Tuesday, April 26, 2011

And use soft hygienic Weetabix to dry my tears

Via, but most likely scanned from This Ain't No Disco: The Story of CBGB.


Currently blasting X-Ray Spex live at CBGBs, courtesy of Dangerous Minds.  It's all I can do.  She and her band (Rudi's/Lora's hilariously caterwauling sax is just as crucial as Poly's lyrics and voice) warped my mind for the better like nobody else before or since, and I'm eternally grateful for it.

In other linkage, Peter Moruzzi's America After Dark did a short post about the Peppermint Lounge.  And you can peruse a "Rock and Roll Map of Manhattan" (pointing out the locations of geographical song lyrics, not venues) at Flaming Pablum.

Monday, April 25, 2011

U-G-L-Y, I ain't got no alibi

I found a couple other nice little NYC rock and roll tidbits in Ugly Things # 31, in an article about the 40 Fingers--the New Jersey garage band best known for sharing a bill with the Myddle Class and the Velvet Underground at Summit High School.


UT author Anthony Allen Begnal:  Did you notice any difference in the gigs you were getting once Al [Aronowitz] took you on?
40 Fingers member Wayne Masiello: Once Al started managing us there was a noticeable difference in the gigs we played. We began playing in Manhattan in popular clubs like Scott Muni's Rolling Stone Discotheque, at 304 E. 48th Street.  This was a crazy time for us.  You have to realize we were only 13!  I remember being on stage and the inspector from the Alcoholic Beverages Commission walked in.  We were whisked off stage by Al and brought to a coffee house around the corner where we waited for the inspector to leave and then brought back to finish our set.

Begnal:  Did you guys play much outside of New Jersey? I seem to remember a story about you playing Max's Kansas City in Manhattan.  How was that?
Masiello:  Shortly after the 1965 concert [Summit High show], Al told us he'd booked us in a new club in Manhattan. When we arrived there was a big sign that read "Max's Kansas City" and in the window near the door was a cardboard sign that read "Grand Opening."  We entered the building and were taken to the second floor where there was a large room for us to set up in.  We began to play to a nearly empty room since everyone was still downstairs on the first floor.  Within minutes the crowd began to pour upstairs and people started dancing.  By the time we were halfway into our first set, the room had become so crowded that the people dancing were making the floor bounce.  We were asked to stop playing for a while to keep the floor from collapsing.  During our break it was hard to meet all of the people in the room because it was so crowded.  There were several well-known musicians and celebrities there but the only person I met was Barry "Eve of Destruction" McGuire.  Al once again made us a part of rock and roll history.

This means they could very well have been the first band to ever play at Max's--though I would assume they were just meant to be entertainment for the grand opening of the restaurant, not the inaugural act for the "Upstairs at Max's" venue, the full conception of which was still a few years away.  At any rate, seeing this passage finally motivated me to devour the text in the recent Max's book, just one of many tomes indefinitely stacked in my dauntingly high "to read" pile.   

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Oh those ears


I'm close to four weeks late in hearing it, but dig this short NPR feature on the Vagrants by Ed Ward (thanks to my buddy Efram for the link).  And pick up their Light in the Attic LP--totally worth it even if you've already got the old Great Lost Vagrants Album.

Friday, April 22, 2011

An encounter with Mr. Magoo

A must-read excerpt from the current installment of the always must-readable Binky Philips at the Huffington Post:

One of these locals [in Woodstock] was a guy who ran a dilapidated used bike and repair shop. He was disconcertingly frail and gaunt with a full white beard, greasy black hair, stooped shoulders, a weirdly intense stare, and a ferociously fast tilting-forward manner of walking through the town square. He always looked and seemed about $20 away from being homeless. Everyone called him Esposito. There was something about him that bugged me every time I saw him. Something oddly and mysteriously familiar, a feeling that didn't go away.

One early summer evening in 1989, about 15 minutes before dusk, I was sitting on the back steps of my rented cottage. I was alone and I'll admit it... I was "mellow", having just smoked some strong and dazzling reefer. As I was buzzing and enjoying the quietude and the flowers and trees, watching my two cats romp after insects, there suddenly appeared in the garden a frail and gaunt fellow in work pants and an old white t-shirt walking in a ferociously fast tilting-forward manner through my backyard heading towards Godwin's garage/living quarters. I realized it was that Used Bike Guy and... before I even knew what I was doing, on some weird cosmic auto-pilot, I blurted out...

"Are you Mike Esposito from the Blues Magoos?"

This haggard guy instantly stopped in his tracks, turned and strode up to me, stared intently down at me in an almost accusing and searching way from three feet away, and demanded...

"How did you know that!? How!"

"Oh My God, it is you... You are the lead guitarist of The Blues Magoos! Holy shit, Mike, your band INVENTED Psychedelic music. I was a total British Invasion freak. The Blues Magoos were the only American band I ever really loved back then."

Exposition-digression: In 1965 and '66, when the Blues Magoos were creating truly trippy jams like their legendary version of "Tobacco Road" in clubs in Greenwich Village, the Beatles were still "Rubber Soul"-ing, the Grateful Dead were a frickin' jug band! and, I even clearly remember an article in a British music magazine where Saint Syd Barrett said, "Pink Floyd was a blues band until we heard the Blues Magoos." Yes, the Yardbirds got there first when it came to extended improvs or "rave ups", but, the Magoos expanded the concept geometrically.

Anyway, after an awkward few moments, once he realized I was "okay", Mike lightened up considerably and got really chatty.

"Man, I can't believe you knew who I was... and I can't believe you know that it was us that started all that. I don't care what anyone thinks or says, I know the truth... There were nights at the old Night Owl [the legendary club in the center of Greenwich Village] where John Lennon and George Harrison would be sitting at one table and Mick Jagger and Brian Jones would be at another table and the fuckers would be practically taking notes! I lived it, I know it's the truth. You're right, we got there first."

Go and read the rest here--that's an order!

Pics most likely "borrowed" from fy60smen and hiptoad.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Come on over to my side

I've seen these two pics of the Pleasure Seekers before:



Little did I realize until today, though, that they were taken at Trude Heller's!  A crucial bit of background proof was cropped out of the above photos, but it does appear in the images which illustrate the fantastic interview with Patti Quatro in the current issue of Ugly Things (#31).

I also just found this photo here, with the telltale Trude profile logo behind them.

Looks like the Quatro sisters are in the process of developing a site about their musical history, quatrorock.com.  In the meantime, get your grubby mitts on the new UT, which as usual provides hours of indispensible rock and roll reading...other particular highlights for me include the to-die-for Norton Records Silver Anniversary Story and an interview with Prince Stash Klossowski de Rola.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rocks on, Rocks off...

Just a couple of quickie links:

EV Grieve did a nice post about the Electric Circus, including some cool Getty pics that he beat me to the punch in posting.  Thanks to the ever-vigilant NYCDreamin' for the head's up.

And Rocks Off, perhaps best known for their summer concert cruises (we took one with the Fleshtones a few years ago and are still on their e-mail list after all this time), have just started a series of NYC Rock and Roll Walking Tours.  Here's the schedule and booking page.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Can't sleep, clown will eat me

Just yesterday I was wondering whether this ad foretold of a new use for the Electric Circus site:

My buddy in rock venue blogging Corry suggested it might have been the type of joint where Marilyn Chambers and Andrea True could hone their nightclub acts in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment.  But the mystery was solved in the very next issue I perused, and it turns out I was somewhat correct about its Electric Circus connections.  This one deserves its own post, though only future issues will reveal how successful the venture ultimately was.  9/5/74 "Scenes" column excerpt:

Thursday, April 07, 2011

1974 Ads: Other Venues and Miscellany, Part 4

7/4/74 issue:

7/4/74 "Scenes" column excerpt.

7/11/74 issue:

I remember being terrified when my sister took me to meet him at the Queens Boulevard/Elmhurst location.

7/18/74 issue:

I used to read about that Stick contraption in the guitar magazines.

Centerfold section excerpt.

7/18/74 "Scenes" excerpt--yet another quintessential New York beverage.  I myself preferred their "Cream sody," as my Pops pronounced it.

7/25/74 issue:

7/25/74 "Scenes" column excerpt.

8/1/74 issue:

Did this eventually evolve into Beatlemania?  My sister took me to that too, and thankfully it didn't scare me out of my wits.

8/8/74 issue:
More Atlantic appearances.

8/15/74 issue:

8/15/74 "Scenes" column sidebar.

8/22/74 issue:
Upcoming Atlantic artists' appearances.

What the heck was this--a new use for the old Electric Circus premises?

Excerpt from a fascinating 8/22/74 article on the financial underpinnings of the LSD era.

Note that the Academy of Music is listed here--during daytime hours it still operated as a movie theater.

8/22/74 "Scenes" excerpt.  The last line was cut off--"rock and roll gossip."  Was that history of rock magazines ever completed?  I know Betrock did eventually put out a guidebook to teen mags called Hitsville, but the closest thing I can think of to what's described above is Paul Gorman's In Their Own Write: Adventures in the Music Press

He was that tall character actor with the unforgettably homely mug.  I remember him best as the biology teacher in Fast Times at Ridgemont High but he was in a zillion things.

8/29/74 issue:

A simple yet effective sketch--I think I would have recognized them even if CSNY weren't mentioned at all.

8/29/74 "Scenes" column excerpt.

"Centerfold" section excerpt.  That can't possibly be the same Bamboo club that the Jersey Shore cast alternates with Karma, can it?