogger Di Lupo link list today...

Dick0369 said...