Friday, January 30, 2009

Incoming...

This week, the mail brought two promos from top new UK group, The Jim Jones Revue. Both tracks are taken from their stunning self-titled debut, but the non-album tracks here offer a glimpse into the kind of stuff they listen to when not tearing up club stages the length and breadth of Britain...Little Richard and Elvis. Last November, a feral 'Big Hunk O Love' complemented 'Rock 'n' Roll Psychosis' and on March 9 '09 'Good Golly Miss Molly' accompanies the new single 'Cement Mixer', thanks to the good folks at Punk Rock Blues Records.

It's always good to hear from ex-Elvis Brother and current Romantics' skin-basher,
Brad Steakley. As you probably know, he and the lovely Chloe Orwell make up The Handcuffs, a pulsating powerpop pair who've recently released their second (and superior) album 'Electroluv' on OOFL Records. I'm pleased to see I have 6 out of the 11 books stacked by the bed on the cd's cover and hope it's not long before they come back to NYC.

Reasons To Be Cheerfull

What do Billy Bragg, The Edgar Broughton Band, Paul Carrack, Carlene Carter, John Cooper Clark, Elvis Costello, The Damned, Dr. Feelgood, Ian Dury, Dave Edmunds, Peter Hamill, Hawkwind, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, The Psychedelic Furs, Larry Wallis and Howard Werth have in common?
Well (apart from being core artists on North Fork Sound) they've all had their music wrapped in the art of Barney Bubbles. Born Colin Fulcher in 1942, he obtained his National Diploma in Design (with honours) from Twickenham College of Technology and in July 1963, created his first piece of commercial art - a poster for the Rolling Stones' appearance at the college's end-of-year dance. Now it's one of the rarest pieces of Stones memorabilia. Around the same time, he made a poster for the college's in-house group, the Muleskinners featuring none other than a soon-to-be member of the Small Faces, Ian McLagan. A love for music, fashion, art and photography played a huge part in Colin's development and in '67, he was inspired by a Pink Floyd event at London's UFO club to purchase four old projectors and create his own mobile light-show. He combined coloured inks with oil and placed the mixtures between glass slides which, when heated by the lamps' warmth, would 'bubble' and make gloopy shapes on walls at clubs like UFO, the Roundhouse and Middle Earth. An introduction to Oz magazine's Richard Neville and a move into 307 Portobello Road placed Barney bang in the centre of London's blossoming underground. He became art director for Friends (another counter-culture mag) who set up offices next door and soon freak-friendly labels like Island, United Artists and Vertigo were commissioning artwork for acts like Quintesscense ("Everything's great in Notting Hill Gate"), The Sutherland Brothers, Cressida, Cracious!, Quiver, Brinsley Schwarz and Hawkwind. It wasn't long before Barney's meticulous, expertly executed, pioneering designs were being used to separate stems and seeds across the nation. Reasons To Be Cheerful - The Life And Work Of Barney Bubbles by Paul Gorman tells of Barney's highs (and lows) so much better than I can and you'll find a huge amount of Barney's work presented magnificently between its covers. If you have even a half-decent record collection, you already have some of his work. Here, you can check out the rest.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Deborah Evans

Deborah Evans
Agate Rd, London, W6

photo: ht
What does money sound like? Well Deborah Evans actually, the extraordinary vocalist on the Flying Lizards' 'Money' (#5, UK/#50, US), 'TV' (#43, UK) and Summertime Blues, which didn't chart, but should have. Writer Vivien Goldman and Famous Monster/Snatch collaborator Patti Palladin also lent their voices to the David Cunningham project but it was Deborah who had the chops to put them on Top Of The Pops.
Later, as Deborah & The Puerto Ricans, she blew Aretha outa the water with R.E.S.P.E.C.T. produced by reggae producer/musician, Dennis Bovell. On Dec 31st 1981, I went to see Aswad tear up the Grosvenor Rooms in Willesden Green with their wicked riddims, colossal grooves and psychedelic dubbery (Michael Campbell at the controls). Deborah, John Anthony and Duane Sherwood came with me, and it turned out to be one of the best shows I ever went to. Duane and I were invited to dinner at Deborah's flat one evening. He took some photos but whenever she was in the picture alone, the picture came out foggy and under-exposed. When he mentioned this to her, she told him he had "photographed an enigma"
ht, Deborah
photo: Duane Sherwood
Richard X used her voice on Walk On By and Lemon/Lime for his 'X-Factor Vol. 1' album. There's also a terrific, but (sadly) unreleased blues album called Walking On Water that she made with Bill Smith and Daniel Smith. On it, she gives 'Hey Joe', 'I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man', 'I Just Want To Make Love To You' and 4 others the 'treatment'.
These days, Deborah Evans-Stickland practices psychotherapy and does voiceover work. Lately she's been focusing on her charity, Outside-In Pathways, which helps those with learning disabilities by exposing them to the arts.


more photos here (click on "slideshow")

Sunday, January 25, 2009

North Fork Sound Top 20 January 25th ‘09

1. Mac Gayden: Morning Glory
2. Mott The Hoople: Roll Away The Stone
3. Dennis Linde: Some Songs
4. Charles Louvin: The Little Grave In Georgia
5. Legend: Cheque Book
6. Brave Combo: Undercover Medley
7. Steve Reich: Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices & Organ
8. Dr. John: Keep That Music Simple
9. The Famous Monsters (w/Patti Paladin): 48th Floor
10. Eddie Boyd: Third Degree
11. New Riders Of The Purple Sage: You Never Can Tell
12. The Barracudas: Don’t Let That Feeling Go
13. Smokey Robinson: Baby That’s Backatcha
14. Neu!: E-musik (excerpt)
15. Rodney Crowell: Who Do You Trust
16. Natalie Merchant: Carnival
17. Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3: TLC
18. The Mystics: Lucy’s Factory
19. The Rake’s Progress: Fingers In Your Ears
20. Bobby Byrd: Try It Again

Featured Album Of The Week:
Jook: Different Class (RPM Records)

Vinyl B-side:
The Imposter: Pills And Soap (extended version) (Imp Records)

The Guilty Pleasure:
Odyssey: Native New Yorker (RCA Records 12”)

Last Week’s Listener Favourites:
David Bowie: I Wish you Would
The Rolling Stones: Doncha Bother Me
The Records: Held Up High
Tanya Tucker: Some kind Of Trouble
Philip Glass: Solo Movement From ‘Dance’
Wilco Johnson: Twenty Yards Behind
Angelo Badalamenti: Twin Peaks Theme
Tom Waits: Picture In A Frame
MX-80: Someday You’ll Be King
Richard X Heyman: Twelve Bars And I Still Have The Blues
Eggs Over Easy: Runnin’ Down To Memphis
Richard Lloyd: The Knockdown
Billy Bragg: There Is Power In A Union
The Cramps: Garbageman
Elvis Presley: Heartbreak Hotel
The Real Kids: My Way
The Nazz: Open My Eyes
Waylon Jennings: Talk Good Boogie
Traffic: Hole In My Shoe
Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks: Ain’t Easy Leavin’
Johnny Otis: The Dirty Dozens
Thee Flying Carpets: Stoner Chick
Vince Gill & Allison Krauss: High Lonesome Sound
Alan Vega: Wipeout Beat
Medicine Head: Rising Sun
Mudcrutch: Wild Eyes
Pete Wingfield: 18 With A Bullet
Queen Ifrica: Daddy
Richard & Linda Thompson: I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
Siouxsie: Into A Swan
The Small Faces: Watcha Gonna Do About It
Wild Tchoupitoulas: Here Dey Come
Smashed Gladys: 17 Going On Crazy
T. Rex: Get It On
V.V. Brown: Quick Fix
Nicholas Payton: Chinatown
Detroit: Rock & Roll
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Stir It Up
Billy Bremner: I Thank Them

Each week, approximately 230 songs get played across 7 days…
…those listed in the section above received the most listener ‘thumbs-ups’

www.live365.com/stations/thespangler
http://www.facebook.com/people/Howard-Thompson/659208571

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Andre Williams

Andre Williams
Warsaw, Brooklyn
photo: ht

Sunday, January 18, 2009

North Fork Sound Top 20 January 18th ‘09

1. The Fireman: Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight
2. John Kongos: He’s Gonna Step On You Again
3. Halfbreed: Billy Dean
4. Labelle (w/Nicky Hopkins & Keith Moon): Miss Otis Regrets
5. The Records: Held Up High
6. Joe Higgs: Family
7. Max Oglesbee: Cock Block Me And Die, Motherfucker
8. Laura Cantrell: Do You Ever Think Of Me
9. Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band: Big Eyed Beans From Venus
10. Danny Gatton: Pretty Blue
11. Philip Glass: Solo Movement From “Dance” (live at Carnegie Hall)
12. Lowell Fulson: Low Society
13. Lou Donaldson: Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)
14. Frank Zappa: Montreal
15. Groundhogs: Split Pt. 2
16. The Rolling Stones: Doncha Bother Me
17. Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks: Ain’t Easy Leavin’
18. Ellen Foley: What’s A Matter Baby
19. Mickey Newbury: American Trilogy
20. Muddy Waters: Mannish Boy

Album Of The Week:

Fotheringay 2 (Fledg’ling)

Vinyl B-side:
Dave Edmunds: Louisiana Man (Arista)

The Guilty Pleasure:
Nazis Against Fascism: Sid Did It (Truth Records)

Last Week’s Listener Favourites:
Angel Corpus Christi: Sadder
Marianne Nowottny: Fade To Blur
Johnny Otis: Castin’ My Spell
Martin Rev: Cheyenne
Dr. Feelgood: She Does It Right
Andy MacKay: Green And Gold
Mickey Hart: Look Away
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates: Please Don’t Touch
Golden Earring: Radar Love
Buddy Holly & The Crickets: Not Fade Away
Lorraine Ellison: I’ll Be Home
The Count Bishops: Beautiful Delilah
Mick Ronson: Growing Up And I’m Fine
Graham Parker: All Being Well
The Herd: From The Underworld
Jerry Lee Lewis (w/Mick Jagger & Ron Wood): Evening Gown
Glasvegas: Stabbed
Lori Carson: Something’s Got Me
The Jags: Back Of My Hand
Hawkwind: Urban Guerilla
Lou Reed: Crazy Feeling
Groove Armada: I See You Baby
Amy Allison & The Maudlins: The Whisky Makes You Sweeter
Les Paul (w/Sam Cooke & Jeff Beck): (Ain’t That) Good News
James Hunter: Don’t Do Me No Favours
John Cale: You Know More Than I Know
William Bell: You Don’t Miss Your Water
Mark Bingham: 3 Fingers
The Kursaal Flyers: Little Does She Know
Public Image Ltd: Rise
Luna: Slash Your Tires

Each week, approximately 230 songs get played across 7 days…
…those listed above received the most listener ‘thumbs-ups’

www.live365.com/stations/thespangler
http://www.facebook.com/people/Howard-Thompson/659208571

Friday, January 16, 2009

'Saturday Groovers'

video

Robyn Hitchcock - "Saturday Groovers"
Stephen Talkhouse, Amagansett, NY
July 11th '08


Robyn's new, and probably best album - ever - 'Goodnight Oslo' will be released February 17th on the always reliable YepRoc Records. The album features the Venus 3 (Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin, + guests) and there's a killer version of this song on it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wanda Jackson

Wanda Jackson and The Prissteens
Tramps, NYC
photo: ht
Wanda Jackson will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, April 4th 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Belfegore

Belfegore
Mike Bone (Elektra, VP Promotion, AOR), Meikel Clauss, ht, Raoul Walton
Danceteria, NYC 1984

Sunday, January 11, 2009

North Fork Sound Top 20 January 11th ‘09

1. Peter Ivers: In Heaven (Lady In The Radiator Song)
2. Tommy Tucker: Hi-Heel Sneakers
3. The Stooges: TV Eye
4. Ernie Isley: High Wire
5. The Mekons: Millionaire
6. Mem Shannon: My Baby’s Been Watching TV
7. The Radiators: Ace In The Hole
8. Medeski, Martin & Wood: Where’s Sly?
9. Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers: Drunken Sunken Red-neck Blues
10. Aswad: Three Babylon
11. Dr. Feelgood: She Does It Right
12. Audience: You’re Not Smiling
13. Meryn Cadell: The Sweater
14. Arthur Alexander: You Don’t Care
15. The Cramps: Strychnine
16. Kirsty MacColl: In These Shoes?
17. Spiritualized: Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
18. Peter Bruntnell: Bewitched
19. James Brown: I Don’t Mind (live)
20. Alex: Marian

Vinyl B-side:
The Prissteens: Wildman

The Guilty Pleasure:
Amanda Lear: Mother Look What They’ve Done To Me

Last Week’s Listener Favourites:
? & The Mysterians: 96 Tears
Eddie Cochran: C’mon Everybody & Strollin' Guitar
Chuck Berry: Back In The USA
Jimmy Cliff: The Harder They Come
The Pogues: Pair Of Brown Eyes
Princess Buster: Ten Commandments From Woman To Man
Psychedelic Furs: She Is Mine & Mr. Jones
Marianne Faithfull: It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
The Ikettes: Camel Walk
Madness: Michael Caine
Dan Baird: Lost Highway
Oscar Brown Jr: Chicken Heads
Dave & Ansell Collins: Double Barrell
Warren Zevon: Back In The Highlide Again
Aretha Franklin: The Weight
The Yayhoos: Oh! Chicago
Rodney Crowell: Dancin’ Circles Round The Sun (Epictetus Speaks)
Buddy Guy: It’s A Jungle Out There
Neil Young: Razor Love
Dave Edmunds: Let It Rock
J Geils Band: Gettin’ Out
Illusion Fields: Bless The Mules
The Zombies: She’s Not There
The Pixies: Velouria
Yello: The Race
The Wolfmen: Love Is A Dog
The Prissteens: Going Out Tonight
Pluto Shervington: Ram Goat Liver
Bo Diddley: I Can’t Stand it
X-TAL: An Old Colonial’s Hard Luck Story
Lonnie Mack: Down And Out
The Stooges: Down On The Street
The Tubes: What Do You Want From Life?
Happy Mondays: Loose Fix (Perfecto 12” Mix)
Amateur Night In The Big Top (feat: Shaun Ryder): Scooter Girl
The Mooche: Hot Smoke & Sassafrass
Suicide: 96 Tears (live at Eric’s)
Little Barrie: Buy My Style

www.live365.com/stations/thespangler
http://www.facebook.com/people/Howard-Thompson/659208571

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Iggy & The Stooges

xerox of Stooges' Elektra Records recording contract
(page 1)
The first time I saw a Stooges record was at Harum Records in Crouch End. It looked cool so I asked Gary if he'd play a few tracks. It sounded pretty good but, at the same time, I was looking at a Jean-Luc Ponty album ('King Kong') and my meagre wages as a shelf-stacker at Tesco Supermarkets across the street only allowed for one purchase. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know...Mr. Cool...
Iggy
King's Cross Cinema, London 7/15/72
photo: Mick Rock
A couple of years later, me, Peter Lloyd and his friend, Carol, decided to check out the Flamin' Groovies at an allnighter at the King's Cross Cinema. July 15th, 1972. The Stooges and The Groundhogs (I think) were also on the bill but, for us, it was all about the Groovies. At least we thought it was. Somehow, it didn't turn out that way. The only thing I remember about that particular evening was how utterly devastating the Stooges were. They came out and in one fell swoop showed me - for the first time - what in-your-face, primal, sex-beast, 3-chord rock & roll was all about. Iggy comes out dressed only in silver jeans and boots and proceeds to lay the audience to waste, particularly Richard Ogden, a popular publicist about town, in whose lap Iggy sits while he proceeds to 'serenade' him.
Iggy Pop
photo: Mick Rock
I'd just turned 19 and had grown up listening to and being heavily influenced by the Stones, the Small Faces, Them, the Pretty Things, the Who and other loud, anti-establishment weirdos but this took things to another level completely. I came out of that show with a new batch of values and Iggy had set a 'performance' standard I would rarely see again. Paul Trynka wrote THE Iggy book, 'Open Up And Bleed'. Check out his blog and some other cool links, here.
Iggy Pop
photo: Dustin Pittman
Around this time, I remember a fellow called Larry Debay aka Greenbeard (who I would later come to know as an associate of Bizzarre Records on Praed Street and Marc Zermati of Skydog fame) coming to Trident's disc-cutting room with a 7" reel with the last Stooges show from the Michigan Palace on it, but because it was in a quarter-track format (ie, the tape ran in both directions, 2 tracks in one 2 in the other) we didn't have a machine capable of transferring the tape to disc. That tape later came out as 'Metallic KO'
Iggy, Mick Rock
'Raw Power'
remix party
Studio A, Sony Music Studios, NYC

photo: ht
After the King's Cross show, I tried to see Iggy as often as possible. There was the Rainbow show when David Bowie played keyboards and I got crushed in my 3rd row seat by screaming teenyboppers trying to storm the stage. I taped two shows at the Music Machine in Camden. One (April 25th 79) - "I was a piece of dirt when youse was still readin' books!" - featured Glen Matlock on bass while the other (6/14/78) featured Fred 'Sonic' Smith on guitar.
When I worked for Island, I found a cassette of an early version of 'Kill City' (8 songs) in a cupboard and when I was at Elektra, the phone rang one day and it was
Iggy's manager, Art Collins asking if I could find some old Nonesuch Explorer albums that Iggy had probably been given by Jac Holzman or Danny Fields. I told him I'd do my best and went upstairs to see Peter Clancy who, as luck would have it, had just had a bunch of the Keith Holzman-produced series manufactured on cd for the first time. Art asked if there was anything he could do for me, so I asked him for the words to 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' in Iggy's hand-writing.
One of the perks of working at a major label was access to the vaults. I didn't abuse the privilege, but there was one idea I had that, to my surprise, ended up come out several years later through Rhino Handmade. As a present to myself, I paid Paul Rothchild's son, Dan something like $1,200 to mix all 12 reels of the 8-track 'Funhouse' masters, making sure that he preserved every note and chatter that had been recorded. I thought it might eventually make a tasty piece of art. I also asked Dan to do it twice, with the second version having the band on the left and Iggy on the right so I could have the ultimate 'karaoke' version of Funhouse, too
ticket to see Iggy at The Continental, 3rd & St. Marks Pl., NYC
Jan '93
Another time, I was in San Francisco for a convention and I brought Angel Corpus Christi to the event. Iggy was one of that evening's performers. We were amused to see him playing to a bunch of stuffed shirts, most of whom didn't like him or even know who he was, but we watched from the lip of the stage. Angel even got to kiss him during the performance. Later, in one of the suites, we took pictures.
Iggy Pop, Angel Corpus Christi
WEA Convention, San Francisco
photo: ht
The only time I ever got to speak to Ron Asheton was about 18 months ago when Blast First's Paul Smith flew me to London to see Suicide get a Mojo Award. The Stooges were also being recognized for a Lifetime Achievement Award, so I approached their table, tapped Ron on the shoulder and explained that I ran an internet radio station called (at the time) Cake and "would he do an ID, please"? He graciously obliged -

ron asheton/ID - Ron Asheton
Here's Iggy's...

iggy pop IDmp3 - Iggy Pop

Iggy
'Raw Power' remix party
Studio A, Sony Music Studios, NYC

photo: ht
Finally, in 2003, as the Stooges were part way through their first US tour after reforming and six days after spending nearly a week in hospital, I went to see them at Roseland. Here's an excerpt from the diary I kept while I managed The Star Spangles:
August 27th ...Had lunch with Bob Bortnick, and hung out before going to rehearsal to meet with the SS. Ed Hamell sent me a couple of excellent reviews for his record (NY Post and Rolling Stone.) He's beginning to get some recognition (finally), Peter C Johnson’s album looks like it’s coming out on a Boston label affiliated with Morphine, Hi-'n'-Dri. Willie Nile is sending me some mixes for my comments. And the Spangles are fun to work with. Things are looking up. Went up to rehearsal with a q&a from BB Gun for each of the guys to fill out. They’re working on a Dils song, 'The Sound of the Rain' for the Alejandro Escovedo benefit. They were pleased to hear that Sheryl from the Late Show with David Letterman had called Bobbie Gale to tell her how pleased they were with the appearance. Send flowers. Got a nice message from Tom from the Phobics. He’d heard from Afonso about the h/a. Joey and Laura picked me up and we went up to Roseland. While parking, I ran into my Elektra colleague, Suzanne Berg. She’s now at Verve, doing promotion for Tommy LiPuma.
Still recouperating, I didn't want to get crushed in the crowd so I watched the show from about 50 yards back leaning against the side stage, where the VIPs were seated. It's great to see them back in action, and Iggy ends the set running/dancing all the way down the side of the room, along the VIP stage to exactly where I’m at, and proceeds to launch himself into the audience.
Onto me, and another guy.
I thought of putting a Spangles badge down the front of his (open) jeans, but the opportunity passed too quickly. It wasn’t the life-changing show it was back in 72 when I saw the Stooges at the King’s Cross Cinema with the Flamin Groovies, but it was still better than most of the stuff I see these days and great to run into my friend Eric Danville who ended up onstage, dancing like a nutter. Chatted with Dustin Pittman and his daughter, Skyler. Bought a Stooges hoody, came home.

Ron Asheton, Iggy Pop
Randall's Island, NY
8/14/04

photo: ht

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ron Asheton RIP


Ron Asheton
signature guitar

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

North Fork Sound Top 20 January 4th ‘09

1. Tim Buckley: Look At The Fool
2. Illusion Fields: Bless The Mules
3. Dan Baird: Lost Highway
4. Ray Charles: What’d I Say (Pts 1 & 2)
5. Van Der Graaf Generator: Killer
6. Queen Ifrica: Nuff Vibes
7. Matthias Hellberg & The White Moose: Why Is It So?
8. Paul Heaton: I Do
9. The Bellrays: Fire On The Moon
10. Glasvegas: Lonesome Swan
11. Kings Of Leon: Sex On Fire
12. Cream: World Of Pain
13. Jon Cleary: C’mon Second Line
14. Dave & Ansell Collins: Double Barrell
15. Oscar Brown Jr: Chicken Heads
16. 10,000 Maniacs: Poison In The Well
17. Bruce Woolley & The Camera Club: Get Away William
18. The Mooche: Hot Smoke & Sassafras
19. Billy Bremner: I Can Love You
20. J. Geils Band: Getting Out

Album of the Week:
The Wolfmen: Modernity Killed Every Night (Damaged Goods)

Vinyl B-side:
Jack White: Another Way To Die (instr.) (J Records)

The Guilty Pleasure:

Jane Birkin: Je T’aime…(Moi Non Plus) (Major Minor)

Last Week’s Listener Favourites:
Lowell Fulson: Rock ‘em Dead
Ralph McTell: Streets Of London
Glasvegas: Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime
Mike Edison & The Delta Science Arkestra: Pornography Pt. 1
Ed Sanders: Some FEMA trailers In Hope
The Wolfmen: Buzz Me Kate
Buddy Guy: Show Me The Money
James Hunter: Carina
M.I.A.: Paper Planes
Dion: Sweet Little Rock And Roller
Jerry Byrne: Lights Out
The Blind Boys Of Alabama (feat: Allen Toussaint): If I Could Help Somebody
Burning Spear: Slavery Days
Martin Rev: Mari Go Round
John Fogerty: Don’t You Wish It Was True
XTC: Mayor Of Simpleton
Fleetwood Mac: Tell Me All The Things You Do
Geraint Watkins: Heroes And Villains
Joey Ramone: What A Wonderful World
Rubén Blades: Patria
Chuck Berry: Back In The USA
The Charms: Gimme That Shot
The Hedrons: Couldn’t Leave Her Alone
Herb Alpert (w/Will Calhoun & Doug Wimbish): The Look Of Love
Intastella: Skyscraper
John Campbell: Bluebird

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Martin Rev

Martin Rev
signed manuscript

Friday, January 2, 2009

Marco Pirroni, The Wolfmen

Siouxsie & The Banshees
100 Club, London, Sept 21st '76
courtesy
www.adam-ant.net/marco/marcophotos.html
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