Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vintage Soundtrack Ads From Fangoria


So I found some fantastic old Fangoria mags the other day which had some glorious old advertisements for soundtracks in them. I'd thought I'd post them up so everyone can have a look.

They are just brilliant to look at. Most of these range from 1981-1986.

















Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Who Is Peaver1? (My First Interview)



So when you're a collector you find yourself doing sad/exciting things. Things like trawling eBay to see what's selling. This can happen at anytime of the day or night and now in this day and age of smartphones, anywhere as well.

All it is really is a form of digital window shopping. A way of playing "imagine if" or "pretend to spend a grand in  30 minutes"  without having to leave your couch.  When I'm trawling  I'm looking to see whats out there. Looking to see whats newly listed. Looking to see if stuff I want is still waiting for me to save enough money, or seeing if items I already have are fetching a good price online  (you know....if hell freezes over and well you never know, I might be called upon to sell off some stuff to help Satan defrost the lake of fire.)

So its a bit of windowshopping and a bit of stock forecasting and a bit of fun to get a good look at the collectors scene as a whole. Also did I mention I might be a little obsessed?

So it was during one of these 3am eBay digs that I started to see a lot of good titles up for sale and not the usual stuff you see either.  Really good stuff. Really rare stuff. Usually really expensive stuff. And they were all starting bids of $9.99. With $20 postage mind you but as I've been finding out not that far off the mark when ordering stuff overseas. Dropping $30 on one of  these items seemed like a fair cop considering the rarities of these titles. I really wasn't that flush with cash but i placed a few in my "Watch List" and waited to see what happened.



The items all sold really well. About 60 in total. A phenomenal catalogue of titles. Then an amazing thing happened. These same items went up for auction again. Like new ones!! Almost the exact same collection but now with even more amazing things which I never believed I would see.



So i decided I would look up the sellers name and see what else he had on offer. His eBay name was Peaver1. When I clicked on the link for Seller's Items I was astounded. Another 60 titles. All for auction and all starting bids were $9.99. This was incredible. I mean copies of Inseminoid turn up on eBay every once in a while but two in two weeks? From the same seller? This was amazing. I started to speculate about who this Peaver1 was. Was he another collector? Did he own a shop? Did he work at Varese Sarabande? Did he have a magical fountain of records out the back of his house? What on earth was his story?

The second round of records sold really well. Nearly all this time, and some of the really rare ones sold for really great prices. The idea of the bidding price being so low really created a whirlwind of interest among collectors and although many of the rarer items sold for a song they still cost a pretty penny.

But then, a third round went on sale!! Another 60 or more titles and again they were lot of the same ones. My curiosity was totally freaking peaked. Was this a hoax? Could this be real? I've heard of collectors who keep doubles of their items but triples?? This was insane. I had to know more. If I wasn't in a position to splash some money on these items maybe I could find out more about the person selling them?



So I contacted him through eBay and asked if he would agree to a quick interview. Turns out he was more than happy to help and so I drew up a few quick questions and sent them off and here goes....



Name: Peaver1
Age:66
Location Longbeach, California



How big is your collection and do you collect from any specific genre (i.e. soundtracks) or do you collect other kinds?

  My collection is over twenty thousand records. I collect movie soundtracks & TV related lps & 45's w/ picture sleeves; I also collect rock, jazz & soul. I have one of the most complete "TV related" record collections on the west coast.


 How long have you been collecting?

 I've been collecting since the 1960's.


 Do you collect for love or money or both? (by this I mean do you own and run a record store? Or do you just sell records on ebay? Is it business or a hobby or both?) 

 I collect for the enjoyment of collecting. I sell on ebay, but primarily, I'm always looking to add to my collection. 
 .
 What's your most favourite record?


The soundtrack from the film "The Caine Mutiny".



 What's the most valuable record you own?

The Caine Mutiny is valued at about $6,000.00.*


 What's your holy grail? What record(s) have you been looking everywhere for but still elude you?

I'm looking for a movie soundtrack from the 1960's called "Pillow Talk"; It was only given out as a promotional gift at early screenings of the film in the early 1960's. It's jacket is shaped like a sofa pillow. It's a very hard one to find, especially in good condition, because the shape of the jacket caused it to become easily damaged.

Photo courtesy of collectorfrenzy.com



 Throughout your collecting career have you lately noticed an increase on prices for collectible items now that Vinyl is apparently on the comeback? 


 I believe there is definitely more interest in vinyl today than in the past decade. A new generation has discovered the joy and thrill of listening to and finding collectible records to add to their collections. 


So there you go, my first interview with another collector. I hope you guys enjoyed it. So far I've watched some 200 records be sold through Peaver1's eBay shop and more keep coming. They're not to everybody's taste but if you're a Horror Movie Soundtrack Collecting Boffin like myself its truly a wonderful selection of items. I'd love to see the stuff he actually keeps.



*The Cainer Mutiny is a legendary LP. Perhaps the most expensive soundtrack in history to date. Here is the  Wikipedia entry about why....





"The original soundtrack album for The Caine Mutiny was never actually officially released, and hence it is one of the rarest in existence; perhaps a dozen copies survive. RCA Records planned an LP release with musical excerpts on the first side and the complete dialogue of the climactic court-martial scene on side two. But Herman Wouk felt that including this scene was an infringement on his recently opened Broadway play dealing with the court-martial, and he threatened to prohibit Columbia Pictures from making any further adaptations of his work. According to Wouk, "[Columbia head Harry] Cohn looked into the matter, called me back, and said in his tough gravelly voice, 'I've got you beat on the legalities, but I've listened to the record and it's no goddamn good, so I'm yanking it.'"[11] In October 2012 a copy sold on eBay for over $6,000. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/321002330371?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649"

Rekkids of my Youth Part 3



So here we are again, Part 3 of my ongoing rant of rants about records that I grew up with. This time The Shower Scene From Psycho.

A three piece hailing from inner city Melbourne in the early 80s TSSFP brewed up  a whirlwind cacophony of psyched out cover songs and originals. A post-punk tribute to the saccharin overdose of  sugary pop songs of yesteryear pasted together with  tape sampling and home made "tricked out"  children's toys.

Totally fucking cool right?

But the first thing to  grab your attention was the singers voice. WTF? It wasn't uncommon for anyone having not seen them (this blogger included) to exclaim "Who is that girl and how does she sing like that?"

Although it wasn't a girl. It was a guy. Singer Simon Grounds. An insane vocal chameleon who really captured that bubblegum pop sound with  his incredible falsetto.

Here is a clip of their cover to Georgy Girl.  A total winner of a track.



What did I say about that voice right? Amazing.

This was another fave played on my friend Sean's radio show and in the late 90's having moved to Melbourne from Adelaide I found a copy of their EP Exploding Hits at (the now defunct) "The Last Record Store" on Smith Street for $10.

Photo from website Fitzroyalty


There's very little else about them on the web. There's an extensive interview over on Mess and Noise, and a handful of youtube clips.

They're a beautiful and unique gem on the Australian musical landscape and I'm glad I was able to snap them  up when I did . Finally if you want to hear one of TSSFP's crowning achievements then click on over to Grooveshark and listen to their glorious track  The Monster from Exploding Hits.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Greatest Deleted Scene Ever

I've never seen this. This has made my day. A deleted scene from High Fidelity. It is just fantastic. Brilliant. I love Beverly D'Angelo's parting line about the Sex Pistols record.

Just Awesome.

Enjoy.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

So Why Soundtracks?

So it's no secret by now, I fucking love soundtracks.

I've been collecting them for over 20 years and as of last count I own 76. All on vinyl.

A majority of them are horror soundtracks and that seems to be the genre I gravitate towards. I started collecting them a long time ago before their value as collectors items was even an ascertainable notion. A lot of the ones I have are now worth 10 times as much as I paid for them but even as the collectors market has made prices increase again and again I haven't stopped. I keep buying them. I recently spent 58 Euro (just over $80) on an original 1977 pressing of Goblin's Suspiria. 

I'm 40  years old. I'm recently separated.   I'm a Single Dad. Surely it's time to put these things away and get on with growing up. Right? SO why can't I? And why won't I? and why has something that started as a teenage quirk grown into an adult obsession?
With this post I'm gonna try to explain and explore why. I'm going to try and be as honest as I can, acknowledging some of the things I know which are flawed with it and by association flaws in myself. Also why I'm still obsessed even though the flaws are staring me in the face. Maybe I am just looking in the mirror. Oh!which reminds me of another album cover.


Anyway here goes....

1) I'm chasing a high.

Yes I am. If I'm brutally honest with myself I'm like a junkie trying to relive the first time I got high. I mentioned earlier about finding Evil Dead in the early 90s. It was a revelation. Not just the score itself but the iconic look of the poster on the cover. Stephen King's infamous quote "The Most Ferociously Original Horror Film of 1982" emblazoned in yellow font. The score is a perfect mission statement for the film. Experimental and atmospheric the soundtrack grabs influences from earlier horror film scores but then continues on in new directions  creating some great moments of tension and avant garde brilliance. Finding this and discovering its many layered secrets is something I've never really been able to recapture. Some have come close and some have been new favourites in their own right but whenever I see a soundtrack to an iconic horror film I'm secretly hoping it will be the same experience as discovering Joseph Loduca's score so long ago.



2) Soundtracks are the Underdogs Or "The Little Albums That Could"

Whenever you go into a record store do you know where the Soundtrack Section is? Its Usually down the back if at all. Usuaslly two racks at the back. A-L and M-Z.

Rock, Pop, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s, Male Vocal, Female Vocal  they all take up the majority of the buyers choice in the market, but soundtracks are relegated to the corners. In some instances they don't even warrant there own section. This is the most solid indicator of the Film Score's popularity in the music industry. Next to none.

I know that what I collect has an element of uniqueness. I know that it's an obscure little niche. and its these reasons that also fuel my desire to buy and own these relics. I see them as an extension of my personality. I have a taste for the unique and overlooked and I see this as a reflection of myself. I wanna stand out and the way I do it is by saying "Hey I get my musical kicks in places that other people don't even look!!".
In  that way (and here is another sad truth,...are  you sitting down? Here goes?)I'm no different to any other hipster really. Wanting to stand out by reveling in a unique choice that goes against the grain of popularity. I'm not only into bands no-ones heard of, I'm into a genre you don't even see. Forget Akron/Family, I'm into Fabio Frizzi, Screw Margot and the Nukes, have you heard Richard Band? Fuck Neutral Milk Hotel are they anything like Pino Donaggio??





3) I love the thrill of the chase.

Finding something  of value for a fraction of the cost is always a thrill. Buying  a priceless vase at the local thrift shop for a pittance  or finding out the family heirloom gathering dust in the attic is actually worth a small fortune is a common held fantasy for everybody and with record collecting it's no different.

Every collector is on the lookout for their wishlist item. But being able to then find that item for a song is always an exhilarating experience. Although the internet has made this experience even more of a rarity its still known to happen.

Whenever I go into a record shop and I stream over to the Soundtrack section I'm always hoping that special something is there, Maniac, or The Bird With the Crystal Plumage or another mint copy of Phantasm and that the proprietor having never done much trade in Soundtracks has  put a $10 or hell even $20 sticker on there and left it at that. WIN! All those items fetch at least a couple of hundred online.

It still happens.I found my copy of Elvira's Haunted Hits in Melbourne recently for $20. Near Mint. It fetches $120 plus amongst collectors online.

. Same with Dick Jacob's Themes from Horror Movies

A gorgeous record which i also got for $20 but I know can fetch $30 more.

But here is the sad part, I know I'm not really saving $30 or even $100 for that matter. I've still just parted with $40 for two records. It's like my brain has learnt how to trick me into parting with cash because I know the record  has extra value elsewhere. I'm never going to sell it. I'm never going to make  a profit but knowing I could  somehow gives the purchase more significance. Every collector brags about finding that one a-list item for a steal and in a way it's a badge of luck. Its a secret way of saying

 "I found fifty bucks in a shop the other day, it only cost me twenty"

To which someone (perhaps a non-collector friend) might add

"Really? Thats great, what did you spend the extra thirty bucks on?"

"Oh nothing, I had the fifty bucks sealed in a plastic cover and mounted on my wall."

"Oh i see, next to that other twenty? How much was that? Ten bucks?"

"No that cost me eighty. But it's "never-been-spent-money" so its worth more"

I know!! How shit is that? But we're still suckers for  it?? Or at least I am.




4) They are rare and beautiful objects.

So thats something you can't dispute. Records are beautiful. And they look great. And a horror record is a beautiful thing.
Firstly it's big. The artwork is big. You can hold it in both hands. You can look at it while you play the record. You can read it while you play the record. You can even  hear the record while you play the record.
Its the perfect keepsake for a film. you get some iconic poster art, some incredibly beautiful and strange  music and in a lot of cases some great liner notes in regards to the soundtrack process.

Just check out the back cover to Halloween



The entertainment value is threefold; you've got something to look at, something to read and something to listen to. So it all adds up to  cool little  multimedia package. They are the original "Special Features" if you will and unlike a DVD or CD cover you don't even have to squint to read them.

5) The Holy Grail and Serendipity Tax

The last and final factor is what I call The Holy Grail . It's similar to the chase but it works on a different level.  There are things I am aaaaaalllllllwwwwaaayyyysss looking for. Items which if I saw I would grab instantly. Without question and without much thought to budget constraints. The rarity and desirability  (what i call the I want! I want!-factor) of the soundtrack creates a rare once in a lifetime opportunity. Its there, you've crossed paths with it and you aren't ever going to be able to have it so instantaneously if you walk away. Thats why, even if I'm flat broke, or at least on a "no-credit-card-"month, I will still walk into a record store, especially if I haven't been there before just to have a look. I am in there for one purpose and one purpose alone . I am looking for Holy Grails.

Which brings me to another factor about collecting a term which I call Serendipity Tax.This is when you see something for sale and its a little bit more than the fetching price. I've walked away from lots of records because I know I can get it cheaper online. Or I can get it for realtively the same amount online. When you factor in postage a record sent from overseas can equal what you might regularly pay for something at the store.. Or the other factor is that it doesn't hold much interest for me. Take it or leave it I'll grab it if i see it for cheaper. But then along comes  Serendipity Tax. Where patience and common sense (cents) give way to the notion of Having It Now!!!!! For $10 or $20 more you can do away with postage and you can do away with having to wait for 6-8 weeks. It can be yours!! Do you succumb? Do you give in? Fate has bought you into the presence of your beloved. The planets have aligned to bring you here to this moment,. Do you defy the celestial embodiment of the ether and consult the gods of eBay later at home  or sacrifice some fiscal lambs now so you can hold it in your unwieldy little  fist? Do you dare pay the dreaded Serendipity Tax?

 See why sometimes I worry about myself?

So it's a deeply problematic thing this collecting business. Its fun and rewarding and can be good for the soul but when you're up past midnight on eBay watching a bidding war erupt over an item you're not even buying just because you want to see how much it  ends up selling for, you come to realise you could do with a little persepctive.

A friend of mine recently told me that he thought that my collecting was important. That he saw it as a form of preservation for  posterity and in a way I guess he's right, I'm rescuing these items from obscurity. I do feel precious about them. They are rare objects of beauty and they're mine. Sometimes i think of myself as an archivist rather than a collector and in that regard the description fits. Also it rings with more purpose than being labelled an Obsessive and you've got to be happier with that.


Anyway folks thanks for listening, this has been fun  to write, albeit with a lot of truthful soul searching along the way. Thanks for reading. Catch you next time.

Luke



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rekkids of My Youth Part 2 (or AKA How the Yanks Appropriated the Term Grunge and Made It Their Own)

So here we are folks. Welcome back to Part 2 of my nostalgia trip to end all nostalgia trips. Last time I talked about two very important Australian albums. Foot and Mouth "Philosophy of Fossoss" and Black Eye Records Comp "Waste Sausage."

This time I've got another thing which was very much a part of my growing up. Imagine you're 14 years old. You're trying to find out who you are. You're into A-ha, Kenny Loggins, Bananarama and Billy Ocean because, well, everybody else is but while watching top 40 video on a Saturday morning that horrendous shlub John Farnham comes on, with his chart topping You're the Voice bullshit, so you switch it over to the ABC because there's another music type show on there called Beatbox. For those of you who remember this was the youth programming supplement on Aunty. This show has mutated and evolved over the years, other incarnations were the Factory and then REcovery.

This is such a blast from the past and if you watch the REcovery clip (above), yes that is Leigh Wannell the star and co-creator of The Saw films.


But I digress, like a i said, imagine you're 14, Top 40's all you know and then you see this clip.....The Southern Fried Kidneys-Graveyard


Yes. 14 year old mind  BLOWN!

It wasn't til a couple of years later when I was 16 that my post-punk/Alt Rock verve really kicked in and I bought the single for $3.99 at "Underground Music" (yes the shop was literally called that!!) in Rundle Street Adelaide. I loved them, implored everyone to listen to them and adored their swampy fuzzed out tone. It was a new type of rock and the young kids across Australia were calling it Grunge.




That's right. It wasn't all shotguns and heroin and No.1 selling albums back in the day and it was happening here, in our own backyard. IN and around 1986 there was a groundswell of music coming off the east coast of oz that, although it was difficult to define,  was becoming a recognised musical movement that had its own moniker.... Grunge.
SO what happened? How come we haven't gotten our day in the sun for creating an era-defining genre of music? Well... in a way i guess we have and a quick search of the interwebs reveals that it did  originate here but how has it gone overlooked? And why aren't we  staking more of a claim to it?

Well i think i've worked out why.

You see in the late 80s there were some  great Australian bands making a great impact on the scene. King Snake Roost, Cosmic PsychosThe Scientists, Lubricated Goat and Bloodloss
 to name few, were all getting a good name for themselves through extensive touring. Although these bands could all fall under the term of Noise Rock and sound very little like the Grunge we know of today, they were part of an underground scene that was completely overlooked by mainstream music and therefore were really at the whim of their fans as to determine what  style they would be called. Music fanboy-ism hasn't changed much since the late 80s and therefore over genre-fication of bands was rife in the day. A symptom which Metal has fallen under the spell of almost  since its inception.



No no no no no no this isn't post-folk, symphonic-operatic, necro disco metal!!!
It's  pre disco folk-symphonic necro opera metal!!!!

So in short one man's grunge is another man's noise rock and so on and so forth. But how did it get over there??

Well a lot of the aforementioned bands would tour the US quite regularly and low and behold one of the nicest places to go gig while on the west coast was none other than Seattle Washington. With a lively little scene already in place the denizens of Seattle really took to the new Australian sound. Alliances were made, friemdships were formed and local record label Amphetamine Reptile started putting these band's records out there. So when it comes to the term Grunge being taken over by America/Nirvana/Seattle et al it really starts to makes sense. Cosmic Psychos, Lubricated Goat and King Snake Roost were already  part of the Seattle landscape. The term Grunge had no doubt been blathered around a lot already. It was just another way to categorise a lo-fi punk aesthetic which a lot of these bands were all aspiring to,  another way to loosely define the undefinable.


Now (well 1989-1990) enter A & M and  Geffen records. Two labels who went on to sign Soundgarden and Nirvana respectively. Scanning the rock landscape for the "Next Big Thing" they happened upon Seattle and as they say the rest is history. No doubt the word grunge would've been heard somewhere in the mix and alas a genre was born. By the time Nirvana was number one, the term Grunge had taken on a life if its own albeit co-opted by the corporate music industry and the mainstream. We gave it it's name and they gave it worldwide recognition, millions of album sales and baby face mascot of angst in the likes of Kurt Cobain.

I don't know what happened to Southern Fried Kidneys, if anybody knows I'd love to hear  about where they ended up. There are a few clips on Youtube including a long live set in Sydney. This goes to show how unique and exciting they really were..... check out part of the set here.

I found the "Graveyard/Psychedelic Clothes"  7 inch in Melbourne last month and couldn't resist grabbing it. Suffice to say I paid a little over 5 times as much as I paid for it way back when.

Anyway peeps. Part 2 Finito. Lots more to come with "Why on Earth Do I Collect Soundtracks?" and of course Part 3





Saturday, June 8, 2013

Drive in Delirium Volumes 1 & 2

Just a quick swerve left from records for the moment.

I've been watching Drive in Delirium. A stupendous and staggering collection of movie trailers from the B-Grade, Exploitation Era and beyond. Lurid and hilarious these trailers are the best.

There's truth in the old adage "They Don't Make Em Like They Used To"

They have everything. Sleazy sex, bad gore, shit acting, unfeasible plots. And the fonts, such beautiful wondrous titles and fonts. Just check out the trailer.

video

There's a plethora of sneaking under the censors going on here as well. With a  lot of the women here, when savaged by the blood beast, or sub-humanoid or sea weed demon, you'd have a hard time telling if their screaming in terror or screaming in ecstasy and that in fact was how it was done back in the day. You weren't allowed to see a woman writhing in real pleasure on the screen but you can if we veil it under a flimsy veneer of terror and suspense.

Same goes for the Women in Prison Films which  there are plenty of. Whether tied up and whipped by guards or tortured  by Ilsa the Nazi Prison Warden they don't seem to give much protest instead seeming to moan in a state of  pre-orgasmic fever.

The contrast can be jarring, but ultimately hilarious when put in context.

But it's not all Punanis in Prison, there are plenty of other old school gems buried throughout the full 24 hours over 8 discs.
Divided into sections by genre, style or just association (Roger Corman's New World Pictures Studio gets it's own section called New World Nuggets) the sections hold something for everybody.

If you want Blaxploitation there's Bad Muthas, for cannibal lovers there's We're Going To Eat You. For all your "When Animals Attack" needs there's Nature Gone Wild (including some of the classics of the genre- Jaws, Tentacles, Piranha, Grizzly etc)  and Undead and Loving It- for lovers of Vampires and Zombies ,which includes this hilarious and very little seen clip of Romero's Day of the Dead


The sections often end with  films from the late 80s and when they appear side by side  it becomes unmistakably apparent the stylistic debt they owe to these buried treasures of the past.

This is a genre lovers answer to staying up and watching Rage on a saturday night. Clip after clip of Grindhouse campiness and frivolity where if the trailer your watching doesn't grab your fancy the next one might hold something for you and stop you from  going to bed.


Friday, June 7, 2013

We're Stars - When Metal Tried to Save the World

In 1984 the strangely named  Midge Ure and future Michael Hutchence cuckold Bob Geldof wrote a song. A charity song to aid the starving peoples of Ethiopia. That song became "Do They Know Its Christmas" by Band Aid. It became a huge hit,was a million seller and raised a fortune for it's cause.


Across the other side of the Globe, the Americans, not to be out done by anyone!! Period!! had to compose their own charity single . Calling themselves USA for Africa, " We Are The World" was birthed onto the Earth and the Yanks ability to do everything better than everybody else was never questioned again.




But a year later (1986) and a full year after the famine had ended there was another song. A song like no other.
It was a call to arms. A charity single to beat all charity singles. A song that would echo throughout the ages for all eternity. It was We're Stars by Hear'n Aid


OK. Maybe the song wasn't that great.

The song peaked at No. 26 on the UK singles charts. Raised a tidy sum for famine relief. But it's true beauty is in its junk pile  of mixed messages and misguided attempts at being something bigger than the sum of it's parts.

The song did something the other two didn't which was contain both artists from the UK and the US, creating a sort of Allied Forces of Metal in a way and not to be outdone by "USA for Africa"  boasted the inclusion of two Members of Spinal Tap (Michael McKean and Harry Shearer) as opposed to WATW's inclusion of Dan Aykroyd being token comedian of the bunch. 
(My brain does meta-referential loop de loops over the meaning of having these two included in this project. Does this then make it  the first Satirist/Target collaboration  in the history of art? Ever?)

Anyway here is the song



This is a truly magical piece of crap...

Firstly....the lyrics. There's a certain schoolish charm to metal lyrics. Mix 1 part teen angst to 5 parts Lord of the Rings and stir. If you've played Dungeons and Dragons and have a passable understanding of metaphor and simile you can write a metal song. I love this stuff. Lets have a look shall we?

DIO: Who cries for the Children? Iiiiiiiii  dooooooo.

Good start. Every good Metal song starts with a mission statement and this one's no different, although it does begin with a rhetorical question,.... which Dio is happy to answer for himself.

Dave Meniketti (Y&T):
Some time in the night
When you're feeling the cold

Ronnie James Dio:
Take a look at the sky above you 

Ok Ron and Dave I will. If its cold out I'm usually inside where its warm but if I find both those conditions are right. I'll give it a go

Rob Halford (Judas Priest):
Those are faces in the light
If the story were told

Really? I can see faces?  Because I thought it was night. Ok this is geting weird

Ronnie James Dio:
They are calling you, calling you


Really they are? Oh wait the lyrics are about to really hit their  straps

Yeah
We are magic in the night

YOU can almost hear his  hand clench into a fist on that word "nnnniighhtttt"

Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot):
We are shadow, we are light

Woah sounds deep, gimme another hit of that bong man.

Dave Meniketti:
We are forever you and I
  

and then Rob Halford  rides in on a flaming pink dragon with leather gauntlets and jaunty cap with  the chorus!!!

Chorus (vocal lead: Rob Halford):
We're stars
We're stars 


Ok here's where the lyrics really get serious

We can be strong
We are fire and stone


to which Paul Shortino (of Quiet Riot) adds 

And we all want to touch a rainbow

That is pure fucking Metal 101 right there. That kind of lyric is the kind etched into the desk at the back of class. With a compass. Pricked in your own blood. Or someone elses blood. You're a virgin? Even better. Because NO ONE in the history of anything has written lyrics based on the elements before NEVER!! Add pentagrams and upside down crosses to taste.

Geoff Tate (Queensryche):

OK here comes Geoff bringing it back down to earth for a second...

But singers and songs
Will never change it alone
We are calling you, calling you

Don Dokken (Dokken):
We're the beating of a heart
The beginning we're the start

Wow there's that amazing poetry we talked about

Paul Shortino:
Forever we will shine
Yeah

Chorus (vocal leads: Paul Shortino, Don Dokken, Ronnie James Dio, Geoff Tate):
We're stars
We're stars
We're stars
We're stars 

Secondly, here are the guitar solos

Guitar solos:

1st solo: Craig Goldie/Eddie Ojeda
2nd solo: Vivian Campbell/Brad Gillis
3rd solo: Neal Schon/George Lynch
4th solo: Yngwie Malmsteen/Vivian Campbell
5th solo: George Lynch/Carlos Cavazo
6th solo: Brad Gillis/Craig Goldie/Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser

 These solos or solo is  incredible and it goes on  foooooorrrreeeever. Lasting a shit-melting, face-shredding 2 minutes and 50 seconds this thing is ginormous, a lot shorter for the radio edit but the full version (shown above) takes up over fucking 40% OF THE FUCKING SONG.

It goes for as long or longer than most pop songs.

I really can't believe it.

This 24 arm octopus with 12 egos apiece tapping and hammering with testosterone fuelled allegro quickly becomes  the biggest dick-weighing contest in the fucking history of music! They are seconds away from just  pulling their pants down and just beating each other to death with their own guitar-shaped cocks. Metal's excesses are written large in this one guitar solo; every coke-fuelled break up, every bitch fight over artistic differences, every heroin addled  acceptance speech of the genre is boiled down to its very essence in every one of these 62 bars, because it's all about ego and you can't spell Metal without  "ME"!

anyway......and the song continues

Chorus (vocal leads: Dave Meniketti, Eric Bloom, Rob Halford)
We're stars
We're stars
We're stars
We're stars



Ok we're getting the picture, you're stars, we get it

We're stars, yeah
We're stars
We are shadow, we are light
We're stars
We are magic in the night
We're stars, oh yeah
We're stars
We're stars
We are magic in the night
We're stars
We are shadow, we are light



OK yep again I see what you're saying you're all stars yep you're all bright shining stars

We're stars
We're stars
We're stars
We're the magic



OK this is where it's getting weird. Did someone forget to stop writing the song at this point?? You seem to be going over a lot of old ground here.

 We're stars
We're stars
We're the beating of a heart



We're stars
Forever we will shine



OK, I think I follow but can I just ask you? At this point? What has any of this  to do with Starving children in fucking Africa? Oh wait. I get it. (and here dear reader is where we get to the hilarious problem with this song) It really is about ego. It's trying to create a message about helping the less fortunate but it can't help but sound like an impassioned plea for acceptance. Look at us!! Top 40 made a million selling charity single and so can we!! We're going to scream until you find us relevant!!! We really are!!!

Now.... some might say the song is about the collective power of humanity, that  we all burn brightly with the power  to save the world and ourselves. We're in fact all stars burning with warmth like our own Sun, nurturing humanity.

But the problem with most stars is they eventually  implode in on themselves and become black holes sucking everything into them 

This is the celestial equivalent of disappearing up your own arse.

Anyway, I digress, lets get back to the song. Has anything changed since we were here?

We're stars
Nup. Doesn't sound like it
We're stars
Yup I heard you the first time.
We're stars
OK you've said this 26 times so far, are you feeling OK Metal? Is there something you want to talk about? You're starting to sound mighty defensive by going on like this.
We're stars 
Ok i can't talk to you when you're being like this, there's some money on the fridge for famine relief, I'm off to the Century Hotel, The Exploding White Mice are playing. It should be fun, see you round Metal. Buy.

We're Sttaaarrrrrsss!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rekkids of My Youth Part One



So I've been doing this thing of late which I'm not too proud of. I've been doing it a lot lately and I noticed that its something I'm not 100% comfortable with. Before you jump to conclusions it's perfectly natural and everybody does it, especially people of my age and no it's not that!! Get your mind out of the gutter. What I've been doing lately is indulging in a lot of reverent nostalgia. The kind of nostalgia that is wistful, sentimental and above all an incredible waste of time, but somehow it fills the hole. In a way it is a form of wanking. Your initial conclusion dear reader may not just be a bawdy assumption. Its a retro time wank if you will. At times this kind of indulgent self wankery has caused  me to get misty eyed with fond memories of the past, so it is a "retro-time-cry-wank" in the utmost description of the term.

You see when I go "digging" the categories of items I look for seem to fall into 4 basic genres. Soundtracks (Horror, Science Fiction and Cult Film items naturally), Heavy Metal, Obscurities  and High Weirdness (anything with a WTF? factor) and lastly I try and find things that have a bit of personal  history to them. Things that have played an important role in the development of my musical tastes. Items my friends have owned or I once owned and  listened to  but subsequently lost/ had stolen or foolishly sold to someone else.


So I grabbed a  few items last month in Melbourne which have sort of completed a personal musical journey for me. Stuff I found in the racks which made me physically gasp and think "my god, how good to finally own that ....again!!"

Here's a few......

Foot & Mouth-THE PHILOSOPHY OF FOSSOS (1986)


This was a great little find. Foot and Mouth were a band from Melbourne comprised of 5 kids who were no older than 15. Three of the five  members were Josh Silbersher, Sean Greenaway and Matthew Whittle who would go on to become  the legendary underground rock band God

Some of you may have heard their most well known track "My Pal."




The song has been featured in the TV series Underbelly as well as Underground-The Julian Assange Story. When the Tote Hotel closed (albeit temporarily) and a "final gig" was played there the Drones closed their set with "My Pal" with Joel joining them  on stage.

When I was 16 my friend Sean had a radio show on  3D Radio in Adelaide. It was then known as Triple M. FM before the big corporate media buy out of the name in the early 1990s. His show was called "The Subterranean Slaughterhouse Show" and it had a god awful time slot of 3am-6am Thursday Morning. We would catch the last bus down Magill Road on the evening beforehand getting to the station about 11:30pm and go through the record library for 3 1/2  hours compiling our playlist before the show started. This is probably where my existing love for vinyl was reinforced tenfold. This particular album, amongst lots of other hardcore punk and Adelaide Pub rock, was high on the playlist. Especially their cover of the "Hector the Cat" Road Safety Song. Finding this again in Melbourne recently was a total score and it bought back a flood of memories. I had to have it.



Another record which Sean introduced me too was this one


WASTE SAUSAGE- Various (1987)

This album was the bomb. If you were a middle class youth with guttersnipe post punk aspirations (like myself) this was the one to dye or shave your head to. Comprising mostly of what could only be loosely termed as bands (and I  do mean loosely; some of them were only bands long enough to record  for this release and then  never to appear again) it was a slab of vinyl just full to the brim with wit, inventiveness and what can only be described as a generous portion  of "fuck you."

To say that this album is weird is an understatement. It's as weird as it can get, and apart from it's follow up comp,  Leather Donut (1988) there has never been anything released in Australia remotely like it.

A time capsule of rare awesomeness this record documents a unique moment in Australian music where a night out to see some bands might comprise of not only skilled musicianship but also unskilled cabaret, tragic clowning and artistic doggerel happenstance. You might not only see a band but you might also see someone smear themselves in peanut butter while farting into a microphone, all in the name of art. You've got your band, you've got your venue now let's litter the night with whatever fucked up shit we can think of. 

The songs on this are just great. Punkish, loud, strange and hilarious. Bands with  names like The Poofters and Purple Vulture Shit team up to make psychedelic true crime  narratives which sidle up next to childish toilet humour haikus and not to mention a 6 minute long doom laden sludgefest Debbie Gabb by Smack of Jellyfish, which is mostly comprised of reading from someone's angst fuelled  teenage diary. Just check out these lyrics....

Debbie Gabb
Put Shit on me for over 12 months
Made a Liar of Me in front of everybody
About calling Debbie a Slut down the Side of the House

And another time down the shops
Getting into the Escort Panel Van
You Ripped me Off

Her comes Custard Guts
Custard Guts called Debbie a slut down the side of the House
Custard Guts is only interested in having sexual intercourse with Debbie
Custard Guts Put Shit in me for over 12 months


Like I said WTF???

If you've got a spare 8 minutes you don't need back, here it is live

One band from this album went onto national notoriety for their appearance on Andrew Denton's sophomore TV effort Blah Blah Blah on which they performed  their track "In The Raw" completely naked.

They were called Lubricated Goat and I thought they were just completely amazing.

The performance created an absolute outrage even becoming front page news.


Here's the clip  followed by  a hilarious segment from Backchat from back in the day.




So when i was young, if I was ever confused as to whether I was  developing a taste for the experimental this album sealed the deal. Any music if it was loud and abrasive and in your face, I was there. Front and Centre. Was it  guaranteed to upset my parents? Even better!! So, you could imagine my  delight when this album included a track by a band called Thug with the song "Fuck Your Dad

This song pretty much was the centre piece of the album and encapsulates the tone for the whole  record. Thug consisted of Lachlan McLeod, Peter Read and a very young Tex Perkins. Yes that Tex Perkins. Oh how the mighty have.......gone on to great career fulfillment and success.

I found this record in the late 90s in Melbourne over 10 years after its release and I bought it for a modest collector's sum of $20.00 (it was already recognised as quite an artifact) nowadays it's been known to sell on eBay for 5 times that much.  Would I ever sell it? No fucking way. It took me too long to find. Go get your own Lubricated Goat!!!

End of Part One



Coming UP..... Southern Fried Kidneys, Shower Scene From Psycho and Like A Girl I Want You to Keep Coming.