Nailing that quintessential NooYawk rock and roll sound but doing it in the Czech Republic is some feat but New York Junk nailed it. It’s fair to say these cats are vets of the scene and been in the thick of the Bowery scene since its inception back in the ’70s and survived to tell the tail. Getting Tarbeach Records to release the record of seven tunes recorded in the Czech Republic at the tail end of 2019 and mixed pre-pandemic these seven tunes are coming out on red vinyl.
It’s a simple formula. Guitar, Bass and Drums and play from the heart, make it Rock and Roll – sing about what you see and believe in yourself then everything else is gravy. You either have “it” or you don’t. We know whos fakin’ it and who isn’t and on this evidence, you can take the people out of Noo Yawk but you can’t take the Noo Yawk outta the people.
New York Junk have released three previous records starting with ‘Passion of the 10th St Blues’ (2008), ‘Doing Time in New York City’ (2014), and ‘7 Train’ (2018). Their sound is somewhere between Thunders and The Stones with a bit of Lou Reed creeping in on some of the melodies but there are some real gems in here. I love side two from the more aggressive ‘Scared’ with a cool thump on the floor toms and strained vocals it’s fragile yet looking for trouble great opening tune to side two. The albums best track ‘Passion’ with its rather splendid Thunders dripping guitar solo the songs got a tonne of passion and it shines through. They’re not reinventing the wheel here they’re just writing great tunes and relying on what’s pouring out of their hearts and spilling into the grooves of the record. Let’s stay with side two and the title track which is a repetitive riff that’s moving slowly and gently, for the most part, meandering through the cracks of the recording towards the solo sure it’s like a VU moment in time but that’s always going to be cool.
Anyway, Let’s continue as we flip flop back to side one and the opening blast of the ‘Gutter Angels’. Like a poem to the Lower East Side leaning on the Voidoids or something Lou Reed might have penned. ‘She Don’t Care’ could have been borrowed from Walter Lure whilst ‘Walk My Dog’ is some Thunders homage and fairly standard. Closing off side one is ‘Don’t Cry For Me’ which sounds like we’ve just been dropped off in the early ’70s after finding out this time capsule is captained by Sylvain Sylvain and the cabin crew consists of Johansen and Killer Kane. Pure nostalgia done with care and a big smile – whats not to like?
All in all a really enjoyable seven tracks from New York Junk and for anyone who hankers for a slice of that time when giants walked the earth and strutted their stuff. Check it out if you’re smart enough and start ‘Dreamin’.
John William Cummings (October 8, 1948 – September 15, 2004), Professionally known as The Legend – Johnny Ramone. Right-wing Regan supporting Legend, Not something I find myself saying every day. He always or most of the time on TV he came across as a bit of a miserable git to be fair always moaning always complaining but fuck me he was Johnny Ramones and that was the currency for all the above and some in my book. Not the most gifted guitar player by a long chalk but none of that mattered because it was his downstroke genius that fueled the band as much as Joey’s voice or Dee Dees 1-2-3-4. He was a founding member of the band, and remained a member throughout their entire career I’m sure he would have threatened to walk on more than one occasion but he didn’t and from the first chord til the last, he was the man.
He was born in Queens on October 8, 1948, the only child of a construction worker and first met future bandmate Douglas Colvin, (Dee Dee Ramone), while working a job delivering dry cleaning. They would do lunch together and discuss their love of the Stooges and MC5. Together the two went to Manny’s Music in New York City in January 1974, where Johnny famously bought a used blue Mosrite Ventures II guitar for just over $54 his weapon of choice throughout the bands career Mosrite Guitars were cheap and nasty but it seemed like the perfect weapon of choice for the budding musician he remained loyal to the Mosrite throughout his playing days. His arsenal of effects was made up of a tuner and the overdrive of a Marshall head and that’s it, you could say he traveled light but that would be an understatement.
Throughout the bands tenure, there were plenty of disagreements and fallings out which is hardly surprising considering the time spent in each others company whilst on the road but Johnny was responsible for initiating one of the major sources of animosity within the band when he began seeing Linda Daniele (who he later married), she dated Joey before swapping him for the guitarist. Allegedly, this prompted Joey to write songs like “The KKK Took My Baby Away” and “She Belongs To Me”, Though the band remained together for years after this, relations between Johnny and Joey remained strained often hostile and they spent days touring and not even speaking. Years later, when Joey was in the hospital dying of cancer, Johnny refused to telephone him. He later candidly discussed this incident in the film ‘End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones’, saying an attempt at such a reunion would have been futile. He did add that he was depressed for a week after Joey’s death. When pressed, he acknowledged that this was because of the bond forged by the band. In their road manager Monte Melnick’s book about his time with the Ramones, Johnny is quoted saying, “I’m not doing anything without him. I felt that was it. He was my partner. Me and him. I miss that.” a rare moment of tenderness and brotherhood from Johnny.
Johnny was known within the punk rock community as one of its few conservatives and was a staunch supporter of the Republican Party. He made his political affiliation known to the world in 2002 when the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After thanking all who made the honor possible—clad in his trademark T-shirt, ripped blue jeans and leather jacket—he said: “God bless President Bush, and God bless America”, “I think Ronald Reagan was the best President of my lifetime.” there must have been plenty of discussions within the band around the time they released “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” in ’85; With Johnny insisting on a name change, finding the title insulting to Reagan, the others in the band compromised and changed it to “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)” for the American market. Such band politics seem hilarious now looking back because everybody knew it as the UK release title.
His limitations in the six-string department was a closely guarded secret (not) with the likes of Daniel Rey and Walter Lure claiming to have laid plenty of guitar parts down over the years as well as bandmate Tommy. I might be wrong in saying but the only guitar solo he played was on ‘I Can’t Make It on Time’. Johnnys style has been copied by many over the years and was a huge influence on many players who tried to copy his downstroke style.
Before he died Johnny lived in Los Angeles where he spent his dying days and he’s laid to rest in Hollywood Forever Cemetry with an incredible statue to mark his grave. Johnny was diagnosed with prostate cancer and passed at the young age of 55. johnny loved baseball and Elvis
His legacy is being immortalised in The Simpsons. Having a flunko pop character made of you, dozens of books about you and your music, being part of one of musics coolest most iconic images, having one of the best back catalogues by any band ever and even if you think they haven’t The Ramones have had an impact on your life if you ever liked a loud fast rock and roll song chances are there is a tiny piece of the Ramones in it somewhere down the line I guarantee it. Forever being associated with the look the logo the sound and the City of New York.
I’m gonna start this by stating right here right now that the Ramones released seventeen official albums they had three drummers, two bass players just the one guitarist and one frontman. Of the seventeen they had three live albums, a few compilations with the best being ‘Ramones Mania’ vol One and two. The classic ‘It’s Alive’ absolutely peerless as a double album never bettered by anyone anywhere in any genre. The other two were alright, ‘Loco Live’ which was alright and the last hurrah! of ‘We’re Outta Here!’ for the purposes of this article I’m excluding these three because it would seem unfair somewhat as ‘Its Alive’ might well finish top of the pops on the sheer quality of the tracklist and the quality of the performances. Sure I love ‘Get Your Ya Ya’s Out’ and I love ‘All Those Wasted Years’ and to be fair ‘No Sleep Til Hammersmith’ is a bit of a banger and whilst I’m here ‘Live Bootleg’ is pretty good as well and maybe ‘Iggy Live At The channel’ is also faultless but to be fair we’re here to chew the fat over a Ramones top ten maybe live albums, in general, is for another day so… without further ado here’s my Top Ten Ramones Studio Albums…1-2-3-4 Hey Ho Lets Go!
Number Ten – ‘Acid Eaters’ The last spot goes to the band’s covers album. I don’t remember many or any other bands making a record of covers they loved and making them their own. I’m amazed how they even reached a consensus as to what went on the record never mind Brexit Imagine the debate in camp Ramones as to what went on this album. I guess there might be question marks about who plays what on it and even if they had the appetite to compile the record but as a finished body of work I remember being quite excited at hearing The Ramones and how they’d tackle some of these great tunes would they pull it off? Would they have people laughing openly at their attempts at real grown-up cover songs? Well, all that went out the window when the band rattled through the intro of ‘Journey To The Centre Of The Mind’.
Some of the covers were predictable to be fair but the delivery was pretty decent as well. ‘Substitute’ is stright forward and ‘Out Of Time’ is hammed up whilst The CJ sung take of Slades ‘The Shape Of Things To Come’ is a real curveball. No surprise to see the band playing a Jefferson Airplane and Animals songs respectively again fairly standard takes to be fair.
Now ‘7 And 7 Is’ was far livelier and a great version. Joey gives it some in his performance and a really good cover. the Ramones doing Bob Dylan wasn’t something anyone ever envisaged I’d wager but CJ does a good job on bashing this one out. The version of the Seeds ‘Can’t Seem To Make You Mine’ was one I always liked but to compare it to Johnny Thunders is like night and day. Thunders wins by a TKO. Is there an American band who hasn’t covered a song by John Fogerty? A fact for you pop pickers this track has been covered or recorded by 401 bands/artists. A good song done fairly well but lacks imagination. The Troggs ‘Can’t Control Myself’ is one of the best songs on the album and there had to be a surf song on the album they’d already owned the best surf song recorded but this sappy take is a bit of a wheeze. But all in all the potential car crash album didn’t materialize and The Ramones came out on top. It just squeaks into the top ten because of its kitsch appeal and they certainly recorded worse records than this no question about it. Favourite track – ‘Out Of Time’.
Number Nine – ‘Mondo Bizarro‘ There are a few reasons ‘Mondo’ gets in so I’ll outline my case in the defense of this fine record. Point one, Its still the Ramones, point two CJ makes his debut, It had several of the bands best post Dee Dee songs on it. The Ramones were still fun live and they were still better than a lot of bands in the early ’90s. ‘Censorshit’ was one in the eye for the PMRC and whilst a bit behind the curve of tipper bashing and a song that no doubt got under Johnny’s skin but it was a blast across the bow that the Ramones weren’t dead yet.
Dee Dee was still writing songs for the band even though he was long gone and there is no denying that ‘Poison Heart’ is right up there with the best the band has ever had their name credited on and not far behind it is CJ’s ‘Strength To Endure’. Whilst it might get a little stretched in the middle it does come back around and ending with ‘Touring’ is a right toe-tapper and if you’re any sort of fan you’ve sung your socks off to this one. I remember reading a review at the time before I’d heard the record and it claimed the Ramones were finished and it was a lazy record that had no merit but I don’t find it lazy or lacking merit having three excellent songs is enough for that not to be the case and I like ‘I Won’t Let It Happen’. ‘Cabbies On Crack’ is a nice riff and Joeys voice is at its elastic best as he manages to get the lyrics out without taking a breath. I will concede I can do without ‘Heidi Is A Headcase’ to be fair. Favourite track – ‘Poison Heart’
Number Eight- ‘Brain Drain’ I always loved the cover art and I even went to the cinema to see the movie pet cemetery to hear the Ramones play out at the end. I first had this on CD and even now I’m bugged how quiet the mastering is. Way quieter than any other CD in my collection bar none. As for the music the it was the first album recorded with Marky back on the drum stool after six years away. It was also the last album the band did on Sire Records and was maybe the last consistent record they did before the inevitable slide to the end. the constant friction was taking its toll but when ‘I Believe In Miracles’ chimes in it’s like they’ve wound the clock back more than a few years as its a return to the policy of front-loading their record with the best tune.
‘Don’t Bust My Chops’ and the Dee Dee sang ‘Punishment Fit The Crime’ is a great tune and this being three of the opening four songs why wouldn’t you think the boys were back in the saddle? and ‘Palisades Park’ is a banger and could have sat nicely on almost every Ramones album ever. ‘Pet Cemetery’ is a great song and ‘Learn To Listen’ is New York hardcore and Joey growls like a bear and the riff on ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ is quality. I’ll always defend ‘Brain Drain’ there are more than a couple of decent songs on it and Joey was right on form. To close the album that came out in the May of ’89 the Ramones sling ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)’ inspired move and a song that should be on every Now That’s What I Call Christmas’ album but strangely it’s never included, oh well, their loss. Favourite Track – ‘I Beleive In Miracles’
Number Seven- ‘Pleasant Dreams’ The band seemed obsessed about their pursuit to be loved and to have big hit singles and to be part of the mainstream. Forget songs like ‘Outsider’ they always craved to be insiders and part of the establishment and get the kudos other bands were having but always seemed to allude the Ramones. Album number six was time for another stab at the mainstream success they went for 10CC’s Graham Gouldman to bring that pop sheen they felt might propel them up the charts and into peoples hearts.
It’s evident from the opening track ‘We Want The Airwaves’ that the sound was less in your face and with the addition of keyboards it was certainly more polished. Regardless of that the opener is a good tune even if I’m not sure how much of a part Johnny plays on this one. Even the songs that were “Ramones Like” they were certainly toned down and softer like ‘Alls Quiet On The Eastern Front’. It does, however, house the classic ‘KKK Took My Baby Away’. I always loved the Ramones power-pop leanings and even with the outsider’s influence on the sound and (possibly) the songwriting songs like ‘Don’t Go’ might not have been up there as memorable Ramones classics but they were trying to evolve and the harmonies were different yet still it was The Ramones.
Songs like ‘You Sound Like Your Sick’ are just the powers that be letting the kids run feral out the back to keep them on track but alas the straying from what the band did best ultimately flopped and they didn’t have hit after hit after hit but ‘Pleasant Dreams’ did signal a shift in the band as they were trying different things how could you not like ‘Its Not My Place’ and ‘7-11’ they were no brainers for Joey who was always susceptible to leaning towards the 50s style on the melodies. ‘Come On Now’ could easily have been a Blondie song from the keyboard sound to the melody. ‘This Business Is Killing Me’ must have been more closer to home than any of us cared for but the band had a real beef as to why they didn’t have mass acceptance. To end with a slice of great power pop ‘Sitting In My Room’ this experiment ultimately failed and the world didn’t catch up. Favourite Track – ‘KKK Took My Baby Away’.
Number Six- ‘Animal Boy’. Kicking off album number nine with a song written by the drummer might seem brave but on listening to ‘Somebody Put Something In My Drink’ it’s a no brainer as Ritchie showed he could pen a decent tune no doubt about that. It common knowledge that around this time Joey and Johnny weren’t getting on and Dee Dee sided with Joey and Johnny went on record to suggest Joey should go do his solo album and he wouldn’t tour the UK and maybe that tension was reflected in the album but to be fair to Dee Dee he pulled a cat out of the bag on ‘Animal Boy’ as it contained some really strong songs and also featured the six-string work of Walter Lure of the Heartbreakers. The title track is a heads-down Ramones banger. You also have the Dee Dee vocals on the great ‘Love Kills’ his song about Sid & Nancy. I always thought it was one of the bands toughest sounding records with uncompromising tunes like ‘Apeman Hop’ but they did then show their softer side and a cheesy stab at chart success with ‘She Belongs To Me’. There are a few cringy moments that hold the record back like ‘Crummy Stuff’ which might be my least favourite Ramones song ever but let’s not detract from what else is on ‘Animal Boy’.
‘Bonzo goes To Bitburg’ was a minor hit and a real highlight but it was the fact joey only wrote three songs the same as producer Jean Beauvoir. The album was dominated by Dee Dee who closed the record off with the chiming ‘Something To Believe In’. Favourite track – ‘Bonzo Goes To Bitburg’ closely followed by ‘Love Kills’.
Number five- ‘Too Tough to Die’ Marky was gone and Ritchie was now on the drum stool for the first time and what an album to make your debut. Back to writing songs that were harder and dare I say it tougher, certainly less pop smart with the band admitting as much with Joey quoted as saying “We were focused in the same direction, and it made a difference. We knew we needed to get back to the kind of harder material we’d become known for. The pop stuff hadn’t really worked, and we knew we were much better off doing what we did best”. It was now the mid-eighties and the band had almost been at it fo ra decade they were already on the third drummer they failed to make too big a dent in the pop charts so now it was time to knuckle down and write an album for themselves and for the people who just got it and loved them unequivocally.
The title track was the template along with the opener ‘Mama’s Boy’ the band were making an ugly record of tough songs and by the time the wonderful ‘Durango 95’ had finished (I always loved the intro but always wondered why it was in the middle of a record and not at the start) it did however preface the wonderful ‘Wart Hog’ an utter Dee Dee classic the sound of a rabid dog straining at the leash I always loved ‘Wart Hog’ still do. ‘Howling At The Moon’ being the stick out like a sore thumb track in the middle of the record with the keyboards and synth pumping out the rhythm. ‘Human Kind’ and ‘No Go’ were always the dark horses on this record and song I always loved ‘No Go’. It was the Ramones not compromising and doing what they wanted and the big question did Johnny play that solo? Maybe Maybe not its a great record regardless of the constant squabbling within the camp, at last, they seemed to have all been on the same page even if it’s hard to believe that Joey never wanted to include ‘Wart Hog’. Also, anyone who’s ever been to New York and gone to central park must have had a photo taken in the tunnel haven’t they? Or is it just me? Favourite Track – ‘Wart Hog’.
Number Four– The Sophmore album ‘Leave Home‘. More than the debut even now ‘Leve Home’ sounds like a band who found their feet and weren’t mucking about its a bit more business-like and not the sound of four guys chancing it and not sure if they have a bunch of songs that might be decent on ‘Leave Home’ they are a step up in professionalism (cough cough) and whilst they might have felt hell were still getting away with this but we might actually be good at it.
Again the opening salvo of the first four songs on side one are incredible and to us brits it was exotic. what the fuck was burger King? Carbona, not Glue? From ‘Glad To See You Go’ to ‘Oh Oh I Love Her So’ it’s faultless and they’ve even expanded the sound with ‘I Remember You’ and throwing it in so early is brave. Also worth mentioning the band never wrote a song over three minutes until their fourth album -no prog on the Ramones, no sir. Its also the first album that had a song I wasn’t sold on and to be honest playing it back now I’m still not fussed on ‘Suzy Is A Headbanger’. Maybe its the fact its sandwiched between two outstanding songs in ‘Carbona Not Glue’ and the unbelievable ‘Pinhead’.
the thing with @Leave Home’ is that a lot of the songs always sounded so much better live when the tempo was faster. ‘Swallow My Pride’, ‘California Sun’ and ‘Commando’. My favourite songs on the album are ‘Pinhead’ and ‘You’re Gonna Kill That Girl’ and one of their best ever ‘Glad To See You Go’.
Number Three – ‘Rocket To Russia‘. three albums in under eighteen months is an incredible feat and same old same old with the power of hindsight an incredible album with some of the bands most iconic tunes. Its no secret that there are plenty of bands who frontload an album with the strongest songs and this isn’t by chance its something bands (sometimes) take forever and a day deciding on the track running order and quite often it’s important but The Ramones man I’d like to think spent about two minutes deciding or someone did it for them because quite frankly it doesn;t matter because who can possibly decide if an album like ‘Rocket’ should open with the unbelievable ‘Rockaway Beach’ or ‘Sheena Is a Punk Rocker’ or what they settled on the full force wall of sound ‘Cretin Hop’. Again no song over three minutes and before you could even get comfortable ‘Rockaway Beach’ has already been and gone. How the fuck did these kids from Queens write and play a song as good as that? forget the tempo, forget the chorus, forget the drum beat forget those time changes just home in on the melody and the deliveryon the harmonies its one of the best songs ever no doubt about it. Then to come down theres the morning-after hangover of ‘Here Today, Gone tomorrow’. the Stooges could have written ‘I Don’t Care’ (probably did but Dee Dee nicked it) the audacity of a bunch of scruffy herberts just out of high school writing a song of the caliber of ‘Sheena’ should be upsetting but its upsetting that this wasn’t number one for months across the globe. Its a near-perfect slab of rock and Roll with the melody of The Beach Boys mixed with the musicianship of some delinquents is something that needs to be explained. Maybe people have always had cloth ears when it came to what sold and what didn’t.
The lyrics of ‘We’re A Happy Family’ always intrigued me where did the inspiration come from? the album flip-flopped from the melodic bubblegum power pop the band did so well like ‘Ramona’ to the straight-ahead bish bash bosh of the opener. On another day this might be my favourite Ramones record it potentially is the most consistent but it wasn’t the first but on the other hand maybe because it wasn’t the first (or second) it’s remarkable but it has to sit somewhere and that somewhere is number three. Oh, and Tommy said goodbye after this album and took a backseat. Favourite track – ‘Rockaway Beach’
Number Two – Self Titled Debut. ‘The Ramones’ One another day this would be number one and I guess as far as debut albums go there have been plenty that was regarded as a bands best partly down to the fact they had years to write the songs then to follow it up a band generally has less time and so on. But listening back this is pretty faultless for any album the songs are just glorious. Take the handclaps on the Mono Version (audio nerd alert) it sounds like Tommy is there next to you it’s that good. What a powerful thing. The funny thing is listening back to give it a critical ear I find myself just smiling at the sheer quality of the songs and not just the big hitters like the opening three tracks which would go down as one of the strongest opening trio anywhere ever. ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, ‘Beat On The Brat’ and ‘Judy’ are amazing. Being of a certain age maybe I can’t appreciate what an impact this record would have had on a young man when hearing it first but I got into the Ramones on my number one and maybe thats been a big reason as to why thats the case and why I can’t separate that from being objective all these years later and the many thousands of plays these records have had over the years.
I can feel the danger of ’53rd & 3rd’ and what it must have felt like hearing ‘Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue’ sure there are no weak tracks on this record and maybe its the little things that stand out for me now like the gang vocals on ‘Chainsaw’ and hearing Johnny trying to be louder than Joey I’m sure he is, listen to it. Favourite track is probably ‘Judy Is A Punk’ Why? those handclaps and tambourine whilst the Bass and Guitars are raging like fuck it’s such a beautiful thing and probably could never ever be written today by anyone. Favourite Track – ‘Judy Is A Punk’
Number One – ‘End Of The Century’ Might not be everyone’s choice )I’m Aware of that) and one that has made people laugh but it was the album I came in on and therefore my exposure was the four geeks on the cover and I can still remember dropping the needle on dads Marantz turntable and playing it for what seemed like days on end preferring it to food and football and as soon as it finished I’d play it again until I’d fall asleep. No I didn’t really have a clue who Phil Spector was and it wasn’t until years later reading about the wall of sound and the firearms used to get the band to record parts of this amazing album.
‘Do You Remember Rock and Roll’ is my ringtone has been since I had a smartphone and even now I might not pick up because I have to hear a bit more of the song (sorry bout that if I haven’t picked up) then into the Bass drilling down before the acoustic guitar! WTF The Ramones and acoustic guitars? It might have been akin to Dylan ditching the acoustic and horrified fans ditching him when fans heard this but remember I hadn’t been there from the start. ‘Danny Says’ is soppy Joey at his best. They really pulled the band out of their comfort zone and I’ve got this far and not mentioned Johnny’s hair on the cover and their four for three on t-shirts in Walmart to bring then band into the 20th Century with such a bright bold cover. Again featuring the four musicians something I’m sure they insisted on. Its a maligned album with some claims its disjointed -piffle! ‘Chinese Rocks’ is a classic full stop, Don’t care that it’s about copping dope and I don’t care they borrowed Steve Jones tone for ‘The Return Of Jackie And Judy’ the roll on the floor tom is enough for me. Spector might well have been a few sandwiches short of a picnic and his experiment did yield the magnificent opening track and they’d not sounded so brutal as they did on ‘Lets Go’ so much for getting softer and they borrowed the Dead Boys drum roll on this one as well and the Dead Boys were/are awesome so that’s a tick in my book.
Christ, you could play ‘Baby I Love You’ to your girlfriend or your mother and still have street cred with your mates. Joey pulls a blinder on this one by singing from his cotton socks to the tip of his plentiful barnet one of his best vocal performances bar none. It might not have the best Ramones songs on it but as a complete piece of work, I fuckin’ love it! From the fuzzy radio tuning to the fade-out of ‘High-Risk Insurance’ it’s brilliant. It’s full of Ramones hallmarks and noticeable markers but they took a chance with Spector and in my eyes, it paid off. they could have rested on their considerable laurels by now and churned out another Ramones record but they didn’t they expanded the envelope and took a chance All hail my favourite Ramones record. ‘End Of The Fucking Century’ Ave it! Favourite song- ‘Do You Remember Rock And Roll’
So there you have it might not be a perfect summary and I doubt it’ll be your favourite Ten Ramones albums. Maybe if you ask me in a weeks time it might be different. Of the albums that didn’t make it into this particular list I can’t really think of one album that I don’t like. There are songs I’m not too fussed on but overall for a band who spanned many decades and changes in consumer buying habits as well as internal band changes and losing their main song writer survived and every time I had the pleasure of seeing them play they were on form. They looked like the coolest gang and championed being outsiders I loved The Ramones the first time I heard them and love them now. So go play your favourite Ramones song and spread the word – We accept you one of us!
Douglas Glenn Colvin is better known as Dee Dee Ramone (September 18, 1952 – June 5, 2002) Arguably the main songwriter who brought punk rock to the masses, Dee Dee was and is a legend. Wielding his white Fender P well below the recommended belt buckle guideline and known as the guy who counted in every Ramones song ever 1-2-3-4 – Dee Dee had it all.
Initially the band’s lead vocalist, though his (then) inability to sing and play bass at the same time resulted in original drummer Joey Ramone taking over the lead vocalist duties (however, he still sang lead vocals in the band on occasion most notable ‘Wart Hog’). Dee Dee was the band’s bassist and songwriter from 1974 until 1989 when he left to pursue a short-lived career in hip hop music under the name Dee Dee King. He soon returned to his punk roots and released three solo albums featuring brand-new songs, many of which were later recorded by the Ramones. He toured the world playing his new songs, Ramones songs and some old favorites in small clubs, and continued to write songs for the Ramones until 1996 when the band officially called time on the whole circus.
Dee Dee struggled with drug addiction for much of his life, particularly heroin. He began using drugs as a teenager and continued to use for the majority of his adult life. He appeared clean in the early 1990s but began using heroin again sometime later. He died from a heroin overdose on June 5, 2002.
Born in Virgina Dee Dee was the son of a German mother and a father who served in the Military. Which was why Dee Dee found himself in Berlin until 15 then after his parents separated Dee Dee settled in Forest Hills where he first met Johnny And Tommy.
After playing in prog metal bands and getting married in 78 Dee Dee lasted until 1990 married to Vera then he married Barbara who looks over his estate until this day but had to wait until 95 when his divorce was finalised. She blamed drugs and mental illness for the strain on their relationship. During this time Dee Dee found fame (no fortune) after he named the band siting Paul McCarney as the inspiration for Ramone.
Dee Dee wrote about what he knew and where he lived. The Ramones songs are gritty and to the point and whilst one of their most famous songs was first recorded by Johnny Thunders due to Johnny not wanting to play songs about drugs but he later relented. even when he left the band he still wrote songs for them and always remained closely involved even joining in when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame the first year they qualified to be inducted and shortly after Joey had passed away. the tragic decline of the band continued when Dee Dee himself passed away shortly after his appearance where he congratulated himself on his achievements as a Ramone.
He wasn’t only a punk rocker Dee Dee also tried his hand at Rap and became Dee Dee King if you can check out his rap work Tupac or Chuck D he wasn’t. His later years as a recording artist were scattered and chaotic with live records and eps coming out poor quality recordings and little else Dee Dee descended into skin and bones He also wrote a book Memoirs of a Rock and Roll star and tried his hand at acting. Dee Dee had it all yet he had nothing. He was laid to rest in Hollywood not far from his fellow Ramone Johnny however Dee Dee has a more modest stone with the Ramones seal and the words “O.K…I gotta go now.” engraved on the bottom. Dee Dee probably doesn’t get the kudos for his significant part he played in music, ok acting and rapping I’ll concede but as a songwriter, he was one of the best and that’s a fact the amount of songs he wrote is phenomenal although the band credited them evenly it was well known that Dee Dee was the main man and for that alone RPM salutes Douglas Glenn Colvin. May he rest in peace.
Nick Marsh 1962-2015. Most famous for being the voice and guitar player in Flesh For Lulu and later an integral part of Urban Voodoo Machine. After his diagnosis, Marsh documented the early months of his battle with the disease through Facebook. “I didn’t know how else to approach it really,” he told Classic Rock. “I just thought, ‘Here I am.’ Facebook is like an open diary if you want it to be. I just felt like I wanted to do that. I don’t know why now.”
Marsh came to the public attention in 83 when his band Flesh For Lulu crawled out of the legendary Batcave Goth Club. the following year they released their debut album they certainly got noticed and became an underground hit. IT was several years later when they got a big break when ‘I Go Crazy’ was featured in a hit John Hughes movie ‘Some Kind Of Wonderful’ which helped propel the band into the American underground where they did rather well especially with their singles as opposed to their albums. the band broke up in the early ’90s. Marsh went on to form Gigantic in the mid ’90s but that didn’t quite see out the decade which meant Flesh For Lulu was reformed just as the noughties were dawning.
It wasn’t until Marsh found a home as an integral member of Urban Voodoo Machine that he re-emerged no our radar. 2003 was the year and Marsh alongside his commitment to swinging the six string with the Blues punk Bop n Stroll merchants he also found time to record a solo album, ‘A Universe Between Us’, in 2006, revealing a much gentler side of his music, a more introspective sound that created huge soundscapes as big as the sky and quite beautiful songs they were too.
Before his passing, Marsh had been working with his wife, Katharine Blake (formerly of Miranda Sex Garden and The Mediaeval Baebes), under the moniker From the Deep who released the album to much critical acclaim. but finally before his passing, he revived Flesh for Lulu with a new lineup and plans for the future, but those plans were sidelined when he was diagnosed with throat and mouth cancer. After going through radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Marsh – feeling upbeat about his chances for recovery – launched an IndieGoGo campaign to finance the recordings and plans to tour alas that was in 2013 and then in 2015 at the age of 53 Marsh was taken from his loved ones after cancer returned. He leaves behind an impressive, versatile and above all quality legacy that his partner and two daughters can be proud of as future fans will no doubt discover his talents – Nick Marsh Rest In Peace.
This month on RPM we have plenty of awesome albums to review as well as celebrating important players who’ve had an impact on us all.
We’ve put together another playlist championing some of the records we’ve covered or will be covering as well as tipping the hat to some of our brothers who’ve passed away and people we won’t forget and if it makes you go investigate a back catalogue or discover new music then Awesome! that’s our job done. Tell your friends – tell us – buy music and keep Rock and Roll Evil oh and stay sick!
Californian Singer-songwriter Jordan Jones has a record coming out via those good people at Beluga Records (Swe) and Spaghetty Town Records (USA) here is the first track taken from it and if it’s on those two labels then that’s good enough for us.
Whilst there is some fantastic new music coming at you this month we also tip the hat and pay tribute to some of our musical heroes who are no longer with us – the brilliant Nick Marsh, Stiv Bator and Dee Dee Ramone, Ronnie Lane and Roky Ericson who passed this month. Lives well worth celebrating I’m sure you’ll agree. What better way to remember them than to indulge in their music.
Back to new records released one of the best albums to hit the shops in June and a shift of gears from the day job, Duff McKagan released ‘Tenderness’ this month and Ben reviewed it for RPM. Whilst he rightly noted it won’t sell like GnR it’s right up there with the likes of Izzy Stradlin and the JuJu Hounds for quality so we’ve picked the title track to go in our playlist but think you should check out the whole record.
We also carried an interview with Birchy from Black Bombers who of course aren’t on Spotify neither are Gunfire Dance (both would be on our playlist if they were) so we’ve included another band he plays with currently and The Godfathers and their classic ‘Birth School Work Death’.
Back to the newer bands you might not have come across yet and for your listening pleasure, we have the stunning new album from The Sweet Things reviewed on RPM so we include one of the best songs on the album. Coming up we have the review of Dangers Of Love have a listen in our playlist then order the record – you know it makes sense. There is also a choice cut from the Bat! June seems like a good minth to review a few compilation albums so we give you the tribute to Dead Moon out on Ghost Highway Records and it seemed like as good an opportunity to play one of the original tunes so we included Dead Moon ‘Walking On My Grave’. Seeing as this week marks the passing of Stiv Bator and also the release on DVD of the movie ‘Stiv’ we’ve put ‘A Million Miles Away’ in this month.
With the sad news of the passing of Roky Erickson, we thought it would be fitting to include one of our favourite tracks from the guy so ‘If You Have Ghosts’ makes the cut Rest In Peace Roky!
Before we sign off we thought we’d leave you with another banger and one to watch out for. From the Spaghetty Town compilation record, we include RMBLR and their epic tune ‘Next Time’ so until next time go check out some Rock and Roll via our playlist but better than that we hope you discover a new favourite band and go search out the record and support Rock and Roll buy buying off the bands and labels who are keeping Rock and Roll alive. Over and out.
So click the Spotify link give us a follow and spread the word. Maybe we’ve missed someone you think should be making our playlist why not get in touch on social media or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A man who should need no introduction if we lived in a world where people got their just deserts because if that were the case everyone would know who the fuck Jim Jones is but we don’t so here is a chat I had with the frontman and voice and driving force of Jim Jones and the righteous mind. They are about to release a stunning second album and head out on tour to support it. You should check it out and take in a show it’ll be a revelation if your a newcomer and a celebration if you’re familiar. So without further waffle ladies and gents, I give you Mr. Jim Jones…
We’ll, we’ll start off if that’s okay, With the new album. You decided to go down the crowdfunding route. Was it last June? When it was launched. What was the idea behind going down that sort of less traditional route?
Well, it’s less traditional, but I think it’s becoming the way to go with The music industry just changing on so many levels, so fast I mean; you probably can see that you know like venues are disappearing more and more. you know, unless you’re doing something particularly financially rewarding in terms of pop or something like that you know lucrative, if you’re doing music there’s more based in art or something that’s kind of a bit more from the gut There are very few people in the industry that are going to hold the door open for you. you know? You know with the ongoing political backdrop of this austerity nonsense that just keeps rolling on and on your going to see more venues disappear and all that kind of thing and for me it all ties in with that you know. like if you can’t figure out a new business model you’re going to die with the dinosaurs.
We talked about a lot and in the past, you know, we saw some people do, crowdfunding albums in a way just thought like just seems bit you know possibly a bit desperate or something like that but I think we just kind of had an awakening and realized it’s the way forward it’s the you know I mean it ties into me with the name of the album ‘collectiv’ is just really supposed to be reflective of everyone of people getting involved because that’s what I see as an antidote to you know the sort of ongoing crushing punishment that we get from the establishment day after day and their typical kind of call to arms is dividing conquer and you know the only source implanted I can sort of think of to combat that is get together, get together, get involved, and that’s become the sort of the rally cry for me because it is so messy business is a complicated business and the politics of everything and it’s like, it’s very hard, I think, is purposely so. You know, little bit like the law, you know, it’s made to be very kind of, you know, sort of confusing and gray because that just keeps your average working person who doesn’t have time, and everything, it just everyone gets the points I just don’t care I don’t get it and I don’t care you know, and they kind of do care because you know, and they go well, I’d rather put up with the shit than trying to wrap my brain around what’s going on here too confusing and so I think you have to go for life simple solutions and that’s my simple solution is get together get involved.
I think its taking the power back as well, isn’t it? you know, being captain of your own destiny sort of…
Yeah, you’re not waiting for a record label to tell you what you can or can’t do. Absolutely, you know, you just press on. And it’s a no brainer really where it goes to the people that get it already, you certainly don’t have to convince anyone, these are people to kind of, do they see what you’re doing. I like what you’re doing and you’re doing it for them as well as yourself. Anyway, so it kind of it’s like, really like cutting out the bureaucracy. Yeah, and the red tape just as between the artist and the observer, you know, the listener or, I’d like to sort of try and break that wall down even more. I’ve done a lot of live shows, and I have a point of view about it. And my point of view is again, about that thing of being involved is kind of a ceremony of sorts and I think you can really be uplifted if you can give yourself over to it, you know.
And I really feel like in any, any concert even in a huge concert, you know, sort of thousands of people, there is just one person leaves, it will be a different night if they had stayed. And I think everyone has that energy that they bring into the room when they come into the room. And so I guess like the whole record is sort of reflective of that theme , you know, kind of riffing on that whole thing of like, what we can do together and, and with the political climate as it is, at the moment, you know, the backdrop that we’re working against, it just makes sense to, to sort of without trying to ram it down anyone’s throat you know, because no one ever learned anything by being told like you’re a stupid cunt people don’t learn by that. you’ve got to find people that aren’t basing all their ideas on fear and hate Yeah, and that kind of stuff.
We’re kind of encourage people you know, get them to join. Jo Cox, that politician who got stabbed. I found out the guy that did it, he was like, a little bit slower had mental health problems or something like that but he’d been kind of brought into that culture of, you know, kind of like neo-nazi beliefs and you just realize that that’s where we’re going wrong. He should have been brought into a circle of people that showed him, hope and encouragement and made and made him feel part of it rather than fear and hate people or what he is. It kind of might be like an easy sort of solution as to what to do with your time and your boredom but to have that sort of collective power everyone looking out for their neighbour; you don’t need to know who they are but just be aware they’re there.
Great rock and roll thrives when you have such a horrible government’s the same the punk was able to grow out of such adversity.
It’s a very similar climate. Yeah. You got something to kick against
The time you know, the time when you have to go okay, you know, I really don’t want you to put your foot on my neck any longer. It’s time to do something and Rock ‘n’ Roll is what we do.
I think most people most could be capable when things run tlike they do this past few years they think “I want somebody to do it”, like there’s a point where it’s like this is just taking the piss you know, you’ve been granted this power by everybody and you completely abusing it. It’s like an abusive relationship you know and i think people get to the point where they get into a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome yeah where they’re so used to being in a cage that I feel uncomfortable when the door gets opened you know and as I don’t know what to do – like the canary in the cage thing you sort of open the door then what next? It doesn’t fly away it doesn’t really know what to do.
It’s been so familiar with being caged up for so long, anyway, this is a bit long winded but the crowd funding thing seemed to fit with that Yeah, you know, once we start thinking along those lines and like okay what are we doing what are we writing about what are we trying to achieve and because with the industry as it is you know I mean there are several generations now who don’t even know what Rock and Roll is so a lot of people now instead of going to a gig will put on 3d goggles and it’s just it’s not the same you know so it’s kind of like everyone to a certain degree is fighting for survival and yet to come down to that thing of like what you care about and what you want and what what should we be doing at the moment and then you figure out a way to reflect that through your art and creativity yeah and yeah it’s sort of like it feels like a cohesive kind of balances with each other, the idea of collective where people get together again, get involved and the crowdfunding thing so sorry that’s quite a long answer ha ha
No no, we want to hear what’s behind the idea and what makes the band tick. Do find that doing it that way then it if you have a plan of where you’re going to record how long it’s gonna take that, the better the crowdfunding does, the plans change and, you know, sort of enables you to take longer to record?
you know, I think when we first started, we thought what was the minimum we can do this work having never done a crowdfunding thing before. I had no idea how it would work or it would be horrible disaster. And in the end, we got twice as much as we sort of asked that was like, Yeah, great. You know you have this sort of right brief moment of celebration when you know the sort of the deadline finally closes and you go wow, Well, we’ve got this much money and and then you suddenly go like Hang on a minute for every penny you’ve got there there’s somebody expecting a product. Okay time to buckle down and do some work and we had I had most of the ideas for the songs but there was an amount of time that needs to be spent, you know, kind of honing them down and then go – little bit of pressure on you know. Whereas with a label, they’ll go like, Oh, you need a bit more time. Let’s set that release date back a little bit further but this way we kind of we promised people; you promised some or something and you sort of you feel, you know, responsible for that it’s kind of it’s like signing up for something you need to deliver for sure. You know.
With my history I’ve never cancelled a shows.Unless its something pretty serious there was one where the drummer’s mum was rushed to hospital with cancer thats a different thing there but like other than that if you if you book it you do it you kind of you turn up there are people waiting to see you and it’s a responsibility but it’s a pleasure and an honour.
A unique privilege and responsibilities and you have to rise to that.
How much of the album the 10 songs were written? or would you just select the bare bones or ideas and flesh them out then?
I always have you know sort of several ideas kind of bubbling along you know general things that I’m kind of working on and you know you just when it’s time to record you just start going through them one at a time and if one of them doesn’t really work very well. Okay, you just put that to one side, you know, I put it up on on blocks or use it for spare parts or you just leave it to, you know, serve as a project later down the line and then you go into the next idea and when something starts to click, you know, you just kind of feel it, and put all your attention into it. Sort of hone it into something worthwhile. But yeah, I mean, I think everything was pretty new apart from this one song called ‘Out Align’, which was a riff that I was trying to do something with back in the Jim Jones revue on the very last writing session, which is just before the band kind of broke up. Yeah, I had sort of a few ideas that I was working on some of those became stuff that went on the first couple of EP that did we do righteous mind and, and other stuff is still lying around, you know, in the spare Parts room and at one that that main kind of riff from ‘Out Align’ was one that I’ve been working on with that they never really kind of jelled with the band with the Revue. I always kind of liked it thought there was some mileage in it somewhere so let’s go back to it every now and then something happened it finnaly stuck.
How would you say you you write best? Do you come up with the songs yourself or come up with the bare bones like the same with the riff and then you pass around in rehearsal room…
yeah yeah a little bit, a little bit of all things really. some sometimes like a riff that turns into an idea in your head sometimes just knock it about on the guitar and you stumble on something that you like the sound of. Occasionally you know I’ll wake up in the morning with a fully finished tune in my head, I don’t always have all the lyrics like some happen a good chunk of them enough…
Do you write quickly then?
You know sometimes things comes together after being very creative. Sometimes it’s like a real pain and you get a time but yeah sometimes its a real pain. These days I’ve learnt that if you keep trying and it’s not going anywhere I can you put it into the spare parts pile and just let it maybe it’s not brewed enough – leave it for a bit longer and come back to it.
I thought the flow of the new album is exceptionally good. More so than your previous work, you know.
Thank you very much. Well, it’s definitely got a continuity and that it was all recorded in the same period, you know, whereas the first record was done in sort of piecemeal you know, a couple of days here in a couple of days there. You know, sometimes they’ll be months apart.
Occasionally different people playing on stuff. Whereas, this one was like a chunk of stuff I think we recorded 14 songs, and whatever, we did it over this, I don’t know if you remember how hot it was, and because of the soundproofing of where we’re working, we had to have all the doors and windows shut properly to play live and yeah, we would manage to three takes before somebody may have to like sort of open the doors to run outside and breathe for five minutes It was really so hot the range on your forehead was up, you know, and you can you try to belt out a vocal. Yeah, It was very much like Memphis ha ha! I don’t know if there’s a Mississippi feel to the record, but I would say those were the conditions it was like super humid, super hot and yeah, we sort of turned it around fairly quickly. We had to to survive. So pretty much like I think we had a delay of about a month Because the guy who runs the studio, who’s the main engineer that we work with, he had an issue with his mom who lives in Munich was having some treatment for cancer. And it was one of those things where it’s like, you can’t really go without him you know, he’s got to go and, and it’s like you wouldn’t say no about that.
man. You know, we got deadlines that we’ve given our crowdfunding guys that you know, it is what it is. Yeah, I think we just had to put out a newsletter to those folks and let them know to listen, you know, missed a little – a bit of a delay. It looks like it’s it’s not going to be when we originally planned. We were trying to aim for October last year and have everything out. But you know, these things happened along the way and everyone was quite understanding. And we sent out a couple of downloads for people to listening to stuff while they were waiting. Everyone’s been good natured about it.
Is there a song on the album that captures what ‘Collectiv’ is all about or if you had to pick one to play somebody who wasn’t familiar with your band what would you play them?
It’s very hard to sort of sum it up with one track man uh…
I think in the same way that it was cool, ‘collectiv’ is something where we had the idea of picking songs that were quite diverse you know? i think you’ll see that there’s some that are similar in terms of that some are a bit more upbeat and some a bit more kind of, you know, dreamy but even the ones that are dreamy have got like a different flavour to them. I think it was that thing of like representing a bit of a metaphore it’s like everything just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s wrong it’s just you know there’s something else and they can live together.
The ebb and flow of the album works with songs like ‘Meth Church’ then ‘killer brainz’ totally different songs yet they flow into one another and it works perfectly
Yeah, its like an afterglow or something after the intensity so yeah. When I sent out the first mixes to the guys in the band The guy who plays pedal steel and guitar Malcolm’s just messaged back. Saying, Wow, It’s a Sonic feast. So Yeah, I think that describes it really well. Theres certainly a lot going on. But, but at the same time, you know, there is a lot going on. But it’s not studio trickery. There’s a lot of you know musicianship happening , I suppose. Yeah.
Have you been playing much of it in the set live?
Yeah. Well, its sort of hard so far to do the dreamy stuff because it’s more about just being on fire and the energy of the other thing, I think when perhaps further down the line when the circumstances are right. We might even look at doing you know, two sets where we’ll do both. Do all the dreamy stuff and then and then come back on and do the fiery stuff and Four or five of the tunes off the album in the set.
We just did a little run of dates in Spain and yeah they went across really well.
I saw I saw the band when you played Ebbw Vale and saw the Revue plenty of times not knowing what to expect really, you know, is it gonna be more of the same but you know, but with the lap steel and more variety I thought he was better now than the old band. you know?
Thank you. A few people have said that to me. The Revue definitely had its place like smashing you over the head ha ha with that, yeah, there’s just it’s a bit more three dimensional stuff going on now. And I think in terms of like, music that you can listen to, you know, there’s a bit more depth to it, that you can sort of, revisit it, it’s not just driving music, and I mean, even though it works on that level.
Can I ask about the song titles of the new album? for the tracks on the album then the the song title of the sort of don’t give much away. ‘Sex Robot’, ‘Meth Church’ ‘Dark Secrets’ they don’t give much away?
yeah I know yeah I can’t like some of the titles on the records were just informed with how the song sounded. Some like Meth Church’ for instance you know something, funny enough, it’s not what you think it is. Yeah well funny enough like I was I was walking down… that song is unusual and I was on my way to do a benefit, actually doing some cover sngs with Mick Jones you know, from the clash, Yeah, he did a thing down by the West way. And it was a benefit for the Greenfell tower survivors and it was it was quite soon after it happened. So it was kind of in the shadow of this burnt out building that was there but on my way walking down there I remember I went over there on the train and walking down one of the lanes I think I took a wrong turning so finding my way back down there I walked past this building and heard someone just tuning up the guitar on the inside and we just checking you know, they’re just tuning in and and it was started a thing in my mind. That’s what I thought they were going to play, which they didn’t because they were tuning up but it was the beginning it for me it was like oh, that could have been you know that’s just how I hear something and you think it’s going to be this and it isn’t but the thing you thought it was going to be is your idea yeah. Anyway, I sort of made a quick note of what I thought the singing voice and the parts for the thing on just on the on the dictaphone app on my phone and I wanted to give it a title to remember what it was and I looked up and I was next to the Methodist Church so for some sort of short hand I wrote ‘Meth Church’ and then as I was writing the words, you know, the term meth you know, so that actually started to kind of, to leak into the lyrics and the thinking you know. leak into the imagery of the stuff I was talking about. so, yeah, that’s that’s how that one came in to play.
pastors so that’s the Methodist church that was my was my shorthand for well I happen to be standing when an idea came to me
and which like most people think of as I was about a drug den but it’s actually not. you know its about you know these poor people who burned to death and and musical idea happening so while I’m standing in this street in Ladbrooke Grove.
You also got to use one of Keith Richards guitars on thealbum
Alan from Dirty Strangers on his first album had Ronnie and Keith play originally but then they couldn’t release it because the stones legal team saying now you can use that the man because they released their own stuff so it couldn’t clash with Their own stuff. Then several years back Keith gave him this acoustic guitar and it’s the one that he recorded with and wrote so many songs on back in back in the day it’s the guitar that’s on the beginning of ‘street Fighting Man’ and probably on like most of ‘Exile On Main Street’. you can hear it at the beginning of the songs I think it’s the one that’s on ‘Angie’ you know, like loads of history in a lot of history and it probably wrote stuff even earlier before that as well 1964 the guitar is anyway, I knew I wanted some acoustic guitar on the record and I was thinking about I wonder if Alan will lend me the package and I phoned him up and he was he was saying like yeah look I’m rehearsing with my band on Thursday in Shepherds Bush if you want to come over you can grab it and let me know when your done and I’ll get it back. so I’m gonna do that I’ll definitely get a cab home I wont try and go on the bus home with that, and Alan says oh yeah, if anything happens to it you have to give me the deeds to your house and you know like you’re laughing but anyway Can you imagine how much this guitar is worth? So I’m thinking I don’t know if I even wanted to take that much responsibility and I was thinking you know what if one of the cats knocks it over where am I gonna put it? anyway he called me back the next day he said listen I’ve been thinking about it and I spoke to Piere whos Keiths main guitar tech and some other people in the stones organization and they they kind of said to me Look at this is something that this can’t be replaced and yet you know you can’t really calculate that number so lending it out because something always happens. So he said he said he still wanted to be able to let me use it so you can either come down to Redlands where I’m staying at Keiths place and do a little bit of recording there and then take the tapes back you know put them on your album or I can come and visit you at your studio if you just let me know what day and I’ll bring the guitar with me. and then at least if anything happens its my responsibility and not yours and thats so super kind of him and I really would have loved to come down to Redlands yeah it just didn’t make sense because all the backing tracks and stuff the machines were in the studio in East London where we were working so it didn’t make sense to try and bring it down so anyway he came he came into the studio and spend the day and you know I played it on every song ha ha ha it didn’t need it on every one but I’m not missing that opportunity. Ha ha you know you can’t always hear it but trust me it’s there ha ha It was such a beautiful guitar you could strum one chord and it sounded like a hit song it was so nice to play.
it made me wish that I’d had the guitar for a while. Maybe when we were doing the backing tracks you know certain instruments make you play it in a certain kind of way. Every instrument is different. so for next album maybe I ask For the…
It gave the whole thing a sense of occasion.
When does it hit the streets?
The Kickstarter folks will get it a little bit ahead of time and then I’ll release is the eighth of March
We’ve crossed the burning hot coals and now were ready for the thousand yard run up to the tour dates and then the release. We’ve got a Mark Riley session then we’re looking forward to getting out on the road and touring.
what about Doing anything else? You did thee hypnotic boxset and tour?
yeah that was you know I had a bit of time before getting ready to do this album and Beggars got in touch about this project and it just seemed like “Oh, we’re looking at putting out this retrospective thing and it seemed like if we were ever going to get together then we need to stay in touch because like we rarely see each other because you just so busy only seems to be funerals or whatever when we bumped into each other and this was just like the excuse to get together and hang out again. So we did some shows. We got to go out on the road it was a great way to sort of put the icing on the cake yeah let’s go out and you know do some gigs with Mudhoney and to wrap it all up going out with the guys we originally went out with back in the day seeing the guys it was like a school reunion. Yeah,
I watched Danny Garcia’s ‘Stiv’ movie and Ray was interviewed and there was footage of you guys on that day it was Stiv’s birthday party in Paris when you were on the boat.
yeah the start of the film yeah
okay and yeah I remember being on that boat like he really liked me and Ray and took us under his wing I think he had our first single and really liked it and he was living in Paris when we met him and yeah that was really nice to know that. We only hung with him on and off for a couple of years before he died so it was it wasn’t for years and years but it was really sad because he was he was like the first proper will kind of rock and roll you know bonafide lunatic ha ha A legit Rocker. There was a mutual kind of respect and us being so young I couldn’t help admiring him and he was really helpful and really cool with us and he was like showing us footage of Alice Cooper, great clips of early Alice Cooper and this and that you know he was really into and sharing stories about DeeDee and Johnny. We were sort of all ears and yeah, then he died and after the funeral his wife had the request that everyone had to snort some of his ashes. Not everyone did but we did ha ha it wasn’t good ha ha.
On that note, I guess we can thank you for your time Jim its been a pleasure and I look forward to the tour and hopefully the album gets a fantastic resposnse it deserves.
A new documentary on legendary DEAD BOYS frontman STIV BATORS is to get its UK premiere next month.
Born 70 years ago, the charismatic singer was the original embodiment of the self-destructive punk frontman with Cleveland, Ohio’s DEAD BOYS before embarking on a solo career. He went on to team up with members of SHAM 69 in THE WANDERERS. His greatest success came in the mid-80s with THE LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH alongside The Damned founder Brian James, Dave Tregunna from Sham 69 and ex-Barracudas drummer Nicky Turner.
The succinctly-titled Stiv, which features heaps of rare and unseen footage, as well as new interviews with all the major players in the singer’s life, is to receive its UK premiere on 24 March at the Regent Street Cinema, London as part of the Soundscreen Festival, presented in conjunction with Vive Le Rock! The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Danny Garcia.