Max's Kansas City closed 25 years ago this night. Although Hilly Kristal's CBGB's is more iconic and perhaps better known today, Mickey Ruskin's Max's Kansas City (and its infamous back room) was every bit as important to fostering the punk scene of the late 1970s and early 80s. Located a 213 Park Avenue South, just up the street from historic Union Square, Max's played host to the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, the Ramones, Wayne/Jayne County and the Fast, the New York Dolls, and quite a few others. What's standing there today? Why, the 213 Park Avenue South Deli, of course.
Punk Guitar Heroes - Television's Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd Television, and its guitar pas de deux between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, fit into the punk scene only because they are the ones basically responsible for CBGB becoming a punk rock club. Verlaine convinced Hilly Kristal to let them practice there and play shows, and the rest is history. [more inside]
The Exploding Hearts. The Exploding Hearts were a punk rock / power pop band from Portland, Oregon. The Hearts were generating enormous buzz: their debut album was getting over-the-top rave reviews and the band were regionally famous for their energetic live shows. Sadly, however, three of the band's four members died in a car accident in 2003 on their way home after a gig in San Francisco, thus putting a sudden tragic end to a very promising career. The band drew their influence from early British punk bands like The Undertones, Buzzcocks, The Jam, The Only Ones and Nick Lowe. [more inside]
Something to Hüsker : Bob Mould, Grant Hart and Greg Norton live with Joan Rivers on the Late Show. Also live versions of the Byrds' Eight Miles High, The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill/I Apologize, Pink Turns to Blue, Every Everything, Makes no Sense at All, Ticket to Ride, New Day Rising, These Important Years, Every Everytime, and a video for Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists[NPR segment]. Ted is a soon to be 37 years young punk singer/songwriter who draws his influences from artists like Billy Bragg, Curtis Mayfield and Clash singer Joe Strummer, Ted Leo mixes punk rock with soul, folk and pop melodies. Here is Ted with and without the Pharmacists doing a few tunes: Me and Mia, Kelly Clarkson's Since you Been Gone, Bomb. Repeat. Bomb, Where have all the Rudeboys Gone?, Little Dawn, the Pogues's Dirty Old Town, Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark and Sons of Cain. As he's touring nearly 365 days per year, you can rest assured that he's coming to a venue near you.
Happy 50th Birthday, John Simon Ritchie. Possibly the most famous "musician" to be almost completely unable to play his own instrument, would be 50 years old today, had he lived. Even had he not overdosed in 1978, it's pretty unlikely he would have lived anyway, given his propensity for mayhem.
Charles Peterson Photography [Flash site]. You might recognize Charles's work from the grunge era. His photos of Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Nirvana and were an essential visual accompaniment to the noisy, grinding soundtrack of that era. Charles has moved well past the energetic black and white photos of that earlier period [previously] onto something much different.
That ain't bad for two weeks work and 75,000 pounds. On this day in 1977, after being with the label for just six days, punk pioneers The Sex Pistols were fired from A&M Records due to pressure from other label artists and its Los Angeles head office. 25,000 copies of ‘God Save The Queen’ were pressed and the band made £75,000 ($127,500) from the deal, thus cementing the legend of the Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. Under pressure by Conservative MP Robert Adley among others due to their outrageous behavior - specifically, their notorious performance on ITV Today with Bill Grundy - EMI had dumped the band in January. Also appearing on television with Grundy and the Pistols that day were members of the Bromley Contingent: Siouxsie Sioux and Steve Severin, who later formed Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Do you remember Hüsker Dü? No, not that Husker Du, this one. This site contains one of the most complete collections of guitar tabs I have ever seen for any band. It might even exceed my previous favorite band site, Swervedriver.com, if not in flash, then in content. The owner of the site seems to be more of a Grant Hart fan than a Bob Mould fan, as there are tabs for most of Hart's solo stuff and for Nova Mob, but only a smattering of Mould tunes and none for Sugar. There is also, suprisingly, a tab of the Posies' excellent song (and loving tribute to the Huskers) "Grant Hart".
Another member of the Blank Generation lost. Robert Quine was found dead in his apartment in NYC yesterday, he committed suicide. He was sixty years old and had played with Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Lou Reed, Matthew Sweet, Lloyd Cole, Materia, Brian Eno and others, he also cut an LP with Jody Harris (Escape), and one with Fred Maher (Basic). It has been reported that he was suffering depression brought on by the death of his wife Alice last August. Robert also recorded the Velvet Underground on a hand held cassette deck, the highlights were issued last year as The Quine Tapes a three CD set. Personally, I'll always remember him from the jagged guitar parts from Richard Hell and Voidoids' "Blank Generation", which were the only guitar parts that I ever bothered to learn and faithfully reproduce note for note in the many times my band covered the song. Condolences to those that survive him.
Ten years gone. The unifinished story of Kurt Cobain. Hard to believe that it's been ten years since the unwelcome news was broadcast. As a Cobain contemporary/gen X'er/Seattle musican in the 90s, my own heart is still broken.