JOHNNY RAMONE R.I.P

Johnny Ramone † Sep. 15, 2004

 

Johnny Ramone

† Sep. 15, 2004 (aged 55)

Johnny Ramone † Sep. 15, 2004

Birth name
John Cummings

Born
* Oct. 08, 1948
Long Island, NY, USA

Died
† Sep. 15, 2004
Los Angeles, California, USA

The Ramones band leader and guitarist. He will never be forgotten. Read Vera RAMONES INTERVIEW this month for more on the brudders RAMONE!

 

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SLF OCT TOUR

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Jake Burns and his Stiff Little Fingers go out on tour in October at-

  • Wed, October 14, 2009
  • Ironworks
  • 122b Academy St Inverness Scotland (MAP)
  • Box office tel: 0871 7894173. More details at the Ironworks Web site.
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  • Thu, October 15, 2009
  • Moshulu
  • Windmill Brae Aberdeen Scotland (MAP)
  • Box office tel: 0844 847 2319. More details at the Moshulu Web site.
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  • Fri, October 16, 2009
  • Fat Sam’s
  • 31 South Ward Rd Dundee Scotland (MAP)
  • Box office 01382 228181. More details at the Fat Sams Web site.
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  • Sat, October 17, 2009
  • HMV Picture House
  • 31 Lothian Rd Edinburgh Scotland (MAP)
  • Box office tel: 0844 847 1740. More details at the Picture House Web site. Ages 14+.
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  • Mon, October 19, 2009
  • Picturedrome
  • Market Walk Holmfirth England (MAP)
  • Box office tel: 01484 689759. More details on the Picturedrome Web site.
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  • Tue, October 20, 2009
  • Robin 2
  • Wolverhampton England (MAP)
  • Box office tel: Box Office: 01902 401211. More details at the Robin 2 Web site.
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  • Wed, October 21, 2009
  • O2 Academy
  • Liverpool England (MAP)
  • Box office tel: 08444 77 2000. More details at the O2 Academy Web site.
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  • Thu, October 22, 2009
  • The Dome
  • Doncaster England (MAP)
  • Box office tel: 0871 230 1101. More details at The Dome Web site.
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  • Fri, October 23, 2009
  • Friars
  • Aylesbury England (MAP)
  • Support band Penetration. Minimum age for admission is 16. More details on the Friars Web site.
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  • Sun, October 25, 2009
  • Subscription Rooms
  • Stroud England (MAP)
  • Box office tel: 01453 760900. More details at the Subscription Rooms Web site.
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  • Mon, October 26, 2009
  • 7:30 pm
  • The Waterfront
  • Norwich England (MAP)
  • Box office tel: 01603 508050. More details on The Waterfront Web site. Ages 14+ only.
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  • Tue, October 27, 2009
  • The Junction
  • Cambridge England (MAP)
  • Box office tel: 01223511511. More details at The Junction Web site.
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  • Wed, October 28, 2009
  • The Brook
  • Southampton England (MAP)
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STRAWBERRY BLONDES TOUR

  Strawberry Blondes are out on tour-including their Big Cheese sponsored Briggs tour, in support of the soon to be  released album Fight Back. Go see em now at-   07/09/09  Plymouth White Rabbit w/The Briggs 08/09/09  Wrexham Central Station w/The Briggs 09/09/09  Newport TJS w/The Briggs 10/09/09  Glasgow King Tuts w/The Briggs 11/09/09  Nottingham Rock City w/The Briggs 12/09/09  Leicester Sumo w/The Briggs 13/09/09  London Camden Barfly w/The Briggs 14/09/09  Southampton Joiners w/The Briggs 02/10/09  Leeds Josephs Well w/The Rainman Suite 03/10/09  Crewe The Box w/The Rainman Suite 04/10/09  Cambridge Man On The Moon w/The Rainman Suite 05/10/09  Portsmouth The Rifle Club w/The Rainman Suite 06/10/09  Derby The Old Bell w/The Rainman Suite 07/10/09  Halifax The Old Cock w/The Rainman Suite 08/10/09  Kettering Sawyers w/The Rainman Suite 09/10/09  Doncaster The Leopard w/The Rainman Suite 10/10/09  London Shoreditch The Macbeth w/The Rainman Suite 31/10/09  Manchester Academy 3 w/Street Dogs + Civet 01/11/09  Glasgow King Tuts w/Street Dogs + Civet 02/11/09  Sheffield O2 Academy w/Street Dogs + Civet 03/11/09  Birmingham O2 Academy w/Street Dogs + Civet 04/11/09  Bristol O2 Academy w/Street Dogs + Civet 05/11/09  London Islington O2 Academy w/Street Dogs + Civet    
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SHAM RIDE AGAIN

 A NEW ALBUM FROM THE BOYS FROM HERSHAM!!! NEW SHAM 69 ALBUM  Well its come round again the boys from Hersham have struck gold with this new release, on top of what has been an incredible change of events. The band who fought tooth and nail when the line up changed have taken on the world and won. Though the battles stil continue with new ideas and new territories, though its hard to believe theres any left.... after band have registered live shows in over 3/4's of the world in the last 3 years. This new album was worked on following their successful tour of China. Being the first major UK Punk act to perform there and without watering down anything of their guts or banter, the band went down a storm. So much so it will feature in a full length DOCUFILM of the band to be released on both terrestrial TV and Cinema. The album entitled THE LAST GANG IN LONDON is a emotional return their roots as its released on the bands first label STEP FORWARD RECORDS, the pioneering label which was run by Miles Copeland and still today, Sniffing Glues Editor Mark P . Also a return to SHAM 69's classic style echoing the voice of the streets...if you want pretentious songs with pretentious lyrics dont buy it. This album does what it says on the tin.. no holes barred steet rock n roll. The band have gone back to their roots with avengeance and dont give a shit who cares. With such songs as THE PUBLIC ENEMY and SHOUT it has something for everybody and has a go about everybody. Though SHAM 69 lost its way on the mirroring of life in its songs over the last decade this album rights that wrong.  A social kick in the teeth is the order of the day, with songs like HEY LITTLE LADY and THE VERDICT IS VENGEANCE they are razor sharp reality shocks for the softcore. So with a full UK and EUROPEAN tour to promote it, I am sure that the UK will be eating christmas dinner whilst listening to this SHAM 69 album over the Queens Speech.      THE LAST GANG IN LONDON TOUR  UK/EUROPE    SEPT    26TH   INFERNO CLUB    SAO PAULO  BRAZIL   OCT   30TH  CAFE DRUMMOND   ABERDEEN  31ST FAT SAMS   DUNDEE NOV   5TH GUILDHALL GLOUCESTER  6TH ACADEMY   MANCHESTER  7TH THE BOX, CREWE   8TH SIN CITY SWANSEA    11TH THE NORTH BAR BLACKBURN 12TH  ROBIN 2 WOLVERHAMPTON  13TH THE NEW TAVERN WIGAN   14TH  THE BOARDWALK SHEFFIELD  15TH  CAVERN CLUB LIVERPOOL  19TH  ROCK AT SEA ­ NORWAY   20TH  ROCK AT SEA ­ SWEDEN  21ST   ROCK AT SEA ­ NORWAY  26TH THE TUNNELS BRISTOL   27TH  TALKING HEADS  SOUTHAMPTON   28TH  THE BORDERLINE   LONDON        DEC  4TH IDUNA DRACHTEN   HOLLAND  5TH  LOPPEN COPENHAGEN 6TH DE KADE ZAANDAM   HOLLAND   7TH LITTLE DEVIL TILBURG HOLLAND    8TH NACHTLEBEN  FRANKFURT   9TH KNUST HAMBURG  GERMANY    10TH  ZWISHENBAU  ROSTOCK GERMANY     11TH GLADHOUSE COTTBUS  GERMANY 12TH VELVET TEPLICE  CZ 13TH ALIBI WROCLAW  POLAND  14TH S KLUB OLOMOUC  CZ   15TH SHELTER VIENNA AUSTRIA 16TH FEIRWERK MUNICH   17TH SACKFABRIK MAGDEBURG  GERMANY  18TH KAMP BIELEFELD   GERMANY 19TH MELKWEG   AMSTERDAM  HOLLAND  20TH THE STEEPLE WAREGEM BELGIUM  21ST THE VENUE   NEWCASTLE   22ND   ORAN MOR   GLASGOW   SCOTLAND  23RD THE VOLUNTEER HALL  GALASHIELS 
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PUBLIC IMAGE U.K TOUR

Sex Pistol singer John Lydon to reform Public Image

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Photo


LONDON (Reuters) – Punk rock singer John Lydon, formerly known as Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, is re-forming his band Public Image Ltd — or PiL — after a 17 year hiatus with a five-date tour in December, according to media reports.

Lydon told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that the influential band he created in 1978, a year after the disintegration of the Sex Pistols, and which lasted for 14 years, would reform with a new line-up.

He said the new-look PiL will not contain original band members Jah Wobble or former Clash guitarist Keith Levene but will feature guitarist Lu Edmonds, drummer Bruce Smith and a new arrival, multi-instrumentalist Scott Firth.

PiL, which had chart success with singles such as "Public Image" and "This Is Not a Love Song," will start its tour on December 15 in Birmingham. The band is also launching a new website (www.pilofficial.com).

"We’ll see where we can go," 53-year-old Lydon told the newspaper. "Some things may be quite similar, some may not."

Lydon reunited with other members of the Sex Pistols last year for a series of gigs to mark the 30th anniversary of the band’s seminal album "Never Mind The Bollocks."

But Lydon, who became a figurehead of the short-lived punk revolution in England in 1970s with his anti-establishment stance and attacks on Britain’s class system and the monarchy, appears to have mellowed in recent years.

He starred in British reality TV show "I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here" in 2004, has hosted a few animal documentaries, and also starred in an advertisement for butter wearing a tweed-suit.

He also has no tolerance for noisy, opinionated youngsters any more, it seems.

"Younger people at the moment are very mouthy and aggressive," Lydon told the Guardian.

John Lydon has now shocked fans by announcing that PiL will come out of hiatus for a new tour. Playing ‘Metal Box in its entirety the singer will be joined by by The Damned guitarist Lu Edmonds, former Slits drummer Bruce Smith and bassist Scott Firth – none of whom played on the actual album.

Public Image Limited have confirmed the following dates:

December
15 Birmingham O2 Academy
16 Leeds O2 Academy
18 Glasgow O2 Academy
19 Manchester Academy
21 London O2 Academy Brixton

 

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BIG CHEESE PUNK SPECIAL OUT NOW!

BIG CHEESE (ISSUE 115 SEPT. 2009) OUT NOW!

PUNK ROCK SUMMER SPECIAL!!!

WITH:

RANCID

BILLY TALENT

GALLOWS

WARPED TOUR

SOCIAL DISTORTION

ALL TIME LOW

MICK JONES/ THE CLASH

BRING ME THE HORIZON

BOUNCING SOULS

FRANK TURNER

REBELLION FEST

GUEST EDITORS MUNICIPAL WASTE THRASH BIG CHEESE!

PLUS:

PARAMORE

RAMMSTEIN

FIGHTSTAR

THE WILDHEARTS

SONISPHERE FESTIVAL

THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW FROM WWW.BIGCHEESEMAGAZINE.COM
<http://bigcheesemagazine.com/>

IN SHOPS NOW!!!

You can pick up a copy from good newsagents, WH Smiths and HMV in
the UK and Borders stores in the US and UK.

If you can’t find it though, don’t worry! You can order the
issue from anywhere at the world now at:

WWW.BIGCHEESEMAGAZINE.COM <http://bigcheesemagazine.com/>
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** SUBSCRIBE THIS MONTH & GET THE NEW 2-DISC ‘WARPED TOUR: 2009
COMPILATION’ ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!*

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– THE HOME OF PRIMAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

Order back issues, subscribe, check out daily rock, punk and metal
news updates and read about your favourite bands at
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JELLO BIAFRA TONIGHT!

Former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine continue their Vive Le Punk sponsored UK tour tonight at Londons Islington Academy, then head to Sheffield O2 Academy on wednesday. Dont miss them, judging by Monday in Bristol the band are on fire!!!

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HANOI ROCKS ANDY Mc COY BOOK

Vive Le Punk just had the pleasure of hanging out and getting thoroughly pissed with Hanoi Rocks legendary guitarist Andy Mc Coy.Andys autobiography Sheriff McCoy has just been published in Europe and the USA. Its a crazy read!! Andy talked to Vive Le Punk about all the early days of punk, his time playing with Iggy Pop and all his wild times on the road. Read all about it on Vive Le Punk soon. and check out his book at www.sheriffmccoy.com

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REBELLION FESTIVAL 2009

REBELLION FESTIVAL
Blackpool Winter Gardens
August 6th-9th
5/5

There’s never a better catalyst for punk rock than a bit of global economic meltdown. Nearly 8,000 from the four corners of the globe invaded Blackpool’s cavernous Winter Gardens for 200 bands, five stages and four days of drinking to oblivion – it was rightly hailed the most successful in the annual event’s history by the promoters. Some are crazily suggesting next year’s lasts a week but, hey, that will actually kill us!! With a humungous merch and market area, a quite brilliant punk art exhibition from tons of well-known punks including Gaye Advert, Charlie Harper and Knox, and enough bars to keep George Best happy this years Rebellion could just be the festival of the year.
Rebellion, as always, was a case of so many bands and so little time but a few more highlights that worked for us included the mighty DAMNED, the theatrics of Monkey and his ADICTS crew, the rabble rousing GOLDBLADE complete with virtually every female in the place joining them for the encores, the carnage of NAPALM DEATH, the re-emergence of SEPTIC PSYCHOS after a hiatus of over 20 years; the gathering storm that is CUTE LEPERS, UK SUBS legend Charlie Harper still performing with more balls than bands a third his age and the ability of guitarist Jet’s unfeasibly high quiff to stay up throughout the set, feisty horrorpunks PINK HEARSE having no balls but putting on a great show, the no holds-barred carnage of DRONGOS FOR EUROPE and the work-hating acoustic antics of one PAUL CARTER, the VIBRATORS’ KNOX and CHARLIE HARPER’S acoustic ‘Warhead’, the DUEL actually turning into a pretty good band, CHRON GEN playing ‘Outlaw’, newcomers CONTROL pulling a huge crowd for their first major show, ABRASIVE WHEELS’ new stuff sounding like AFI (!) the STRAWBERRY BLONDES, SONIC BOOM SIX,THE RABBLE,MORAL DILEMMA and RANDOM HAND bringing the new blood, MAD SIN keeping the psychos happy, THE BEAT doing a great job, THE EXPLOITED beating the bastards, the ‘Young Ones’’ ADRIAN EDMONDSON perhaps rethinking his move into punk, ARGY BARGY bringing the street to the Olympia, PICTURE FRAME SEDUCTION and SICK ON THE BUS keeping it strictly old school, plus a brilliant cast of hundreds including great sets from LOVE AND A 45, TEXAS TERRI, JAYA THE CAT, New York’s THE BLAME (nice guy), LEFTOVER CRACK (get some clothes!), 999, ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE, PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES, SHAME ACADEMY(not getting crowd they deserved) and the FREEZE, AGNOSTIC FRONT and the ADOLESCENTS flying the USA flag in brilliant style. Oh, and the STUPIDS just about being the best reformed band ever!
KILLING JOKE front man Jaz Coleman – punk rock’s answer to Nostradamus – was making his debut at the event and performed as though his life depended on it. It did – he predicted the end of the world in December 2012. The band were at their most blistering as they raged through driving early eighties anthems like ‘Requiem’ and ‘Wardance’ – songs that were sounding as fresh in 2009 as they were when they first hit Thatcherite Britain in the early 1980s, thanks to the band reverting back to their original line-up with Youth back on bass, Paul Ferguson pounding the skins and Geordie on guitar.
They were in stark contrast to jokers of a different kind – THE DICKIES. The enduring West Coast outfit have been off the Rebellion roster for the past couple of years and their set – spanning frenetic early chart hits like ‘Banana Splits’ right through to more up to date madness like ‘My Pop The
Cop’ from the 2001 long-player ‘All This And Puppet Stew’ – sparked one of the maddest pogo-fests in the history of Rebellion.
BAY CITY ROLLERS definitely got the prize for most random act on the menu at the weekend: one original member (Eric Faulkner) and far more sprightly looking backing band that looked more suited as on-stage members of Placebo.

They were joined on the apply named Bizarre Bazaar stage by KUNT AND THE GANG – a man that knows absolutely no shame and pervades a style or humour that can only be best described as ‘very wrong’ and had various female audience members leaving in shock. And in between downing beers on the pier with Blackpool’s pensioner population we staggered off into the sunset looking forward to next year. Bring it on Darren!

Words: Neil Anderson/Eugene Big Cheese
Photos: David Brown/Lucy Pryor

FOLLOWING PHOTOS COPYRIGHT DAVID BROWN


Anti-Nowhere League


Killing Joke


Killing Joke


The Adicts


The Adicts


The Damned


The Exploited


The Exploited

FOLLOWING PHOTOS COPYRIGHT LUCY PRYOR


Agnostic Front


Deadline


Goldblade


Leftover Crack


Mad Sin


The Rabble


FAN TOP 5s OF REBELLION FESTIVAL

Sent in to info@vivelepunk.net

1 anti nowhere league
2 killing joke
3 chron gen
4 goldblade
5 resistance 77
angie x

1. the Adicts
2. killing joke
3.Koffin Kats
4.the Subhumans
5.pink hearse
dod

1.UK Decay
2.The Cute Lepers
M Foster

1.KILLING JOKE
2.THE EXPLOITED
3.RUST
4.LOS FASTIDIOS
5.ARGY BARGY
Billy McConnell

1.CHRON GEN
2.THE RABBLE
3.UK SUBS
4.ABRASIVE WHEELS
5.THE BEAT
Andy F Scotland

1.KILLING JOKE
2.SHAME ACADEMY
3.THE BLAME
4.SICK ON THE BUS
5.U.K DECAY
AL london

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STEVE JONES

Never Mind The Bollocks, Steve’s here for the booze and the birds.   Legendary guitarist Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols celebrates his birthday next week. Recently rumoured to being the next Stooges guitarist, to mark the occasion, we look back on his contribution to one of the most influential bands of the twentieth century, his love of the ladies, and his lifelong rock ‘n’ roll behaviour.  

1. Stephen Philip Jones – born 03/09/55 in Shepherd’s Bush, London.  

2.  He was an only child and grew up in Hammersmith with his young hairdresser mother and grandparents. His father was an amateur boxer who left when he was 2 years old. Moved to Shepherd’s Bush at the age of 12 with his mum and stepdad, who he didn’t get on with. 

3. As a teenager, he was a kleptomaniac with 14 criminal convictions and was the subject of a council care order. Spent a year in a remand centre, which he says he preferred to being at home. Was a member of the QPR hooligan firm where he picked up more convictions for football related disorders. Admitted recently that he went to football games for the ‘aggro’ rather than the game. Says that the Sex Pistols saved him from a life of crime.  

4. His main influences were Iggy & The Stooges, Roxy Music & David Bowie, and guitar-wise he looked up to Brian May and Mick Ronson. 

5. Co-founded a band called The Strand with Paul Cook and re-named themselves The Swankers before forming the Sex Pistols several years later. 


Steve Jones, far right, in The Sex Pistols

6. Founding member of the Sex Pistols (guitarist/singer) in 1975. Only learnt how to play guitar 3 months before the Sex Pistols’ first show. They only released one album, ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’, but became one of the most influential bands of the 20th century.

7. Self taught guitarist, usually playing Gibson Les Paul guitars. His usual was a cream coloured electric guitar which he apparently stole from Mick Ronson at a David Bowie concert where he and the rest of the band posed as crew members, stealing amps and other equipment. Well known for his stealing ability, but apparently couldn’t read or write. 

8. Sprayed ‘Sex Pistols’ and ‘Guitar Hero’ on his Fender amp. It’s rumoured that he coined the phrase ‘Guitar Hero’. 

9. Bill Price, the engineer on ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’, said that Jones was one of the tightest guitarists he’d ever worked with. 

10. Jones became well known for his ‘hanky on the head’ and permanent perm. 

11. Shared Johnny Rotten’s extreme dislike for Sid Vicious’ girlfriend Nancy and referred to her as "that fucking horrible bird". 

12.  Became part of one of the most controversial moments in British UK history, when he called Bill Grundy "a dirty fucker" and a "fucking rotter" on the Today programme in 1976. Made Sex Pistols famous nationwide. 

13. Apparently vomited on old ladies in Heathrow Airport. This, along with other questionable behaviour from the rest of the band, caused EMI to release them for their contract several days later. 

14. Admitted that he was in the band for "the birds, the booze and the piss-ups", and was well known for his wild sex life. It’s rumoured that he slept with five girls in one night. 

15. After the Sex Pistols split up in 1978, Jones and drummer Paul Cook co-founded The Professionals. Their one and only album was ‘I Didn’t See It Coming’ and the band split up after a serious car crash on tour in the US in 1981. While they were together, they turned down dates supporting The Clash. Paul Cook commented, "Why should we support them, when they used to support us (Sex Pistols)?" 


Steve Jones, centre, in The Professionals

16. Formed several bands – The Greedy Bastards with members of Thin Lizzy, Chequered Past with ex-members of Blondie and the Neurotic Outsiders with members of Guns and Roses and Duran Duran. None of these ever produced more than one album. 

17. Acquired a heroin habit which led him on a downward spiral. He would sleep on people’s sofas, steal from them, and then move on. He was then hospitalised in New York due to ‘health problems’. 

18. He cleaned up his act in 1985 and became party of the LA biker scene. He rode a Harley Davidson until they brought in helmet laws, which he refused to wear. 

19. He’s had an extensive solo career releasing 2 solo albums on majors including the pretty good Fire and Gasoline album and single Freedom Fighter and has played guitar with or for Siouxsie and the Banshees, Gen X, Thin Lizzy, Joan Jett, Adam Ant, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Megadeth, Primal Scream, Stone Temple Pilots and many more. 

20. He guest starred on TV sitcom Roseanne. 

21. He has produced albums for bands such as Kraut, Violent Delight and American Pearl. 

22. Played several reunion tours with the Sex Pistols, which sold out in five minutes. 

23. He has lived in LA for 27 years and has no plans to leave. He plays in a celebrity football team called Hollywood United FC. Previous players have included Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham.
 
24. Hosted a daily radio programme in LA called ‘Jonesy’s Jukebox’ on Indie 103.1FM from February 2004 until January 2009. The programme was on for two hours between midday and 2pm Monday to Friday, where he had no direction from station management, played a mixture of his own favourite songs, and did rambling and humorous interviews with guests from the entertainment industry. Did a feature where he’d whistle tunes and get people to guess them. The radio station was closed down in January 2009 and he is currently looking for a new radio station to do his show on. He names his radio influence as John Peel, but states that he has "probably had more birds than him". 

25. He has done some acting, including a small part in a film called The Big Bounce with his friend Owen Wilson. He says he has no interest in acting but it brings in money.Hook and the Clashs Paul Simonon and RAY wINSTONEe also starred in ‘Ladies and Gentlemen-the Fabulous Stains’ with fellow Pistol Paul Cook and the Clashs Paul Simonon and Ray Winstone. They played several Professionals songs
 
26. He has never married or had kids, but in an interview in 2004, he said he would love to have a child to ‘keep the legacy going’, but he doesn’t want to be tied down in a relationship.

 

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SIMPLE MINDS

THE PUNK ROOTS OF SIMPLE MINDS

Simple Minds began in the south side of Glasgow and found worldwide success in the mid-1980s with the song ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ that was used for soundtrack of the film The Breakfast Club. However, the pop tune that made them so famous was in no way a reflection on their own work.

In 1977 Charlie Burchill and Jim Kerr formed a punk band they called Johnny & the Self Abusers. After one unsuccessful single they changed the line-up to include Brian McGee on drums and Tony Donald on bass guitar, however Donald was quickly replaced by Derek Forbes. During this time they also changed their name to Simple Minds, which is rumoured to be after either David Bowie’s ‘Jean Genie’ or Iggy Pop’s ‘Play it Safe.’ Their debut album ‘Life in a Day’ was released by Zoom Records. owned by their manager Bruce Findlay, in 1979. The album seemed to reflect the post-punk style. Within the same year the band released second album, ‘Real to Real Cacophony’. The album didn’t chart nor did it’s only single. However, the album did show signs of the New Wave style that would be the band’s trademark over their next two albums.

Their third album ‘Empires and Dance’ (1980) was a far departure from their two previous recordings, showing influences from Kraftwerk and other European artists. The album saw the keyboard and bass taking on the role as main melodic instruments leading to a minimal sound that would be a defining aspect of Simple Minds. However, the band’s current label, Arista, was unwilling to support the experimentation of the band and so they left and signed with Virgin to release Sons and Fascination (1981), with album Sister Feelings Call originally being a bonus disk, but was later re-released as a proper album. Sons found the band perfecting the sound that had begun in Empires. The album showcased the bands
musicianship creating a sound closer to progressive rock giving Simple Minds an edge over other New Wave bands of the time.

Simple Minds sixth album, ‘New Gold Dreams (81-82-83-84)’ (1982), was a turning point for the band as they came out with a more sophisticated and sleek sound that enabled them to gain a few chart topping singles, and critics to categorise them in the New Romantic genre, an outgrowth of the New Wave scene. Some fans of Simple Minds were upset due the pop sound of songs like ‘Glittering Prize,’ however a few songs still reflected the sound found in Sons.

For Simple Minds, their New Wave sound had run its course and for their next album, ‘Sparkle in the Rain’ (1984), the band decided to create an aggressive rock album. The album produced one of Simple Minds signature songs, ‘Waterfront,’ that hit number 1 in a few European countries.

What came next would bring Simple Minds international success. Soundtrack composer Keith Forsey needed to record a song he wrote ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ for an upcoming film ‘The Breakfast Club’, and after initially turning it down the band decided to record it due to encouragement from their label. After the success the song brought them, they used the new found popularity to produce their most commercial album to date, ‘Once Upon a Time’ (1985). The band decided against putting the music song on their album, but due to the stadium rock sound the record topped charts in America.

Simple Minds yet again decided to surprise its fans, in 1989, with the release of politically charged ‘Street Fighting Years’. The album included the six-minute ‘Belfast Child’ based on a traditional Celtic Folk song, as well as ‘Mandela Day.’ While press in the UK was very positive, American press did not treat Simple Minds as well.

Returning to a more pop-rock sound in 1991, the band released ‘Real Life’, however it seemed the public was no longer up for the sound of Simple Minds as the record did poorly in sales and ‘See the Lights’ became the band’s last Top 40 single in the US. The record also saw the departure of most of the band leaving only Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill. The duo brought in Keith Forsey of ‘Don’t You…’ fame and chose to go back to the arena rock sound of Once Upon… The album was well received critically
but did poorly in sales.

Simple Minds took some time off and returned three years later, no longer with Virgin Records. The come back album, ‘Neapolis’ (1998), saw Derek Forbes and Mel Gaynor return to the band. For their come back the band decided to back to their Kraftwerk-inspired days released the album with Chrysalis Records, but due to poor sales and mixed reviews they refused to print the album in America. In 2002, after the album had already been leaked all over the internet Cry was released to poor sales. Two years later the band came out with an album composed mostly of demos and early recordings called, ‘Our Secrets are the Same’.

Two years later Simple Minds’ fifteenth studio album, ‘Black & White 050505’ (2005), although it received some of the best reviews of any Simple Minds album, it failed to do well in sales. In 2008, the band played in Hyde Park for Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday and then did a few shows within the UK.

In 2008, the original members of Simple Minds all entered the studio for the first time in 27 years, however the reunion was sort lived, and the line-up quickly returned to Burchill, Kerr, Gaynor, and Duffy. They recorded and released their sixteenth studio album, ‘Graffiti Soul’ on 25 May 2009. The album entered at number 10 in the UK charts and number 9 in Europe.

Stevie Pearce

 

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SEPTEMBER ALBUM REVIEWS

AGAINST ME!
THE ORIGINAL COWBOY
(Fat Wreck)
Cash-in release of the demo versions of the classic ‘As The Eternal Cowboy’ album.
4/5
While everyone waits with bated breath to see what’s next for Florida punkers Against Me!, Fat Wreck have decided to release the demo version of their second album to ease the wait. This was originally heavily leaked on the internet and the buzz it created back then has deemed it worthy of release now. Surprisingly, for demo material, the production isn’t half bad. Eight of the eleven tracks from ‘Eternal Cowboy’ are here in raw form, the only radical difference being that the version of  ‘Unsubstantiated Rumours’ has an entirely different arrangement. This may largely appeal to the bands hardcore fan base but it is a classic album and having two versions of it in any record collection is fine by me.
Miles Hackett

THE BAKESYS
RETURN TO THE PLANET OF THE BAKESYS!
(Do The Dog)
2tone-tinged joy straight outta Newbury.
4/5
Retaining a devoted following since their birth in the early nineties, Newbury ska revival masters The Bakesys, who included Pama International vocalist Finny and Do The Dog’s own Kevin Flowerdew on electric ivories, are back with an album of classics recorded live in Germany 1994, during the very peak of their moonstompin’ career.  Chock full of 2tone upstrokes, ska swishes and chucklesome lyrics, The Bakesys (along with bands like The Loafers and The Hotknives) mark a period in ska history often overlooked between the fall of 2tone and the rise of ska punk.  Highlights include the floorfiller ‘Sunnyside Up’ as well as a souped-up version of the Harry J Allstars reggae classic ‘Liquidator’. 
Tom Williams

CAPTAIN SENSIBLE
WOMEN AND CAPTAINS FIRST/THE POWER OF LOVE
(Cherry Red)
The good Captain’s ‘80s chart hits.
5/5 / 5/5
If at least part of the reasoning behind Captain Sensible teaming up with producer Tony Mansfield was to show his more serious side, away from his day job with The Damned. This was soon scuppered when his cover of ‘Happy Talk became a massive novelty hit, topping the UK chart. Which is a shame, as these two albums from 1982 and 1983 reveal a superb songwriter, with their mix of 80’s pop, psychedelia and eccentric British whimsy. ‘Glad It’s All Over’, from ‘The Power Of Love’, a breezy classic, was another Top 10 single, but it’s surprising to note that the sublime ‘Croydon’ from ‘Women And Captains First’ never even charted. Approach with an open mind punks -there’s much to be enjoyed here.
Shane Baldwin

THEE CRUCIALS
GIVE ME…A KEG…OF BEER.
(Kaiser)
Garage punk never sounded so good.
5/5
This has to be one of the best ‘60s garage punk albums that isn’t ‘60s garage punk album ever. It has everything that is great about the genre, wild, abandoned vocals, a beat that won’t let up and an organ swirling around those relentless guitars seemingly only held in check by the chanted backing. There are sixteen tracks that can be pretty much described in that way. All played and recorded in a style primitive enough to be authentic but cleverly enough to ensure it enhances the feel and not fucks it. You don’t need a keg of beer for this slab of wildness to whisk you off to an underground 1960s Go-Go bar, you’re already loving it. ‘Squares beware’ they warn. No need, as there’s none at this party.
Simon Nott

DESTRUCTORS 666
POW! THAT’S KILLMUSIK 666. VOLUME ONE: REVISION
(Rowdy Farrago)
Music for the pit: the early years of a band remade.
4/5
In their three-year career Peterborough old skool crew Destructors 666 have churned out enough oddly titled EP’s and splits to fill a tidy space in any record store punk section (and that’s not to mention the roster of their 70’s incarnation the The Destructors).  Many of these have sold out or faded into obscurity and that’s exactly where Pow! comes in.  Cataloguing the earliest of the band’s recordings, along with six newbies thrown in as a treat, the album is boisterous, careering and unrefined: everything punk rock is supposed to be.  Roll on volume two!  
Tom Williams

DIE PRETTY
BITTER SWEET
(Unconform)
Sarah and Skip get busy blending.
3/5
‘Bitter Sweet’ is ten songs that power along, mixing female vocals with some serious skatepunk-esque drumming and riffage. Touring with the likes of Pennywise and Everclear seems to have left indelible influences, which blend well with the poppier melodies that are lobbed into the mix. The whole concept works well and results in an album that is excellent for what it is. The trouble is, there’s nothing new as such with the combination you get having been done plenty of times before… maybe not much better but before. With that in mind it is going to be hard work to stand out from the crowd judged just on ‘Bitter Sweet’ but if you are a fan of No Doubt you’re still going to like it.
Simon Nott

ELECTRIC RIVER
RADIO NO GO
(Electric River)
Cracking Clash-style punk.
5/5
It seems too easy to compare Electric River to the Clash and Rancid, but there’s no getting away from such obvious influences. And while with a band like Strawberry Blondes it might be superfluous to mention both bands, with Electric River it’s important as they manage to capture both the rougher edge of Rancid and more subtle nuances of the Clash. But having said that, this band are far from mere copyists, with the likes of ‘Anita, Don’t Cry’, a pumping rock song with odd touches of swing and the chugging, brooding ‘On Another Day’. But if it’s ‘…And Out Come The Wolves’ – style rabble rousing anthems you’re after then the title track is for you.
Shane Baldwin

THE GRIZZLEY ENDS
THE UNFORTUNATE DEMISE OF THE GRIZLEY ENDS
(Squinty Joe)
If only they’d done this six years ago.
5/5
I was going to tell you that this Guildford mob specialise in speedy pop punk of the kind perfected by Captain Everything, then a quick, um, squint at their website reveals that they have actually played with the wacky Watfordians (if there’s any such word). And when I say super speedy, I ain’t kidding – this 11 track album was over in the time it took me to pour a drink, find their website and type the above: 13 minutes and 14 seconds! The Ramones would have doffed their caps, had they possessed any. To take one example, ‘Keep It Together’ may clock in at just 1 minute 42 seconds, but it packs in all the essential elements of pop punk with style.
Shane Baldwin

THE HORROR
SPOILS OF WAR
(Grot)
Full-throttle pissed-off hardcore assault.
4/5
Featuring, as they do, members of UK hardcore legends Voorhees and Imbalance within their ranks, it’s no surprise The Horror deal in no-holds-barred, heads-down hardcore rage. From start to finish, ‘Spoils Of War’ is characterised by full-throttle, no-frills brutality that eschews any temptation to dabble in the murky waters of metallic hardcore and instead relies on sheer bluntness and speed to get its pissed-off point across. With lyrics taking in everything from social injustice to disgust at the political system, it’s obvious the anger driving this record is very much ‘for real’, and it sounds all the more essential for that. With 15 tracks belting past in frenetic fashion, there are no stand-out moments – ‘Spoils Of War’ is just great from start to finish.
Nick Mann

LOVVERS
OCD GO GO GO GIRLS
(Wichita)
Fuzzed-out budget rock extravaganza.
4/5
Note the extra ‘Go’. And the extra V. Lovvers play from so down-on-deep in the basement, there’s a fuzz box on the vocals. Permanently. As a kind of sonic counterpart to the Mummies’ bandages, it’s a cloaking device that will admittedly bracket Lovvers as an acquired taste – unjustly so as there’s some righteous raw tuneage on offer here. Tracks like ‘Creepy Crawl’ or the aforementioned ‘OCD Go Go Go Girls’ are reassuringly replete with slashing guitars and humming valves, two-minute fifty-nine second teen-punk-pop bashalongs that recall the glory days of such figures as the Buzzcocks. A cracking follow-up to last year’s underrated ‘Think’ EP.
Hugh Gulland

THE MAGNIFICENT
PAY THE CRIMES
(Boss Tuneage)
Excellent debut and it’s all ours.
4/5
If I had the time to let this grow I reckon it would, in fact it is already and that’s quick. All the elements of a great punk album are there. The vibe is like a mix of The Gaslight Anthem and The Clash but before you dribble all over the page I’d have to add before either of them attained their ultimate greatness. The vocals are very British and the lyrics delivered passionately with choruses that will stick in your head. The pace is restrained but pummelling all the same and you get the feeling all hell could break loose at any minute before the pressure is off and the harmonies kick in, great stuff with greater to come.
Simon Nott

NINJA DOLLS
1 2 3 GO!
(Unconform)
Grade A Euro punk with XX chromosomes.
5/5
Female fronted punk can go either way: in some occasions it can be a credit to the genre and in others it can make you want to chew your own eyes out.  Thankfully, Swedish punk rockers the Ninja Dolls fall into the former category and this, their sophomore effort, provides everything needed from a recording.  Like the Bouncing Souls with a shot of Oestrogen: the drums are rapid, melodies creative and lyrics delivered with a smatter of satire.  Songs like the bratty ‘Nobody’s Girlfriend’ and the anthemic Green Day-esque ‘Miss Young and Naïve’ stand above the rest, but to be honest, any of these fourteen tracks get a thumbs up in this reviewer’s book.     
Tom Williams

NO FRIENDS
NO FRIENDS
(No Idea)
’80s style hardcore from members of NMDS and Municipal Waste.
4/5
Do you miss the raw yet melodic fast-paced hardcore of the likes of Dag Nasty, Gorilla Biscuits and the Descendents? Well so do the ex-members of Orlando, Florida’s defunct New Mexican Disaster Squad (now in Virgins and Gatorface too). Joined by the distinctive and energetic Municipal Waste frontman Tony Foresta on vocals, No Friends are enough to excite the most jaded ’80s hardcore fan, channelling the power, fun and honesty that’s so often lacking in modern hardcore bands. Highlights include the anthemic ‘You Have No Friends’ and the Minor Threat-esque ‘Set In Your Ways’, both featuring gritty backing vocals from Sam Johnson. Although they’re all in other bands, this storming debut album better just be the start for this supergroup. They won’t have no friends for long…
Ian Chaddock

THE SINGING LOINS
UNRAVELLING ENGLAND
(Damaged Goods)
Touching folk-punk slices of English life.
5/5
Lifting the lid on the bubbling undercurrents of life in London and its home counties environs, Singing Loins operate a curious kind of semi acoustic post-punk cabaret. Unravelling England offers a highly idiosyncratic insight on Englishness, one that nimbly sidesteps the pitfalls of parochialism, much in the spirit of kindred rockin’ cockneys Ian Dury or Steve Marriott. The raw-edged urban-folk reels of ‘Dirty Dora’ or ‘The Fat Boy Of Peckham’ reverberate with warmth and wit, and the heart-sick laments of ‘Since You Were My Girl’ or ‘Everywhere’ are as human and touching as anything I’ve come by in a good long while. This is rag ’n’ bone folk ‘n’ roll with poetry and soul.
Hugh Gulland

VARIOUS ARTISTS
CREATIVE OUTLAWS: UK UNDERGROUND 1965-1971
(Trikont)
Essential roundup of ‘60s Brit underground nuggets.
4/5
An intoxicating, if at times bewildering sweep through the mod-folk-freak scenes of the mid-to-late sixties UK underground, Trikont’s comp casts its net wide. Embracing the greats – Small Faces’ ‘Whatcha Gonna Do About It’, famously covered by the Pistols a decade later – cult favourites such as proto-punks John’s Children with ‘Desdemona’, featuring a young Marc Bolan on lead guitar, and outright curiosities like the Bonzo Dog Band’s ‘We Are Normal’. An eclectic collection, ‘Creative Outlaws’ showcases the radical, the subversive, the hip, the dippy and, inevitably, the brain-meltingly drug-damaged, without which this comp wouldn’t be the complete picture; good, bad and druggy, Trikont throw open the portals into a long-vanished but crucial musical scene.
Hugh Gulland

VARIOUS ARTISTS
THIS IS PSYCHOBILLY: 25 YEARS OF ROCKIN’ & WRECKIN’
(Anagram)
Pure boneshakin’ music.
5/5
From granddaddies of the scene like The Meteors, Batmobile and King Kurt to mere fledglings like Judder and the Jack Rabbits, Luna Vegas and The Scourge Of River City: this three CD compendium from psycho merchants Anagram complies the cream (or should I say scream?) of the crop since the very birth of rockabilly’s evil twin.  With sixty nine tracks of double bass pounding, guitar twanging malevolent fury and detailed bio’s of each of the players laid out in the accompanying booklet- can a bad word really be said? A must for any wrecker worth his salt and a great starter package for newcomers to the genre.
Tom Williams 

 

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17th PSYCHOBILLY MEETING

17th PSYCHOBILLY MEETING
Pineda De Mar
June 24th – 28th
5/5



The psychobilly scene’s summer holidays rolled around for the seventeenth year and once again lived up to all the anticipation. The town of Pineda De Mar (near Barcelona) is invaded by fans from all over the world meeting up during the day at the ‘Psycho’ Beach Bar. Various warm-up gigs took place during the week but the big names began to roll out on Thursday night at the smaller Magmar venue. The ASTRO ZOMBIES were definitely one of the highlights. The news of Michael Jackson’s sad demise had begun to filter through so it was up to DEMENTED ARE GO to pay tribute with a hearty ‘Good riddance you c**t’ before blasting into an excellent set. Friday was the first day in the large beach-side tent venue. The UK’s new favourites THE GRAVEYARD JOHNNYS gave a rollicking show to those that had turned out for their early slot. The horrorpunk-tinged THE REZUREX put up a slick performance before neo-rockabilly veterans THE CARAVANS gave the punters still sat outside no choice but to get in and check their set out. Psychobilly legend P PAUL FENECH headlined. His latest solo offerings have been excellent slabs of studio greatness but live they didn’t seem to ignite with the crowd. Maybe the fact the line-up was The Meteors with a couple of additional vocalists was the problem. The solo work is not The Meteors by design, but maybe that is what the slowly dispersing crowd would have preferred. A few Meteors classics pulled out of the bag did little to dampen the slight air of anti-climax. Saturday was lit up early by THE GUITAR SLINGERS, a psychobilly super-group of well-known luminaries. Japanese band BATTLE OF NIMJAMAZ blasted ears with their hard sound before THE GO GETTERS brought the rockabilly back but the band of the night and the whole weekend were FRENZY. Steve Whitehouse and cohorts showed how professional and tight psychobilly can be. The whole show simply rocked and with the wealth of top songs available from their back catalogue, never let up and thankfully never slipped into extended bass solos or crowd chant-backs. The whole weekend is so much more than just the gigs, the majority of Sunday being spent at the organized pool party. Sunday night was slightly quieter but no less rockin’ with The ARKHAMS, THE SURF RATS and POX raising their game, The Arkhams were particularly impressive. It spoke volumes that such a large crowd had amassed for headliners THE RICOCHETS and the wait was worth it as they blasted through their set of pioneering 80s favourites with three minutes of slap-bass brutality ‘Running Wild’ the highlight. The 17th Psychobilly Meeting was better than ever before, Sun, Sea, Psychobilly and a great atmosphere all packed into a very long weekend that belonged to Frenzy. Be there next year.

Simon Nott

 

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T-MODEL FORD

T-Model’s credentials are impeccable; if anything he’s over qualified.  He was born James Lewis Carter Ford in Forrest, a small community in Scott County, Mississippi.  T-Model thinks he’s seventy-five but isn’t sure.  He was plowing a field behind a mule on his family’s farm by age eleven, and in his early teens he secured a job at a local sawmill.  He excelled and was later recruited by a foreman from a bigger lumber company in the Delta, near Greenville, and eventually got promoted to truck driver.  Between that and working in a log camp T-Model was sentenced to ten years on a chain-gang for murder.  He lucked out and was released after serving two.  He says, grinning, “I could really stomp some ass back then, stomp it good.  I was a-sure-enough- dangerous man.” 

Well, old times here are not forgotten.  T-model is constantly arguing playfully with Stella, his girlfriend, about their more violent disagreements.  When asked how many times he’d been to jail, T-Model responded, “I don’t know.  How many?”  He seemed to think it might be a trick question.  Upon realizing it wasn’t, he answered to the best of his ability.  “Every Saturday night there for awhile.”

As disheartening as this is, it’s also a refreshing reminder of how ridiculous the present image of a bluesman is.  Nothing could be more twisted that the romanticized and picturesque standard; and old black man devoid of anger and rage happily strumming an acoustic guitar on the back porch of his shack “in that evening sun”.  Three quarters of a century old, and with a dislocated hip, T-Model Ford is the only musician making his debut who could just as easily be starring in the most competitive branch of the National Wrestling Federation: The Cage Match.

Although Fat Possum makes it it’s business to trod some wild paths, the wildest yet has to be the one that T-Models drummer, Spam, lives on.  We stopped en route to New York City just as Spam’s girlfriend walked out of the door dragging an oxygen tank and holding a cigarette in her other hand—a situation that could have been easily blown out her rib cage if not the entire block.  Spam didn’t care about that, though.  He was worried she might snip off the tips of his fingers with a box cutter again.

Tommy Lee Miles to the authorities, Spam to his friends, he has been T-Model’s A-number-one drummer for the past eight years.  Sam Carr and Frank Frost, T-Model’s old friends, were brought in for one session.  But the guest musician’s smiles gave way to scowls as T-Model’s constant refrain (“T-Model Ford is going to remember you sorry fuckers how it’s done”) became more and more emphatic.  Seconds before “Been a Long Time” was recorded, Frank Frost felt compelled to sate, “I want everyone to know that I’m now playing against my will.”

T-Model and Spam are the only men still playing on Greenville’s Nelson Street.  Most of the audience has scattered due to violence from the crack trade, and with the exception of T-Model, the street that once boasted Booba Barnes and others is dead.  On a typical night Spam and T-Model will arrive at the club and unpack T-Model’s guitar and amp, and the bass drum and snare he allows Spam to use.  When T-Model feels there are enough people, they start banging away in their own post-war Peavey-powered hill stomp.  It’s nothing unusual for T-Model to play eight hours a night.  They keep going until no one’s left standing.  After his equipment’s packed up T-Model will coat himself with Outdoorsman Off and climb into his van to crash.       

-Matthew Johnson, CEO, Fat Possum Records

T-Model Ford has recorded four fabulously lowdown rough and dirty albums for Fat Possum Records: "Pee-Wee Get My Gun," "You Better Keep Still," "She Ain’t None of Your’n," and "Bad Man."

Web: www.myspace.com/tmodelford   www.fatpossum.com

 

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THE STUPIDS


Stupid is as Stupid does….

They have returned after a twenty odd year year break with one of the albums of the year-‘The Kids Don’t Like It’ and just ripped it up in proper 80s skate punk fashion at Rebellion. Ladies and gents we give you Tommy Stupid-and the Stupids!!

You must be stoked on the reaction to the album-its getting great reviews.
Yes its been very nice to see such a lot of support, of course there
have been some bad reviews as well which are usually based on a presumption that we have reformed to "re-achieve former glories" when nothing could be further from the truth. I was the last one to think that anyone would remember who we are. Its probably the worst time to "reform" at the moment. People almost groan at the thought.

Was it difficult gelling after 20 odd years apart?
We did this purely to record new material. We played the old songs to get back into the swing, which about 2 years ago was quite tough but now were player harder and faster than we ever were. Honestly the Stupids are so much better than they ever were. We’re amazing.

Did you enjoy Rebellion? Catch any bands you liked?
Rebellion was quite a bizarre scenario. Yes we did all enjoy it, for anyone that’s never been it’s completely bonkers. It’s like a punk rock retirement community. I think the event itself is great and the selection of music was top notch, but considering this is "punk rock" I would have expected more imagination from the punters and the merch traders. I thought this was all about individuality?
Out of all the bands we saw I liked Killing Joke the best.

And so, this is looking like a permanent reunion-whats next for the Stupids?
Just gigging until we start writing more new material. We need to sell enough of the first one to pay for itself first! We’re here for the crack, when that runs out we’ll start thinking about the post-hardcore acoustic circuit.

LEGENDS: THE STUPIDS

Effecting a return that’s far from dumb, skate punk savants THE STUPIDS are back with new album ‘The Kids Don’t Like It’. We find out where they’ve been for the last twenty years and where they’re planning on going…

Back in the early 1980s when the indie charts were full of shoegazers and goth lite acts, Ipswich’s mighty fine Stupids bought a smile to punk rockers everywhere with their wacky take on skate punk and hardcore. Quickly gathering a devoted cult following, the Stupids made groundbreaking records like ‘Retard Picnic’, and briefly toured the US and then Australia with their Ocker brethren The Hard Ons before suddenly packing it all in, in 1989. Before I got to see them. Bastards! And then suddenly, they’re back! After various reissues, greatest hit selections and all round global praise, Tommy Stupid has regrouped with Ross and Marty and dropped one hell of an A-bomb of a comeback album that sounds fresher and tastier than anyone on the whole damn planet could have ever hoped for. Yes siree, the sixteen tracks on ‘The Kids Don’t Like It’ won’t disappoint and so Big Cheese caught up with these skate punk legends ahead of their appearance at this year’s Rebellion festival to find out if they’re still Stupid…

So how did you guys end up getting back together after all these  years?
“Because Marty had nothing else going for him and hassled me into doing it again. We initially gave up our aspirations of success as a U2 covers band called U Tool and went for the next easiest option, the Stupids.”

And how’s it feeling?
“Mmmm, it feels soooo good. It makes me crazy.”

What the hell have you all been doing since hitting the indie charts way back when?
“It’s been so long since the ‘80s that it’d take a book to go into detail. I got heavily involved with drum & baass music and have been producing and DJing under the name Klute for over fifteen years. Marty had three beautiful girls and pursued a successful stint as a studio engineer before getting fed up with it.”

The album sounds really fresh. It’s still got the sound of the Stupids but better.
“Yes, it’s much better than that old shit isn’t it?”

Anyone about that you rate right now?
“Actually, not really. Most music these days comes from a retro perspective and I’d rather listen to something that’s truly from the heart rather than something made by people who don’t even know what that means.”

Finally, is this a permanent reunion? If so, what’s next for the Stupids?
“From day one of this chapter we’ve gone along with the attitude that this is from the heart and for fun. We didn’t set a time limit but at the same time the only goal so far was to record a new album. We are very happy with the band so we’ll just see what happens. The music is better than ever; we’re tighter and better live and we’re a fuck lot more angry than we ever were. Come see us.”

‘The Kids Don’t Like It’ is out now on Boss Tuneage
The Stupids play the Rebellion Festival on August 9th

El Prez

VOUCHED
Recommended albums:
‘Peruvian Vacation’ 1985
‘Retard Picnic’ 1986
‘Jesus Meets The Stupids’ 1987

INFLUENCED
Without the Stupids there wouldn’t be:
Snuff, The Arteries, NOFX

CHOICE CUTS
Download the following:
‘Elephant Man’
‘It’s Gotta Be Love’
‘So Much Fun’
‘Wipe Out’
‘Slumber Party Massacre’
‘Killed By A Cripple’
‘Born To Skate’

 

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VERA RAMONE

POISONED HEART

Vera Ramone King married the Ramones bass player Dee Dee and lived with him for many years. It was a rollercoaster of a ride. Dee Dee could be the sweetest, loving guy on the block, but he could also be the craziest, drugged up, bi polar car crash around. From being forced at gun or knifepoint to drive Dee Dee to score drugs, through to looking after every part of his life, Vera put up with it all. She has now written a brilliant new book on her life with the Ramones legend-‘Poisoned Heart-I married Dee Dee Ramone. Vivelepunk spoke with Vera from her home in Florida.

It sounds like you went through some pretty scary times with Dee De. Did you actually think he could kill you?
Well it CERTAINLY crossed my mind you know. When the need for drugs take over, the person will do ANYTHING to get them and there is ALWAYS a chance that his intimidation tactic could have gone horribly wrong! Yes, I WAS scared!! I KNEW what he WAS capable of and I was basically at his mercy. People need to recognize that addiction is a disease like cancer or anything else. It needs to be treated accordingly. It doesn’t make you a bad person.

What was it like the first time you came to England with the Ramones when punk was just kicking off.? Who did you meet?
The first time I flew to England, I met him in London. We hadn’t seen each other for two whole weeks after the wedding and we finally reunited and were ecstatic to be together again. They were busy touring at the time and were scheduled to do the "Top Of The Pops" and "The Old Grey Whistle Test". We met and hung out with Bryan Adams and were introduced to several other pop stars that were on the same shows. It was all very exciting and somewhat magical and surreal at the time. We had a blast!

Charlie Harper from the UK Subs was telling me recently the Ramones treated them really well on their first European tour with you guys.
The Uk Subs WERE GREAT! I still have a HUGE original poster from when they played together and we travelled all over Europe with them. They UK Subs were quite popular at the time and the shows were SOLD OUT every nite. The Ramones enjoyed working with them and they were always on time and very professional. Just AWESOME! Nice guys!

Do you really think the band were cursed (by the preacher you encountered after that early show) and do you think all the tragedy around the band and yourself is down to that?
You know, I’ve been asked THAT question quite a few times. Honestly speaking, I don’t KNOW if there REALLY is such a thing as a curse? But after the three of them passing within a year of each other at approximately the same age , It definately struck a chord with me you know. Three months after Johnny’s passing I was diagnosed with brain cancer, it was then I started to put it all together and WONDER?? WHAT If there WAS something to this? Not long after that Linda Stein there former manager was found murdered in her 5th Ave. penthouse apartment! Bludgeoned to death! I just DON’t KNOW what to think? Coincidence? Possibly. But what IF there is actually more to it? I guess we’ll never know.

What was the best tour/trip you went on with the Ramones?
God, they were ALL AMAZING!! The World Tour was long, hard and tedious at times but probably the MOST memorable. Every day was a new adventure, a different country, new people , new scenery, foods we never ate before, beautiful countries. Meeting Great fans and the best shows EVER! They gave their ALL every night and we enjoyed it immensley. It was fun, intense and hard at times as well because of the long hours in the tour bus, but when you’re young you can bounce right back and do it all again the next day!!

And the worst?
The worst was probably when we were fighting amongst each other. There were different sections of the bus that we all stayed in so we didn’t have ANY contact with each other. Then they wouldn’t even go to pick up their hotel keys at the front desk together, for fear of bumping into one another. Also, stopping to eat on the road. We would be spaced out in different areas of the restaurant so we wouldn’t have to look at each other. IT SUCKED! Being on the road for months at a time can cause friction and hostility and eventually we all needed a little space for ourselves between tours, so we seldom socialized together when we weren’t on the road.

Besides Dee De, did you have a favourite Ramone?
The Ramones became my family and I do have to admit that Joey and Marky as well as Richie (when he was in the band) were more fun and I was closer to them. Marky, his wife Marian and I are STILL close friends. Richie and his wife Annette are also good friends of mine to this day. Tommy and I are still friends and always will be . We just don’t speak or see each other that often. But I love them ALL.

I am going to buy Dee Dees rap album soon-I really love the song the Crusher that’s on there. What did you think of that album and Dee Des rap career?
I happen to think that his rap album is AMAZING for it’s time! It’s SO DEE DEE!!! it was never meant to be a serious rap album but he managed to fuse the rap with the Ramons sense of humor together and it’s very enjoyable. It is hard to find and is a collectors item because it is SO rare. At the time it came out the record company didn’t know what? audience to market it to. It wasn’t hardcore rap and there was NO Hanna Montanna audience at the time, so it sort of fell through the cracks. He was once AGAIN way ahead of his time!

Did you have any contact in the 2 years before he died?
Unfortunately, After I left NY and moved to Florida to start "a new life", the communication between us became non-existant. We both remarried and he also moved out of NY and went to California. Even though we were no longer together, there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think of him and I miss him very much to this day. He will always be a part of me. No regrets whatsoever. I’d marry him all over again.

Are the Ramones the greatest American band ever??
There have been many GREAT performers in our lifetime. Elvis certainly is one. He broke the "mold" so to speak. The Beatles changed the world with their music, the Ramones created a sound that is STILL so powerful with the music we hear today and Michael Jackson is also one of kind. "AMAZING" is how I would describe them. They were ALL different from one another but they ARE the TRUE legends that have changed music as we know it for generations to come.

Thanks so much Vera-stay safe, all the best-and give my regards to New York!! Cheers Eugene
Thank You Eugene, It’s been MY pleasure and please send all the Ramones fans in the UK all the Best from us here in the US!!

GABBA GABBA HEY!!!
KEEP THE MUSIC ALIVE!!
Vera Ramone King

www.myspace.com/veraramone

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