Listening to Steaming Coils lost masterpiece Breaded–the record, I don’t think it ever came out on CD–and digging Brad Laner’s drums. Way loose, loopy, groovy, just the right pops and splashes, splattery press rolls and punchy bass drum kicked loud under crashing cymbals. It’s all so gloriously unmechanical and organic, and the only other drummer that comes to mind is Jim Capaldi. I have a memory, maybe even true, of telling Brad Laner the Jim Capaldi thing and him saying he was a fan too. Grok. Not many were in those Bonham days. Everyone wanted heavy back then. Not me. I liked loose. That memory would have been at Be Bop records, I think, maybe even at the Breaded release gig. There were few venues then and we’d drive out to the depths of the Valley to stand in the back of a record store and listen to the sounds of the eighties underground. Afterward we’d repair to the biker bar next door and watch hulking Hells Angels play pool as their women tried to start fights. Then we’d hang out on Sherman Way like juvenile delinquents getting stoned with our fellow denizens for the long drive back to Hollywood. Memories. But back to now and I’m listening to the opening cut again. “Carne del Sol” it’s called and I want to know what it says the singers sing. Play it backwards, play it backwards, snare splat, cymbal splash and fade.
This is a hysterical send up of Beat poetry–it was a parody of The Beat Generation spoken word LP–and an homage to Beat poetry at the same time. Trash the things you love. There is no higher compliment. Thus the Pistols annihilated the New York Dolls in “New York” while worshipping them at the same time. It was a punk rock thing. Years later I was at a show heckling my friend’s band because I liked them so much. Glares from the much younger audience. Try playing this one in tune, I yelled. A kid in a leather jacket and a Ramones tee shirt shushed me. Show some respect, he said. Respect? Seriously? This is punk rock, you little fuck. He slunk away. Ah well, times change. People are so nice now. I hate it.
I loved this album and somehow never bought it and it disappeared from the stores quickly. Believe it or not, there was no internet then, and no way to get a record once it was gone from the stores. Life was brutal, cave men like. We lived in holes in the ground and ate meat raw and listened to punk rock. And of all my favorite albums I never owned, this was probably my favoritest.
Any fans of heavy, raw Aussie old school punk rock like X (aka the Australian X), etc, need to check out the cd by the San Francisco trio called the New Lows. Chris Guttmacher on drums. It’s maybe twenty years old with a power trio stripped down all to fuck kinda sound as the defrocked jazz critics say and I have no idea where you can find it besides Blue Bag Records in Cambridge. No, Massachusetts. If punk rock this past twenty years were a clarinet solo then the New Lows would be Pee Wee Russell to everyone else’s Benny Goodman. I’ve been switching off between jazz and the New Lows today, which while probably not healthy, has been bonecrackingly eclectic. In fact, as Joe Henderson just did His Thing, I think I’ll listen to the New Lows and listen to the bones crack again.
My pal Bob Lee went so deep on YouTube he accidentally uncovered one of my favorite ever punk rock records. I had the single at one point but I sold it, since I had it on a comp and needed money for heroin. Now it’s on YouTube. Try scoring heroin with youtube. The internet has wrecked everything.
If I remember these kids were students from Cambridge. Or was that Oxford. Whatever, it’s fraffly good. Now they are all knighted and partying with Sir Mick and Sir Elton won’t even talk to a punter like Keef.
Just saw that Mike Kellie died. He was the drummer for Spooky Tooth and then transitioned to the Only Ones like it was the most natural thing in the world, which I guess it was. Listen to him here, so loose limbed and swinging, fills flying and an almost shambolic explosion of freedom on the drum kit. Don’t be fooled, though, he nails it. His playing just drives this thing ecstatically, and Peter Perrett’s vocals glide over and around it, and when John Perry launches into probably the best guitar solo that the whole scene came up with in 1978, Kellie is urging it on, almost a Jim Gordon thing, and if that ain’t a compliment nothing is.
Here ’tis, all three minutes worth. I’ve only listened to this a thousand times in my life this past 39 years, bopping and air drumming and twitching, never thinking that anybody would ever die.
I remember when Jerry Garcia died and the sidewalk in front of Ben and Jerry’s on Haight Street became a shrine. Candles and crying kids and Friend of the Devil played over and over. A punk rock friend of mine lived next door. After the umpteenth Ripple singalong he couldn’t take it anymore and stormed outside. It’s a fucking ice cream parlor, you idiots! Two hundred red eyed Deadheads looked up at him. It’s OK dude, one said, we’re all upset too, and passed him a joint. He took a hit and relaxed. Someone began singing Friend of Devil. Teary eyed teenage girls asked him if they could stay at his pad. He was a punk rocker in a sea of Deadheads right outside his front door. He fled inside and blasted the U-Men and Mudhoney and the Stooges. Between tracks an endless, droning Sugaree came through the windows. Shake it, shake it, Sugaree they chanted. He finally dozed off as a dozen hippie guitar players on the sidewalk massacred Uncle John’s Band. Sleep was fitful and dreaming. Woke up to teenaged girls knocking on his door. He screamed he wasn’t home.