DOWNTOWN STRUTS were formed in 2008 in Chicago with two members hailing from Northern California and two from the Midwest. Setting out to create honest music stemming from punk and Americana influences, the songs are passionate and melodic at heart but delivered with drive and aggression. Influence from THE CLASH, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, and THE REPLACEMENTS is evident in their carefully constructed songwriting and powerful live show.
The City of Chicago, with its inevitable ups and downs, sets the background for the band’s debut full length album, "Victoria!". Recorded with Matt Allison at Atlas Studios in Chicago, this record is ambitious without losing familiarity, and maintains its energy and urgency throughout all 10 tracks. After a full US tour in support of The Business this Spring, the band continues on the road in 2012, including plans for a European Summer tour with appearances at both the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool (UK) and the Endless Summer Festival, in Germany.
This is bound to be a life-changing year for the Struts. Get in, hold on and enjoy the ride!!
Downtown Struts’ debut full-length ‘Victoria!’ is out May 15th on Pirates Press Records.
European and US tour dates will follow, as will festival appearances with Face To Face, Street Dogs, Bouncing Souls and more.
Pre-order your copy now at Piratespressrecords.com
Listen to two new songs, ‘Lost In America’ and ‘Rogues’, on the player below and tell us what you think!
999 PLAY VIVE LE PUNK N ROLL AT LONDON’S RELENTLESS GARAGE ON MAY 6TH. VIVE LE ROCK CAUGHT UP WITH GUITARIST GUY DAYS FOR A CHAT.
So VIVE LE ROCK is stoked to having 999 play our VIVE LE PUNK N ROLL show on May 6th with the GRIT and RODDY RADIATION AND HIS SKABILLY REBELS.
“999 are very much looking forward to the Vive Le Punk n Roll show in May we always enjoy to play in front of an audience after 35 years together for sure yeah and we started off in London to boot.”
Any thoughts on a new album as its been a while since ‘Death In Soho’ in 2007?
“999 are currently writing songs and Overground Records who released ‘Death In Soho’ have said they want to do another 999 album. You are correct it was 2007 when we recorded that album, however we are still touring to promote it to this day.”
You guys came from Kilburn and the High Roads. What influences did you bring to 999?
“Kilburn And The Highroads had many influences as they had six members. The influences ranged from jazz – Ornette Coleman, Roland Kirk to rock ‘n’ roll – Freddie Cannon, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and even The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane – Alma Cogan.”
And it seemed 999 were set to break America in the 1980s? What happened?
“999 sold out 10,000 seater shows in LA and did 56 date tours of the USA – yeah we thought we might crack it but then we lost momentum due to contractual difficulties with managers and record labels.”
And finally, what have been some of the more crazy shows you have played over the years?
“The craziest show we ever played was in the former Yugoslavia when we had to perform in front of a circle of police including a chief inspector who wanted to make sure we were suitable to perform in front of the public there. We did some crazy dates in Portugal once when people actually came to see us travelling on donkeys and carts, but they were so into the music it was amazing.
“Cheers from 999 Nick, Guy Arturo and Pablo lookin’ forward to the show.”
999’s STUDIO ALBUMS
– 999 (March 1978, United Artists Records) # 53 UK Albums Chart
– Separates (September 1978, United Artists)
– High Energy Plan (U.S./Canada Release only: 1979, PVC / Radar / Passport) Based upon Separates, it replaced various album tracks with various singles.
– The Biggest Prize in Sport (January 1980, Polydor Records) # 177 U.S. Billboard Album Chart
– Concrete (April 1981, Albion) # 192 U.S. Billboard
– 13th Floor Madness (November 1983, Albion)
– Face to Face (March 1985, LaBritain)
– You Us It! (November 1993, Anagram)
– Takeover (March 1998, Get Back)
– Dancing In The Wrong Shoes (1999, Receiver Records)
– Outburst (2003)
– Death In Soho (2007)
We dig into the VLR vaults to bring you this interview with Sex Pistols legend Paul Cook from last year.
Paul Cook has been a been a busy man of late. Working with Edwyn Collins, playing with a reformed Chiefs Of Relief ‘We may release the recording of the Scala show’ and now about to release the second album from his new band Manraze, that just happens to include a certain Phil Collen from Def Leppard.
Did you know Phil and Simon from back in the day and how did that come together?
"Um, not really. I bumped into Phil in the last 10 years or so and we crossed paths when we were touring for the Pistols in ’96. We kind of just talked up about doing a band and it was just like that really. Until recently I bumped into him walking down the Fulham road and he was like, oh yeah I got something for you I’d like you to listen to and all this and see what you think and the thought went from there really. I had a listen to some demos and asked if I wanted to get involved and I said yeah we’ll see how it goes and if it works out and it was quite a long process. We got there in the end and it worked out good."
The album is called Punk Funk Roots Rock, that’s kind of like a mix of all three of your influences and all three parts coming together sort of thing?
"Yeah I guess that’s what it is really. Its all of our influences basically like we were kids basically re-growing up. that’s what we wanted to express with our emotions. We just wanted to combine it all."
Is the reggae influence yours?
"We all grew up in London and I grew up with reggae when I was a kid, and Reggae was on the charts all the time in the early ‘70’s – and it was just really big back then."
And you have a cool cover of Hendrix’s song ‘Fire’ which is brilliant and hard to play and do justice to.
"We play it live a lot, we love playing that live, and we thought let’s try it and get it on the album if we can. And it worked out all right, It’s one we’ve all grown up listening to as well. We wanted to keep it (the band) as a three piece. We wanted to keep it as a nice unit."
Do you find it harder playing it as a three piece? It must be a bit trickier.
"It is a little bit. Singing and playing and stuff like that is, but it pushes you a bit more musically, which is good, and it tests you as a musician playing different styles, and playing as a three piece."
The song ‘Get Action’ sounds a bit like Thin Lizzy.
"Well they were a great rock band, really. I grew up listening Phil and Lizzy, and became friends with them eventually, which is nice. So it’s good to always keep all those influences in there."
And of course you played with the Greedies (various Pistols and Thin Lizzy members)
"Oh, the Greedies that was just a bit of fun. The live shows were good fun."
Are you going to be playing more gigs in the UK and America?
"We are heading over to the states in September for the album release. Towards the end of the year after the album is up and running, we will be heading back to the UK for some shows."
So its still fun for you playing live these days?
"Yeah, I love playing live actually. A lot of people aren’t playing anymore, when they get to that stage in their career, so I cant complain".
We saw John Lydon at Guilfest the other weekend and he was good.
"Yeah, he’s playing all over the place. Been hearing a lot of good feedback from it. He’s seriously good so hopefully he’ll be carrying on with that and making a new album or something".
No plans in the works for the Pistols?
"Not really, not at the moment. Everyone’s busy doing their own stuff but next year it might be different. You never know."
Everybody has been asking will the Professionals (Paul and Steve Jones post Pistols band) ever play again?
"Who knows we might do something. I would like to do some new material cos I don’t really like doing all this stuff without it.I’d be interested and I spoke to Paul Meyers yesterday actually, it might come together you never know".
"One of my regrets was that we didn’t make another album with the Professionals. Them, the Pistols, Chiefs, just one album – story of my life".
PunkFunkRootsRock is out now on Earmusic.
VLR catches up with Social D’s legendary frontman Mike Ness!
I chose to produce the new album cos I wasn’t that happy with the last production. The songs could have come across a little better if they’d been produced by someone in the band. It’s something I wanted to get into anyways in the future working with young bands. Helping develop them and pulling stuff out of them that they didn’t know they had. I figured it would be as good a start as any to start with my own band and if I fuck up then there’s no one to blame!
In the video for Machine Gun Blues we were just like ten year old boys again, playing dress up and playing with guns.
ORANGE COUNTY DAYS
When I was 5 I would go into my babysitter’s, she was this old lady and I’d go into her guestroom or whatever it was, and turn on the radio. Whatever was going on I don’t really remember, I know things weren’t hunky dory at home, so that allowed me this incredible escape of like a fantasy. I just knew at that age that that was what I wanted to do. I didn’t know if I had any talent or not. And then the influence started coming from music around the house which would be like polar opposites with my parent’s. Mum’s was like The Rolling Stones, some folk music and rock ‘n’ roll. My father’s was more like blues, Johnny Cash and stuff like that. That’s when I first go exposed to stuff like that. I remember the first time hearing The Carter Family, something about the tone in that, it just had this like heartfelt desperation you know that just really touched something in me. And then I had uncles who were young giving me Creedence and Stones records when I was in 3rd grade. By 7th grade everything was David Bowie, T-Rex, Lou Reed and it progressed into the glam stuff so it was only natural that the punk stuff was next. But having that foundation was great of music of the 60s and 70s, whether it was Bad Company or David Bowie it was very blues based rock and roll.
It really built the foundation so when I did finally hit punk you know…that was why we were never, even though we were sometimes labelled a hardcore band I never understood that. Cos we were always like…we were listening to the bands of the first wave of punk which were I feel were very kind of traditional rock just speeded up.
The Sex Pistols are laced with like Chuck Berry you know…
YOUNG PUNKS, GO FOR IT.
It’s funny too cos you know when you’re 17, 18 you know you kinda like…I mean, I couldn’t make it through a 5 minute blues song for a while. It was just like ‘It’s Wednesday night and we were going out, put on Sham 69 start drinking these beers and we’re gonna go on out and make some noise’. It’s funny cos where I’m staying, my hotel is right on the border of Chelsea and Fulham and one of my favourite bands was The Lurkers. And I was like, ah yeah! This is where they’re from, this is rad man!
DRUGS AND UNDER THE INFLUENCE.
I can’t imagine what it would have been like to keep going (on drugs). Cos I mean it was fun when I started, and I started you know 12, 13. You know, thought it was just a harmless gateway. But it was you know, just my personality.For me it went down quick which was good because by the time I was 23 I was done with that part of my life and ready to start channelling that energy into the band.
It’s kind of when we started to really develop a work ethic and realise that you know if I wanted to do this professionally that I would have to start acting like a pro.
FAST CARS AND HOT PURSUITS.
I do surfing, I do yoga, I do boxing. I do a little bit of everything. I’m trying to stay fit cos at my age my body’s not gonna take care of itself unfortunately.
On stage you get in the situation where there’s no oxygen and you better hope you’ve got a little bit of stamina!
I collect 30s, 40s and 50s cars and customize them. Got some old Ford coupes and stuff. To me it’s another way of expressing myself, like the way you dress it emotes this attitude. It’s just another form of self expression.
THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN.
Right now Social Distortion, we’re having a good time.
This album hit some places on the charts that we’ve never been before and that’s great you know. Because you know I mean…we don’t really know what we’re doing you know, you know I’m just a musician. I still write songs to make myself happy and I hope that when I’m done with the record that other people will like it too. To get the reception that we’ve got at this stage of the game is great.
With the ‘Machine Gun’ video, I just like the fact that we made a short film. I wanted even less performance than it is, cos if people wanna see what we look like with a guitar in our hand then they can come and see us live, so let’s just make a short film that shows the not so glamorous side of that life. It was just really what the song’s about.
My youngest son is in it, and is a natural actor, he doesn’t know it but…you know I’m really proud to have him in there.
GANGSTERS AND HOLLYWOOD
My 3 favourite gangster movies are The Godfather, Goodfellas and Bonnie and Clyde. I started crying when I was a boy when that came out. Cos Hollywood made them so loveable.
Goodfellas’ just had really believable acting. Amazing, just really very convincing. That guy Joe Pesci was just brilliant…
KING MOB are the hottest gun-slinging rock’n’roll machine out there right now. Their debut album features an all-star cast including Sex Pistol Glen Matlock, the Pretenders Martin Chambers, guitar legend Chris Spedding, former Sharks frontman Snips and hot new guitar player, Sixteen! King Mob’s debut album is out now on SPV, and they play their Vive Le Rock sponsored show at O2 Islington Academy on We March 28th with a host of all star guests – we asked Snips for a word!
How did King Mob come together?
"After composing and producing instrumental music for 30 years, I suddenly felt the urge to sing in a beat group again."
Were you looking for such an all-star band?
"All-Star meaning everyone in it is a star. In the world of King Mob, reputations are just dust in the fire."
Sixteen is a real talent.
"Sixteen was our second choice after Jimmy Page, but we did ok finding him. The fact that he is young and good looking is just something we have to live with."
King Mob’s rock’n’roll sound is a real up to date twist of a classic genre. Is that what you were aiming for?
"Everything is FRESH if you love it, and the Twist is still my favourite dance."
What have you got planned for the London O2 academy show – and what special guests will be coming along?
"It’s a feast of guitars. We are extending some of the songs from FORCE 9 to incorporate the guests. Phil Manzanera will sail on China Waters, Wilko Johnson will be a Lover Of High Renown, and Mick Ralphs will have an extended conversation with King Mob. Glen can sing and play whatever he chooses to! We will also feature four new songs which we have recorded for our second album."
Stephen W Parsons (vocals) • Chris Spedding (guitar) • Sixteen (guitar) • Toshi Ogawa (bass) • Martin Chambers (drums)
VIVE LE ROCK PRESENTS
LONDON’S O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON
with special guests including:
PHIL MANZANERA • GLEN MATLOCK • WILKO JOHNSON • MICK RALPHS
WEDNESDAY 28TH MARCH 2012
“…exotic tremolo guitars shimmer while echo-drenched vocals wrap themselves seductively around some 21st century boogie beats – and it rocks like a bastard. Can’t wait to see them live.” (Classic Rock)
“Think The Godfathers clashing with a slicker Alabama 3” (MOJO)
“…sounds so brilliantly fresh it’s one of the best things I’ve heard this year.” (Big Cheese)
As a new year dawns, KING MOB are looking forward to working hard on the live circuit, with dates already scheduled for the UK and the rest of Europe and summer festival dates in the offing. Many more dates are still to be officially announced but KING MOB will play London’s O2 Academy Islington on 28th March with some very special guests including Phil Manzanera, Glen Matlock, Wilko Johnson and Mick Ralphs.
At the end of last year brand new English beat combo, KING MOB released their stunning debut album Force 9.
KING MOB began life when vocalist Stephen W Parsons approached his old friend and ex-Sharks colleague Chris Spedding with the idea of forming a new band. Following a highly successful film and advertising career, Stephen had taken time out for a while and found himself DJ-ing at The Axe club on Hackney Road. Every Friday and Saturday night from midnight until 6am, the joint jumped to Stephen’s old school music in the form of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Ike & Tina et al. Realising that these pre-1977 sounds were going down a storm with the younger crowd, Stephen’s passion for the sheer excitement and energy of R&B was re-ignited and happily Chris Spedding agreed to come on board to form a new combo of talented like-minded musicians from either side of the generation gap.
“King Mob came to rock the joint and raise the dead. We will continue to do so in 2012” (Stephen W Parsons)
KING MOB + special guests
VENUE: LONDON’S O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON
DATE: WEDNESDAY 28TH MARCH
TIME: 7PM (DOORS)
BOX OFFICE: www.ticketweb.co.uk
NEAREST TRANSPORT: NORTHERN LINE TO ANGEL
FORCE 9 out now on SPV/STEAMHAMMER
LIKE ALL good wild rock alter egos, the panstick-painted persona of maniac Medics’ leader ‘The Doctor‘, is a confusing character to converse with. No longer playing 300+ gigs a year, he’s today closely reconciled to polite parent-of-four Clive Jackson, whom neighbours in rural Welsh community Libanus know as a chap who sits on the local school board.
It’s a perplexing pair of personalities to put together, and Vive le Rock is only grateful not to have met the man who moved to Mexico in 2003. That bloke appears “when I do local radio – I’ll do you a favour and not let you publish that as the truth”, the Doc cackles (fairly certainly, Clive isn’t the cackler). “I play that card to root out the ones who’ve only read Wikipedia” he smirks.
The Doctor admits a certain amount of the mystery is cultivated, and even endorsed sources’ telling of the truth may be muddied. Although eagerly aiding the remastering and repackaging of the Medics’ first three albums and a singles compilation for reissue recently, the Doc preferred to pass responsibility for the sleevenotes to good friend Hari Oakham, who he remembers “said ‘do you want to check them?’. I said ‘no, I’ll read them when it comes out’. The thing about being ‘not proper famous’”, he muses mischievously, “is that no-one really knows what the truth is”. If he himself knows, he‘s telling only “the more far-fetched stories tend to be the truer ones”.
In a sense, Oakham‘s simultaneously economic and embellished biography is perhaps the truest representation to be drawn for a group who masked themselves in distorting acid trip imagery, to tout a baffling blend of influences. Those hallmarks developed initially at Alice In Wonderland, the 80s London clubnight the Doc and Christian Paris established to be “the direct antithesis to what was going on at the time”. Thinking New Romantic “too serious”, Alice liked to “go back to glam, psychedelic and punk”, and in no particular order. Straight playlists were scorned, and punters “would come down and say ‘ooh, a psychedelic club”, to have their records set skew-whiff; when Alice spun “Johnny Cash, Nirvana – Johnny Cash after Nirvana!”.
While the strange music brewed in London, The Medics’ freaky image and fine-tuned sense of the absurd were nurtured on Alice ‘Mystery Trips’; outings which variously found the regulars caught in a cave during a power cut, and lost in Lowestoft when their coach driver called one way enough. Finally, the pieces fused to form a band for the sum of ￡5 – bet (and still owed) to the Doctor by a member of The Marble Staircase – who gave The Medics their first gig. “Ravensbourne Art College, 1982”, the Doc remembers, “two weeks earlier he’d said ‘you’ll never form a band….‘”.
It’s thought the money never materialized because of “sour grapes – we blew them off stage!”. Were it that way, The Marble Staircase lost all pride, no doubt, when four years later the monster they made turned up on Top of The Pops. Spirit In The Sky, and the fleeting fame following it, is assumed by many to have become a millstone to The Medics later, and indeed even the distributors’ of the recent reissues in their notes deem the band “unfairly remembered” for it. Here however, the Doctor is unusually generous with the truth, declaring “as life unrolled after Spirit… I loved every minute of it!”.
Looking over the albums, the Medics have certainly made a suitably solid originals catalogue to be creatively content in their career, and the Doc forges forward still, maintaining a steady live schedule and now gearing up to record the long-due next album. He admits to wondering “’what am I going to write about?’” once he’d set this goal and finding little inspiration in available precedents. “I listened to a lot of records by people who’d got to a certain age and they sounded like bitter old men. I didn’t want that, and I certainly didn’t want to get jiggy with kids”, he shudders.
So he took to “looking back to what I used to do”, and realized pretty swiftly the Medics never did need a precedent. And weren’t about to find one, on this plane, at least. Instead, “it was all about this fantasy world, part myth, part history, part religion – once I put it all back in there it just started flowing”.
READ MORE ABOUT DOCTOR & THE MEDICS IN THE LATEST ISSUE (No. 6) OF VIVE LE ROCK.
Issue 6 will be in shops late next week and here’s what you can expect…
JOHN LYDON & PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED
The rise, fall and rebirth. As John Lydon prepares to re-stoke the fires of Public Image Limited, will it equal past glories? We talk to a host of people with varying opinions and look at the history of the seminal pioneering post-punks.
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM
BOW WOW WOW
THE BOOMTOWN RATS
LEEE BLACK CHILDERS
FREE 14 TRACK CD W/
FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM
DEMENTED ARE GO
& MANY MORE!
PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW BY CLICKING HERE!
Last month we asked you:
WHO WAS THE BEST FEMALE PUNK SINGER FROM THE GOLDEN AGE (USA/UK)?
Here are the results:
SIOUXSIE SIOUX (THE BANSHEES) 25.1%
POLY STYRENE (X-RAY SPEX) 23.2%
FAY FIFE (REZILLOS) 15.2%
DEBBIE HARRY (BLONDIE) 13.6%
HELEN HILL (VIOLATORS) 6.5%
BEKI BONDAGE (VICE SQUAD) 5%
ARI-UP (THE SLITS) 4.2%
WENDY O’WILLIAMS (PLASMATICS) 4%
ANNA BELLA (BOW WOW WOW) 2.1%
GAYE ADVERT (ADVERTS) 1%
NOW VOTE FOR WHO YOU THINK WAS THE GREATEST ’50s ROCK ‘N’ ROLLER!
VIVE LE ROCK PRESENTS…
The story of London’s toughest and poorest part as told through the eyes of its most iconic band, THE COCKNEY REJECTS. From the bombs that flew in World War II and from the greatest industrial docks the world ever saw, to the formation of the original and best Terrace Band of them all, the battles, living outside the law, the wilderness years of both the band and the area that spawned them, and eventually to the rebirth and transformation of the band into a worldwide cult, this is the rockumentary to beat them all.
Feel the mighty heart that beats to the rhythm of rivet hammers upon a background of claret and blue.
This is East End Babylon!
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Jeff ‘Stinky’ Turner was only 15 when, along with his brother Mick, he crashed onto the nation’s TV screens with his band THE COCKNEY REJECTS and lit a worldwide street punk revolution. After releasing the awesome but modestly titled album ‘Greatest Hits Vol. 1’, followed by a second and third, as well as a run of chart hits, they took a new hard rock direction and it all went a bit pear-shaped, with the band splitting a mere five years later. But it seems you can’t keep a ‘Reject down and next month sees the band out on the road headlining the Concrete Jungle Festival and releasing the rather tasty, brand new album ‘Unforgiven’. Big Cheese caught up with Jeff and Mick at an Irish boozer on Holloway Road to get their story, in their words…
THE (POWER & THE) GLORY DAYS
Jeff: “Me and Mick first formed the band, we blagged the bass player who was going out with me sister. We didn’t have a drummer and we hadn’t even played a gig when Mick went up to see Gary Bushell and told him we were this new band and he liked the name. The next thing Jimmy Pursey (Sham 69 vocalist) was on the phone. We started off big time doing twenty four tracks at Polydor studios after only ever having sung into a little tape recorder. After that we got signed to Small Wonder Records to make our first EP, ‘Flares And Slippers’, which sold fabulously well. We started the band in March ’79, by the end of October ’79 we’d recorded ‘I’m Not A Fool’ (second EP) one Sunday afternoon and in the next two days we had five record companies fighting for our signatures – Warner Bros., Polydor, Decca… I think we was gonna go with Polydor but then EMI stepped in with a big offer. That was it, we was away, signed and we’d only ever played four gigs. I appeared on ‘Top Of The Pops’ at fifteen years old.”
Mick: “The emphasis was on the songwriting and if we wouldn’t have thought it was worth a carrot, we wouldn’t have ever gone for it. We liked what we was hearing obviously, especially the first time we walked into a big mainframe studio like Polydor and listening to what we was capable of. We’d earned this contract and we’re worth our weight, you know?”
Jeff: “There was a lot of bands coming through but we was more influenced by the older, first punk bands like The Ramones, The Clash and all that – still the great ones for me. Even though our sound moved on, Mick’s guitar sound had a sound all of its own. They was good, poppy songs, even though there was shouted lyrics, because we didn’t know anything else, and big choruses. But it all seemed to gel and before we knew it, ‘Volume 1’ (1980) had been made, bang, and we’re into the Top 50, then the Top 30 and we stayed there for weeks and weeks.”
READ A FULL FEATURE ON THE COCKNEY REJECTS IN ISSUE 3, WHICH YOU CAN ORDER HERE
Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers:
Where are they now?
Johnny Thunders was a name as much associated with chaotic punk rock as with hard living and self-destruction. Thunders, who took his moniker from a DC comic book hero known for his luck and ability to wield ‘The Thunderbolt’, was a founding father of proto punk as a guitarist and singer-songwriter. Thunders’ was also an infamous drug user and tangled with the demons of fame and substance abuse. His death in 1991 sparked rumors and speculation regarding the American guitarist’s final hours, only to be further muddled when police hesitated to open any real investigation. Whether an overdose, a premeditated murder or a violent robbery gone wrong, Thunders’ death in a dingy New Orleans hotel room marked the passing of punk’s fiercest icon. But now, 20 years after his passing, what has become of The Heartbreakers?
The Heartbreakers were formed from the ashes of the New York Dolls when Thunders and Jerry Nolan split in 1975. The New York Dolls continued the Florida tour and tried to piece the band together while Thunders and Nolan began to plant the seeds of what would become Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. They picked up free-floating Richard Hell of Television to play bass and sing, though his stint with the band was brief. Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers saw a number of musicians come and go during the tumultuous life of the band and while a few have croaked, some are still kicking and screaming.
Iconic drummer for the New York Dolls, Nolan was at the heart of the band from the beginning. The native New Yorker toured and recorded with The Heartbreakers, including the famous and ill-fated British Anarchy Tour (alongside the likes of The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned). Even as the band began to dissolve, Nolan remained strongly connected to Johnny Thunders as they both went their separate ways musically. He quit after the release of ‘L.A.M.F’ because the album was mixed properly and never sounded how he envisioned, but continued to play with The Heartbreakers as a hired drummer. Nolan was collaborating with singer-songwriter Greg Allen and bassist Chicago Van Earnshaw when he fell ill. Then in 1992, only a few months after Thunders’ death, Nolan was admitted to St. Vincent’s hospital in New York and suffered a stroke. Jerry Nolan then passed away on January 14th, 1992. Thunders and Nolan are both buried in Queens and Nolan’s legacy still lives on, best captured by David Johansen’s famous phrase, ‘Give me one Jerry!’
A man that needs no introduction, Richard Hell joined The Heartbreakers in May 1975 after playing with The Neon Boys (who later became Television). Hell’s time with The Heartbreakers only lasted about a year, until 1976 when he quit and started Richard Hell and The Voidoids (also known as simply the Voidoids). This project was part of the first wave of punk rock and released two studio albums, ‘Blank Generation’ and ‘Destiny Street,’ and is credited for introducing and developing the classic punk rock look. Hell played bass and sang lead vocals for The Voidoids before releasing ‘R.I.P’ (a collection outtakes and unreleased material) in 1984, which marked his retirement. Hell briefly reentered the music world in the early 90s for Dim Stars, a short-lived super group with Thurston Moore and Steven Shelley of Sonic Youth, Gumball’s Don Flemming and Robert Quine of The Voidoids. Hell has also written a number of novels, non-fiction books, poems, essays and drawings that have been published as well as has appeared in several films. Richard Hell is 62 and lives in the East Village with his wife.
Walter ‘Waldo’ Lure joined forces with Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan and Richard Hell in the early stages of The Heartbreakers as a second guitarist and vocalist. Lure was pulled into The Heartbreakers from his earlier band, The Demons, as a result of mutual friends and a shared rehearsal space. Lure performed and recorded with The Heartbreakers and had a major role in songwriting. He went on to work with The Ramones on ‘Subterranean Jungle’ and ‘Too Tough To Die,’ contributing significant guitar work, though he was confined to studio sessions and did not perform with the band live. Walter Lure played with a number of musicians and bands following his career with The Heartbreakers including The Hurricanes, which later became The Heroes. Lure put out some music with a band that he formed called The Waldos in the mid-80s. The Waldos saw a continually rotating line up because a number of members died in quick succession.
Following Richard Hell’s dramatic departure, Billy Rath jumped aboard The Heartbreakers as the replacement bass player. Rumors circulated that Rath was a former gigolo and though he did not have quite the stage presence that Hell did, he was very musically talented and helped hold The Heartbreakers together. Rath also played with many major names like Iggy Pop, Nico, Lenny Kay, The Muggers and Ronnie Spector. He has also put together a project called ‘Billy Rath’s Street Pirates’ and recently toured with UK with The Broken Hearts, alongside Steve Dior.
Photo copyright Ester Segarra
Hugh Gulland talks to Mr. Vive Le Rock himself in the new issue (no. 5), which you can order HERE.
Here’s some extra web-exclusive questions our man put to Prince Charming.
How did it hit you when Malcolm MacLaren ousted you from the original band?
"Well you know I was very upset really, because Malcolm was, you know… that was a necessary thing to happen. I hired him for a couple of weeks, and during this couple of weeks he said ‘look, there’s this album Dirk Wears White Sox, which is very good, but is that the kind of thing you want to do? Do you want to do a cult record?’ I said ‘Not really, I wanna make hit records’, because in my mind when I put Young Parisians out or Zerox out I was aiming for the top slot. He said ‘you’re going the wrong way about it, you’ve got to use what you’ve got which is your lips, your muscles, get it on the cover, get it on the front, and you’ve got to listen to the structure of pop music, rock’n’roll…’ so he gave me a whole very solid history of, not just rock’n’roll, but the construction of things, how to scan, that kind of stuff, and it was immeasurably helpful. During the process of that, by the same token, I wasn’t going to let him take over Adam And The Ants, the idea. It was plainly obvious that he didn’t want Adam And The Ants, he just wanted the guys who were in Adam And The Ants, the rhythm section. He already had the idea for Bow Wow Wow, with Anabella. So in a way, it was painful, but we’re all still pretty good mates, sadly Matthew Ashman has passed away. But I’ve also done a bit of work with Annabella. And Dave Barbarossa came on tour with me in America, (Lee Gouldman) worked on an album I did… so we’ve all come back into the fold. It’s just the way it went. Sometimes you’ve got to have your heart broken, and you kind of move on.
"He was one of the great rock’n’roll managers in the whole of history; that’d be Tom Parker, Epstein, Peter Grant and him. Malcolm was ultimately more intellectual than the other three, which is probably what got him his way, because he wasn’t money orientated. He was very bad with money, Malcolm, he was more one for ideas, and stirring things up, getting a revolt. So that was generally the way he worked, he wasn’t someone who was in it for money, if he was into money, he’d have been like robbing a bank. He wasn’t one for negotiation, he was a very clever guy."
What do you remember of your time with Bazooka Joe – you were headlining at the Pistols’ first gig?
"It was that horrible pub rock era, where, you just couldn’t get a deal, and Bazooka Joe hung about with Ducks Deluxe, Kilburn And The High Roads, Eddie And The Hot Rods, and the best of the lot being Dr Feelgood. I remember at Feelgood gigs seeing John Rotten turn up you know, they were the best of the best, but they were having it hard. The music papers held a lot of influence, so it wasn’t really going for it. It really took the riot at the National, I actually attended that gig, where the Pistols attacked the audience, things changed a bit, and they didn’t know what to do. It was a catalyst really, Malcolm and the Pistols were a catalyst for what was going to happen, and I was lucky to be at the first gig and just dropped tools and got out of doing nostalgic songs and got on with the future, got on with it. I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time!"
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, the three-piece American country blues band from Brown County, Indiana have just played a handful of UK dates before heading onto Europe. They play more than 250 dates per year at venues ranging from bars to festivals and so far they have released seven albums, the most recent is ‘Peyton on Patton’ – a tribute to blues pioneer Charlie Patton available on Side One Dummy Records.
Vive Le Rock digs them so Vive Le Rev!
Here’s their brand new video. Enjoy!
Here’s a sneak peak at just some of what’s in the next issue of Vive Le Rock! It’ll be in shops on November 15th.
SPEAR OF DESTINY
MOTORDAMNED UNTIL DEATH
Old friends MOTORHEAD and THE DAMNED both tour the UK in November. What better time to take a look back at their close ties and short-lived THE DOOMED? Read more about Motorhead, The Damned and The Doomed in the upcoming issue 5 of Vive Le Rock!
It’s actually over thirty years since the unholy alliance first hit the stage. When The Damned, the band that released the UK’s first punk, split from original guitarist Brian James in 1978 the remaining three members – gravedigger turned singer Dave Vanian, bass player Captain Sensible and drummer Rat Scabies – were worried about the legal percussions of using the name they thought lay with James so they adopted their original name for reunion gig. The Doomed were booked in at The Electric Ballroom on Tuesday, September 5, 1978. With Captain Sensible switching from bass to fill Brian James’s shoes on guitar they were left without a bass player so they drafted in Motorhead mainman Lemmy. Lemmy said: "We had about five hours of rehearsal. I learned eleven of their songs, and they learned one of mine, which they wound up fucking up on stage. I shouldn’t have even bothered having them do one of my songs, really."
It was one of the most productive periods in the career of The Damned and their comeback album, Machine Gun Etiquette, was probably their most frenetic and manic offering ever. Lemmy offered his services for more than their comeback gig as well. He ended up on the ‘B’ side of The Damned’s Just Can’t Be Happy Today single, the third seven inch offering from Machine Gun Etiquette. Lemmy said: "We recorded a couple of songs – a version of the Sweet’s ‘Ballroom Blitz’ and a Motorhead tune, ‘Over the Top’.”
So how are both outfits doing thirty years on? Well they both share an uncanny ability to go through a multiple of line-up changes. Only Lemmy remains from the Motorhead that were playing everything louder in the late 1970s. The Damned fare slightly better – Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible remain of the original (though Captain has had a few years off himself). Both bands have had their fair share of ups and downs over the decades but the 2009 tour with support from another enduring rock act, Girlschool, was a big success.
Lemmy sums up what’s on the agenda quite aptly: "Here we are again boys and girls, come and get your fuckin’ head blown off! – in the best possible taste."
It was the last chance to see the Motorhead frontman before he is truly immortalised on the silver screen in 2010 in the shape of ‘Lemmy: The Movie’. Directed/produced by Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski, the film took two years to make and includes feature interviews with friends, peers, and admirers such as Dave Grohl, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Peter Hook of Joy Division/New Order, Dee Snider, Mick Jones of The Clash, Jim Heath of Reverend Horton Heat, Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats, Mike Inez, pro skateboarder Geoff Rowley, pro wrestler Triple H, C.C. Deville of Poison, Fast Eddie Clarke, Johnny Knoxville, Jarvis Cocker, Marky Ramone, former Hawkwind bandmates Dave Brock and Stacia, and Steve Vai.
The Damned’s Captain Sensible is more than happy to have worked with Lemmy once again on their 2009 tour. "He’s the real deal, the absolute antithesis to all that the likes of Simon Cowell stand for. And for that we should all be grateful", says Captain Sensible. "This tour will be a celebration of all things rock ‘n’ roll… pity the poor roadies is all I can say!"
Motorhead tour in November with UK Subs and ANL:
2 Wolverhampton Civic Hall
3 Newcastle City Hall
5 Glasgow Academy
6 Liverpool University Mountford Hall
8 Bristol Colston Hall
11 Norwich UEA
12 London Hammersmith Apollo
14 Plymouth Pavillions
15 Southampton Guildhall
17 Nottingham Royal Centre
18 Manchester Apollo
The Damned tour in November:
9 Bristol Academy 2
10 Birmingham O2 Academy
11 Cambridge Corn Exchange
12 London Roundhouse
13 Brighton East Wing
14 Norwich UEA
15 Nottingham Rock City
17 Newcastle O2 Academy
18 Leeds O2 Academy
19 Manchester Academy
20 Edinburgh Picture House
With Peter Murphy tourin the UK in Early October, Vive Le Rock takes a look at the history of goth pioneers Bauhaus.
Bauhaus, originating in Northampton, England, is considered the original goth-rock band. Using influences from punk, glam rock, and Krautrock paired with Peter Murphy’s dark vocals, they were able to create a gloomy sound that appealed to those music fans that were unsatisfied with the New Wave movement in the early 1980s.
Daniel Ash (guitar), and his friend David J Haskins (bassist), along with Haskins’ little brother, Kevin Haskins (drums) played in various bands during their childhood years. However, most bands wouldn’t last more than one gig. While Ash continued to float from one band to the next, he was continually trying to convince friend Peter Murphy to be in a band with him on the grounds that he felt Murphy had the right ‘look.’ Murphy finally caved, however at first Ash chose against inviting David J into the band, as he wanted the band to be his and under his control. After only a few weeks with Chris Barber as bassist Ash reconsidered and asked David J to join them. Although David J has already committed to touring with another band, he felt playing with friends was top priority and left the other band. The group played their first gig as an unnamed band in Wellingborough on New Year’s Eve 1978.
The band eventually chose the name Bauhaus 1919 in reference to the German art movement of the 1920s as they felt the associations of the movement matched their musical style. In hopes of getting a record deal, an associate of the band, Graham Bentley, recorded a gig and sent it off to record labels, however the attempt was unsuccessful, as many record companies at the time did not have home video equipment. With this knowledge Bauhaus decided the record a demo.
After only six weeks together the band entered the studio to record their five-song demo. One song, ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ was more than nine minutes long and became their debut single off of Small Wonder Records, during this time the band dropped the 1919, and released the track as just Bauhaus. The song did well, getting play on John Peel’s evening show and getting them an invitation to record a session on Peel’s show on 3 January 1980. The band released three more singles, one being ‘Telegram Sam’ originally by T.Rex before releasing their debut record, In the Flat Fields in 1980 off of 4AD record label. Although the album received negative press it topped the indie charts and peaked at 72 on the British pop charts.
Due to Bauhaus’ success they moved to 4AD’s bigger label Beggars Banquet Records to release single ‘Kick in the Eye.’ For their second album, Mask (1981) the band used a variety of different instruments to add a diverse sound and recorded a video for its title track as a promotional tool.
Their following single ‘Spirit’ did not do well on the charts. Upset with the results, the band re-recorded it for the third album, The Sky’s Gone Out (1982). During this time Bauhaus recorded a version of David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust,’ which became their biggest hit and got them onto Top of the Pops. Due to the single the album reached number four on the charts. The attention let to the band’s appearance in horror film The Hunger, where they performed ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ during the opening credits.
Before going into the studio to record their fourth studio record, Burning From the Inside (1983), singer Peter Murphy was taken ill with pneumonia. Not wanting to wait on Murphy, Ash and David J took over the project even doing lead vocals on a few tracks. The album faired well, it’s single, ‘She’s in Parties,’ going to number 26 on the charts. The band embarked on an international tour in support of the album, however one night before a gig at the Hammersmith Palais in London Bauhaus decided to split. The band told the fans to make sure to make it out to the show, not tell anyone that this would be their last. After a set and long encore that included many earlier songs, David J said ‘rest in peace’ as he walked off stage. Burning was released a week later to positive reviews and the band released a limited edition single ‘Sanity Assassin’ as a thank you to all the fans in their fanclub.
After the break-up all members embarked on various projects. While speaking of their respected projects at the time, David J and Ash decided to try to reform Bauhaus. The four members decided to meet up and practice, however Murphy never showed, but the three enthused by the chemistry between the them formed Love and Rockets in 1985 that did well with single ‘So Alive’ in the US, but never made much of an impact in the UK. In 1999 after seven albums the band called it quits.
In 1998, Bauhaus decided to go on a ‘Resurrection Tour’ that included a new track ‘The Dog’s Vapour’ which was included in the soundtrack for film, Heavy Metal 2000. A live album, Gotham (1999) was released following the tour.
Bauhaus returned for the third time in 2005 playing at Coachella, a music festival that takes place in Indio, California. During the performance Murphy was lowered on stage upside down singing the band’s most well known
track ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead.’ The band then embarked on a tour with Nine Inch Nails where they alluded that they hoped to record new music. On tour together until 2006, the band recorded and then released their fifth record, Go Away White in 2008. However, it marked the end of the band as there was no supporting tour and later members referenced an ‘incident’ that was never explained, but clearly led to the end of Bauhaus.
Peter Murphy tours the UK in October:
12 London Garage
13 Bristol O2 Academy 2
14 Glasgow King Tuts
15 Leeds Cockpit
16 Liverpool O2 Academy 2
By Doug Ahlgren
I caught up with the laidback bass player of The Adolescents, Steve Soto, who said the reason his band reformed ten years ago was because of the urging of a friend who wanted to book them at his club. So they got up on stage for a one-off gig and found something unexpected. “I figured there would just be a bunch of guys my age in the audience when we played; a whole nostalgic trip. But there were a lot of kids who showed up and the majority of the crowd was under 20 years old. It was really cool.”
That event seemed to leave an impression on the band as they are still touring constantly and have just released another acclaimed album with no signs of stopping momentum. “Tony (Cadena) and I started the band when we were 16 and we’ll finish it when we feel like it.”
When they were 18 they wrote and recorded their self titled debut album, called “The Blue Album” by most fans because of the cover. That classic Punk album still resonates today with the current crop of young punks. “Our first record was more of a personal thing. A lot of bands that made records in the Reagan-era are stuck with those (political) songs that are dated whereas our first record is more on the personal side of being a teenager so kids can still relate to it today.”
The new album The Fastest Kid Alive is a refreshing breath of air for Punk rock fans who long for the days when Hardcore punk actually packed a punch and had some great songwriting. Most of the songs on the record have a political slant.
“The album goes out to the U.S. army,” Soto joked, “Our apology to the world for bringing our brand of America to South America and the Middle East. The album is kind of just about the U.S. Government imposing their will on the world.”
Steve explains the lyrics behind one of new songs: Jefferson Memorial Dance Revolution. “A woman got arrested for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. It’s things like that the government keeps trying to take our rights to express ourselves. Those things need to be brought attention to our fans.”
Steve and his band mates grew up in a fertile punk scene in Orange County, California that was met with a lot of hostility from their peers. He remembers one event when everything changed from that day forth. “It was Devo Monday: The Monday after Devo played Saturday Night Live was when the beatings really started at school. The jocks realized then what we were listening to, but by that time we had already moved on from bands like Devo to the Clash. I was getting my bike tires slashed just for liking a different kind of music.”
He also realizes how much the mindset has changed toward Punk Rock since then. “When the jocks threw their lunches at our punk friends when they visited us at school, they didn’t realize they were throwing shit at Mike Ness and Dennis Danell of Social Distortion. Those same guys say they like Social Distortion now.”
Nonetheless L.A. in the late 70, early 80s was an exciting place to grow up in as a punk teenager. “We started going to the Starwood in Hollywood. I would have to be pretty creative making up lies to my mom on Tuesday nights to get out of the house to go there. They had all the bands like X, Fear, Black Flag and DOA. Every Tuesday night there were amazing punk rock shows.”
Steve got wiser about the realities of the punk scene as he grew up. It wasn’t all D.I.Y. and pure. “A lot of the older guys who ran the clubs made a lot of money on us and we were unsuspecting kids who were happy when we got 50 bucks each. So when we finally figured out that whole end of the business out you look back and say ‘Oh, man those guys were shysters!’ But they also gave us a place to play and let the Orange County punk scene grow. I don’t think we would’ve gotten to where we did without those guys giving us an opportunity. “
Then Steve explains that he left the punk scene as it got bigger. “I burned out on the Punk violence thing. A gang element was there. A friend of mine got stabbed and I washed my hands of the thing for a while.”
‘The Fastest Kid Alive’ is out now on Concrete Jungle.
Steve Soto will be coming to the UK with the Punk Rock Karaoke tour in November. See below for more details.
DEREK O’BRIEN (Social Distortion, Agent Orange)
STAN LEE (The Dickies)
GREG HETSON (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks)
STEVE SOTO (Adolescents, Agent orange, 22 Jacks)
04th UK GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART STUDENT UNION
05th IR DUBLIN BUTTON FACTORY
06th UK NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY
07th UK LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
08th UK Or Travel Day
10th E. Basque Country tbc
11th E. MADRID GRUTA 77
12th E. BARCELONA ESTRAPERLO
14th Day off
15th I. MILANO LO FI
16th I. BOLOGNA IL COVO
17th CH LUZERN SEDEL
18th A. GLEISDORF KUKE GLEISDORF
20th UK LONDON ISLINGTON O2 ACADEMY 2
The original deal since 1996. We play….YOU sing! Pick a song,we give you the lyrics.We call your name and voila! you are the singer in a punk rock band backed by the finest hand picked side men.
Here is just a flavour of the some of the songs you could be singing:
12XU – WIRE
ALTERNATIVE ULSTER – STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
AMOEBA – ADOLESCENTS
ANARCHY IN THE UK – SEX PISTOLS
ASTRO ZOMBIES – MISFITS
BIKEAGE – DESCENDANTS
BLITZKRIEG BOP – RAMONES
BLOODSTAINS – AGENT ORANGE
BODIES – SEX PISTOLS
BULLET – MISFITS
CALIFORNIA UBER ALLES – DEAD KENNEDYS
CHEERY BOMB – THE RUNAWAYS
EVER FALLEN IN LOVE – BUZZCOCKS
FUCK ARMAGEDDON – BAD RELIGION
GIVE IT BACK – THE DICKIES
I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU – FEAR
I GOT A RIGHT – IGGY POP
I LOVE LIVIN IN THE CITY – FEAR
LOS ANGELES – X
MANNY MOE AND JACK – THE DICKIES
MY WAY – SEX PISTOLS
NERVOUS BREAKDOWN – BLACK FLAG
NEW ROSE – THE DAMNED
OUR LIPS ARE SEALED – THE GO GOS
PAY TO CUM – BAD BRAIN
SEARCH AND DESTROY – IGGY POP
SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER – RAMONES
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT – THE WEIRDOS
SONIC REDUCER – DEAD BOYS
TEENAGE KICKS – THE UNDERTONES
UNCONTROLABLE URGE – DEVO
WHAT DO I GET ? – BUZZCOCKS
WHITE RIOT – THE CLASH
WILD IN THE STREETS – CIRCLE JERKS
plus much much more ……………………..
So, get on your old bondage pants and spike up your hair for the Punk Rock Karaoke event of the year !
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