The Kopek Millionaires – So Alone (Bandcamp Self Release) Gotta love Johny Skullknuckles when he drops a single without fanfare I always think to myself – what a tune! and being a massive fan of Soho Roses and knowing Mr Skull Knuckles this was always going to be a bit of a banger and so it would prove to be. If you haven’t got a clue who or what I’m chundering on about then this is a great time to educate your ears and marvel in a bit of punk rock n roll before it was even a thing. Mixing up the make up of Hanoi Rocks n the Dolls and drinking special brew with the Buzzcocks Soho Roses were a couple of singles and an album then crash and burn in a blaze of glory one last night in the Astoria never to be seen or heard of again. Let Johny and his Kopek Millionaires remind us all of their splendour with this trashy take on their classic ‘So Alone’. Enough waffle from me just clck the link and head over to bandcamp for a blast done exceedingly well.
Johny Skullknuckles – ‘A Face Made For Radio’ (Self Release) If one release wasn’t enough Johny turns in his second offering. ‘A Face Made For Radio’ is four tracks of snotty power-pop-punk rock n roll (and breathe) ‘Turn My Day Into Night’ is a rapid couple of jabs followed by a wild haymaker and if it connects then whamo! you’re done. Its snotty ragged punk rock with melody and a hook. Then he follows it up with something a little punkier ‘Cheap Night Out’ is the sound of a cheap night out great guitar licks around a banging backbeat.
‘Overattached’ is a ’70s agony aunt dedicated to kinda song. Like The Boys meets Buzzcocks with a punchy bass run it’s my pick of the four. then to wrap it up there’s the trashy ‘Cool Christine’ and whilst she might be cool shes not as cool as the tune about her. Keep on Rockin’ Skullknuckles we need more trashy punk n roll in the world and this will tide us over nicely. pick up a copy here
Chuck Prophet – ‘High As Johnny Thunders’ (Yep Roc Records) With a distinguished career in one of the 80s best alt-rock bands Green On Red and a solo career since that’s produced dozens of great songs why would this latest single from Chuck not be on our radar? with his sultry late-night vocals and amazing guitar skills, Prophet sees the first release in two years and is about to hit the road ‘High As Johnny Thunders’ is a mellow laid back affair led by acoustic guitar and strings its a beautiful number and anything singing about the Dolls and Thunders gets a huge thumbs up from me especially when its this good.
Calva Louise – ‘Interlude For The Borderline Unsettled’(Ditto Music) an EP featuring Five tracks that are really three-track because Calva goes old school and does a clean and non clean mix as well as a remix of the lead track ‘Belicoso’ sees the band deliver some of their CyberPunk racket on the public. With a heady mix of dance and breakbeats its a confusing sound it’s not quite the prodigy but the spirit is there. ‘Sleeper’ is more pop noise if there’s such a genre (there is now) this manchester three-piece are causing a stir on mainstream radio stations with a Radio 1 jock hailing their sound as ‘Face Melting’ so not too shabby praise. the band mix it up further with ‘Adelante’ channelling their inner Depeche Mode with a decent slice of electronica. Facebook
The Young Gods – You Gave Me A Name (BUONASERA Productions Sàrl) Available on all digital platforms the Young Gods have been pushing the limits of sound for more than thirty years. They began as pioneers of industrial punk who flirted with surreal cabaret, and as sonic wizards they moved on to shamanize electro/techno music, all the while forging their own unique sound. Some genres for you to explore right there. this release is a trippy slice of experimental rock it comes with a remix of ‘Tear Up The Red Sky’ by Gaspar Narby. Check it out, space cadets.
Jay Allen & the Archcriminals – ‘Beautiful Chaos EP’ (Rum Bar Records) The fact that Jay Allen is truly Neil Diamond’s Cousin isn’t something you hear every day and who are we to argue? but there is where any comparisons might begin and end as Jay rocks with a roots ragged slice of rock and roll maybe had they had Cous Neil singing the BVs that would really have been something. Its a rock solid single is ‘Beautiful Chaos’ and the fact its part of the Rum Bar stable is good enough for me to want to give it a play and some. The second track ‘Big Lie’ is from the same ragged rock n roll that bands Like The Replacements fell outta. Just check em out on their Bandcamp page you might just surprise yourself – Bandcamp
Belladonna – ‘Astronomer Of Life’ (Belladonna Records) The video of Astronomer Of Life is synced to a scene of a pre-existing movie, the last scene of the Russian director Andrej Tarkovsky 70s movie Stalker. It is a one-take-only video, but it has an overwhelming starkness, otherworld-ness and emotional power. That’s what the press release said me I’d say its an acoustic atmospheric number that doesn’t particularly go anywhere and is just kinda’ there. A band for a late-night chill out I’d imagine and maybe not what a singles club is looking for at this time. but we’ll let you be the judge of that
Beat City Tubeworks – ‘Rat Race’ (The Sign) You wanted the best you got the best Beat City Tubeworks channel their inner Kiss meets Imperial State Electric and come up with ‘Rat Race’. Action rockers everywhere will wet their dirty denim when they get down n dirty with ‘Rat Race’ Jönköping Sweden birthed these rockers and they’ve sped along ever since. you know the drill by now it’s 70s Rock mixed with some dirty attitude and this is taken from their soon to be released album ‘I Just Cannot Believe It’s The Incredible…’ which originally came out in 2016 but the Sign Records are rebirthing the beast so check em out. Facebook
Lazybones – Trash Talk (Say Something Records) “That moment when you know you’re about to say something you’ll regret, when you’re right on the edge and you just can’t stop it,” vocalist Candi Underwood explains. this thumping track has boundless energy as the song is driven by that wild fuzzed guitar and the big vocals that spit the lyrics all over the track.
It’s fresh and commercial enough to have wide-reaching appeal and no surprise that Radio has been playing this track Facebook
Cabinet Of Millionaires – ‘Stop The Coup’ (Chocolate Fireguard Records) Politically charged electronica much like Chumbawumba of yesteryear. Cobbled together speeches fro the likes of Corbyn and Jones reciting some of Johnson’s lies and foul-mouthed diatribes that seem to pass the general population by without even a raised eyebrow. Many people say you shouldn’t mix politics with music but we say bollocks to that if it needs saying then say it and Cabinet of Millionaires pull no punches as they say it as it is. With three mixes coming out early December to coincide with the election this should soundtrack everyone old enough to vote as they enter the room to put their cross on the ballot paper. No more austerity and Tory rule We’ll have some of that! Bandcamp
The 1865 – ‘John Browns Gat’ (Mass Appeal) NYC residents kick up a storm with their groove-heavy track. Taken from their forthcoming album ‘Don’t Tread On We’ there’s a tonne of attitude and punk happening here but it’s mixed with something altogether different siting Husker Du and Rage against the machine as influences will probably tell you nothing about where they’re coming from. Maybe not as hard-hitting as some of the other songs on the album its a brief glimpse into what they are about and Honeychild Coleman has a captivating vocal style. Check out ‘Get Out’ for a mash-up of styles in a very listenable sound. The 1865 have something to say so we suggest you listen up!
John Anthony Genzale would have been 67 today. Who knows what really happened at St. Peter House New Orleans I guess we’ll never ever know. What we do know is the former New York Doll and leader of the Heartbreakers was a unique legend who influenced so many and continues to touch the lives of so many through his music HEre at RPM Online we will never forget Johnny Thunders – Happy Birthday Johnny Wherever you might be cheers!
Arthur Harold Kane Jr. Born February 3, 1949 was best known as the bass guitarist for the Legendry New York Dolls. Kane was an integral part of the band until he was kicked out in 1975., Following the departure of Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan.
In 2004, Kane rejoined the surviving Dolls (Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain) to rehearse and play a reunion concert in London, which was the subject of the 2005 documentary New York Doll.
After leaving the Dolls Kane collaborated with Blackie Lawless in Killer Kane, which resulted in the single “Mr. Cool.” Lawless was an old friend from New York City and had replaced Johnny Thunders during the ill-fated Florida tour in 1975.
After the Dolls, Kane was involved in several bands that included: playing bass in the band formed by Sid Vicious, The Idols (with Jerry Nolan), and The Corpse Grinders (with Rick Rivets); and joining Johnny Thunders on a few tours in the 1980s.
In the early 2000s, Kane met filmmaker Greg Whiteley through his work with the Latter-day Saints, and the two became friends. Whiteley commented that all Kane ever talked about was how he wished that he could somehow get the Dolls back together. The idea of doing a film on Kane’s life followed. Coincidentally, in 2004 Morrissey a high-profile fan of the Dolls—offered Kane an opportunity to perform a reunion show with the surviving Dolls (David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain) at the Royal Festival Hall in London as part of his Meltdown Festival.
When Kane called Whiteley to ask for a ride to the pawn shop to retrieve his bass guitar, Whiteley asked if he could bring along a camera. From there Whiteley filmed Kane’s experiences preparing for the reunion, rehearsing with the Dolls in New York, and reconciling with Johansen, culminating in two sold-out shows in London; which for Kane was all a fulfillment of a nearly thirty-year dream. Whiteley’s footage resulted in the 2005 Sundance featured documentary, New York Doll.
On July 13, 2004, just 22 days after the reunion concert, Kane thought that he had caught the flu in London and checked himself into a Los Angeles hospital, complaining of fatigue. He was quickly diagnosed with leukemia and died within two hours. He was 55 years old. Johansen described Kane as “nonjudgmental, bawdy and holy.”
In 2009 Kane’s autobiography was published entitled, I, Doll: Life and Death with the New York Dolls, with the foreword and epilogue written by Barbara Kane.
Kane met Barbara when he was with the Dolls, and they were married in 1977. Although they were separated for many years, their divorce never became finalized. She was interviewed for the New York Doll documentary, portions of which are interspersed within the film’s narrative.
In 2005 the documentary, New York Dolls: All Dolled Up, was released on DVD. The directors, rock photographer Bob Gruen, and his then-wife, Nadya Beck, owned an early video camera and shot many hours of footage of the Dolls in the early 1970s. Edited down to 95 minutes, the black and white film shows the Dolls in different locales, such as backstage or at an airport, and documents several of the Doll’s live performances in New York City and California. Kane appears in some of the footage wearing a plaster cast on his left arm. This was the result of his volatile girlfriend Connie attempting to cut off his thumb so that he would be unable to play bass anymore. In his autobiography, fellow bass player and Dolls fan Dee Dee Ramone mentioned Kane when discussing Connie, whom he himself later dated. Dee Dee and Connie’s similarly violent and tumultuous relationship would inspire the 1977 Ramones song “Glad to See You Go”. Kane passed away on this day in 2004. If you’ve never seen the Documentary then go see it its funny, enlightening, sad yet uplifting. Arthur Killer Kane RPM salutes you. One of the good guys Gone but not Forgotten.
Seeing as we’re at the movies today we indulged in a couple of releases firstly the Cleopatra double of Johnny Thunders ‘Madrid Memory’ that’s a special edition audio Cd and DVD is taken from when Johnny played Spain in 94 at La Edad De Oro with his band of capable players Sylvain, Rath, and Nolan (not a bad bunch to have playing with you I’m sure you’ll agree)
Firstly this seventeen track show isn’t surround sound crystal clear quality some might expect and the mix right from the start goes from bootleg quality to poor desk mix as Raths bass thumps through the mix on pipeline maybe its an idea to get in the mood first by downing a bottle of jager and jumpin’ up and down just for old times sake.
Right sorted, we can begin. slamming into a chaotic ‘Personality Crisis’ the mix doesn’t improve much but that was always part of the reason we got into this pirate Rock and Roll and then thunders vocals booms into the mix over the skin tight beat of Nolan who really was the glue that held it all together and I guess Thunders knew that – as out of it he might have got Jerry always held it together and it was always a credible sound coming from the band Rath and Nolan were a formidable rhythm section and by the time they ripped into ‘Junkie Business’ they were firing on all cylinders. Hearing Johnnys guitar wail out of tune might be funny now and quite endearing looking back but fuck me Johnny sort it out fella.
The set is excellent and the inclusion of Sylvains ’14th Street Beat’ is most welcome. Having three Dolls playing or three Heartbreakers, either way, it still excites me and my God I wish I paid more attention to what was happening in front of me at the time and I had taken more notice when seeing these guys play all those years ago. When this band were in sync they were breathtaking and when they were a little sloppy (cough cough) (‘Don’t Mess With Cupid’) they were exhilarating and the air of danger was evident – real Rock and Roll played by real Rock and Rollers God I miss them.
To finish off there are four tracks of Johnny playing with an unnamed flamenco player and rehearsals were clearly not on the agenda and the car crash makes me smile unlike the amount of reverb Johnny has on his vocal ‘Eve Of Destruction’ makes this worth buying on its own. Not just for the shambles but when Johnny’s voice cracks its hilarious and Johnny acknowledging that it can only get better shows he wasn’t a total fuck up – God bless him. things do improve (slightly) for ‘Diary Of A Lover’ I emphasize Slightly. as for the echo on the closer ‘Memory’ maybe it’s not reverb and Johnny has left the building. God loves a trier and trying with flamenco was admirable one of the weirder recording no question about that. Completists will be all over this – the curious will also check it out. Like or loath all the posthumous releases at times they are bloody good and this is no exception. As for the video, the intro being left in shows its age with the presenter yapping for four minutes whilst the camera roams the room it’s a bit weird.
As for the video performance Man, this line up would have been something had they gotten into the studio and Jerry looks dashing in his hat bullfighting get up as does Johnny. So the picture quality isn’t 4K but who’d want to see what Syl is wearing in 4K anyway it looks like he just left his painting and decorating crew round the corner whilst he held down this moonlighting job with his old pals. Listen it is what it is and considering its been saved from a mid 80s tv recording in Spain I’ll take it every day of the week. Bollocks to smooth transitions between the songs when Rock and Rollers looked this cool even when they were off their tits isn’t something everyone could do. God bless the three Heartbreakers here for they inherited the earth or something like that. I hope they keep uncovering shit like this for the next twenty years I’ll never ever get tired of it – Just buy it!
Room 37 the Mysterious Death Of Johnny Thunders (MVD Visual) We all know what happened but really nobody knows what happened. Well, Johnny knew but he can’t say.
The movie begins with ‘Alone In A Crowd’ blasting as Johnny turns up saddlebags n all wandering into St Peters Guest House room 37. The film portrays Johnny as a shaking jittering jaundice junkie on his last legs. whilst he’s talking business with Sylvain on the blower then taking his medicine. the bar band is none other than Kevin Preston then playing on the jukebox is Walter Lure wow it’s making me smile as I nerd out. Johnny telling his own story about why he was in New Orleans stressing he’s clean then getting up to play ‘Born To Lose’ yeah right. The collapse n all that follows is weird and about to get a whole lot weirder. Leo Ramsey does a decent enough job as Johnny but how accurate this is we’ll never know.
Johnny looks unwell from either the comedown or leukemia (most probably both) we’ll never get the truth the Police fucked that up in their investigation but the shamanic beast that follows Johnny through his jibbering last days is hard as is his wheezing sweating shaking demise. It’s sad to see and for a fan, a massive fan to think he spent his last days alone suffering in pain and traumatized and when he was robbed it’s tough to take. I believe Johnny had good intentions when he went to New Orleans and knew he was ill. Johnny took the secrets to his grave of what happened in his final days/hours sadly we’ll never know the truth – the whole truth and whilst films like this keep the memory of Johnny alive for us its far fetched and a sad dramatisation of his last days.
The throw away comments like too much junkie business’ are a bit cringy when he’s trying to buy some methadone in his dreams it portrays well his state of mind and how troubled he might have been the studio hallucinations are disturbing and quite a good horror jump scare. The vomiting isn’t nice and the tone is dark as fuck as he vanishes down that wormhole inside the hospital those scenes are disturbed. All I can think of is poor Johnny I just wanted to hug the guy. I still find myself thinking he was way too young and illness or not he went way too young and in such tragic circumstances.
The film seemed keen to push the leukemia angle and Johnny carries himself around on pure momentum and a will not to die rather than being able to move and walk normally. It’s certainly a trip of a movie at times really hard viewing it doesn’t really offer much in a way of explaining what really happened just gives a very dark drug-addled view as to what could have happened. Poor Johnny I miss the guy’s music but felt after watching this that I’d rather he was still alive and well more than anything. His friend Iris is the main character who spent time with him before his death before his horrible tragic death. This isn’t a film to put a smile across your face that’s for sure, you won’t remember him because of his music if this were your introduction to the world of JT – Me I’d take Looking For Johnny and remember his fantastic musical legacy. No matter how he finally passed away New Orleans was his resting place and a dark horror flick that passes for entertainment makes me sad, poor Johnny he never got the justice he deserved. I’m not even sure I enjoyed the film perhaps I’ll watch it again when it doesn’t leave me so cold.
One of the albums of the year gets a re-press on Blood Red vinyl for those who missed out on the initial press. RPM reviewed it Here and we urge you not to sit on your hands a second time as this will sell out as the first run did. Go Go Go! Alvin says, “For all you vinyl junkies that missed out on obtaining my solo album ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ on 12 inch vinyl earlier this year due the initial 300 being sold out in short order, Time & Matter Records have manufactured a new batch of 300, this time on blood-red vinyl and minus the accompanying CD and download code. This release will, therefore, be sold at the lesser price of £17 (the first pressing was priced at £22) and can be ordered from this Here”
It features twelve songs written by yours truly and an array of very talented guest musicians that reads like this: Brian James – The Damned / Lords Of The New Church; Leigh Heggarty – Ruts DC; Mick Rossi – Slaughter & The Dogs; James Stevenson – Generation X / Chelsea / The Cult / The Alarm; Barry ‘Barrington’ Francis – The Saints; Timo Kaltio – Johnny Thunders band/Hanoi Rocks / Cheap ‘N’ Nasty; Mel Wesson – Keyboard player & Ambient music designer – TV Smith’s Explorers/The Verve ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ / U.K. Subs ‘Diminished Responsibility’ LP / Films Mission Impossible 2, Batman Begins, Hannibal etc; Steve Crittall – The Godfathers; Jamie Oliver – U.K. Subs.
“I would advise interested parties to get their orders in sharp to avoid what occurred last time, which was a lot of people missing out due to the speed that the original batch sold at. In fact it was due to so many people voicing their disappointment at not being able to get a vinyl copy in time that persuaded T & M Records to go with this colour-altered second run. For those of you that are not so disposed to a bit of vinyl, there is also a CD version of the album available from the same link. Ta! A x”
John Anthony Genzale (July 15, 1952 – April 23, 1991) Otherwise known as the legend that was Johnny Thunders. What could possibly be said that hasn’t already been said. He was the lead guitarist in the New York Dolls. He fronted possibly the finest of all American ’77 punk bands and went on to have varying degrees of success in his own rite with some amazing backing bands and releasing some of the best records ever from any decade. ‘Que Sera Sera’, ‘Hurt Me’, ‘So Alone’ do I need to go on? If you don’t own them why don’t you own them?. His solo shows ranged from car crash but amazing to religious experience and amazing to simply just being out there one of a kind guy and amazing.
There have been several films about Johnny from the aborted and dark ‘Born To Lose’ The Last Rock And Roll Movie with its numerous cuts to the wonderful ‘Looking For Johnny’, with a fantastic array of stars talking about their friend and fellow musician to the recent drama about his last days in New Orleans that’s yet to hit the shops. Johnny met a tragic end on this back in ’91 and I can remember where I was when I heard the news that almost broke my heart.
An autopsy confirmed evidence of advanced leukemia which might just have finished Thunders off anyway but to go the way he did was an absolute tragedy and at such a young age as well, he seemed to cram so much in such a short space of time. Leaving behind a couple of Dolls records – One Heartbreakers classic – a couple of solo records and a covers album along with a plethora of bootlegs and demos and who could forget Gang War a much-underrated record he co-wrote with Wayne Kramer.
We can argue and debate all day and night about what period of his career was best; was it the Dolls and their trailblazing crossdressing rock ‘n’ roll or was it the Noo Yawk swagger of the Heartbreakers who didn’t give two flying fucks and lived every day like it was their last leaving behind one of the finest albums ever put to tape in ‘L.A.M.F’. I loved Gang War and I loved his acoustic balladeering of ‘Hurt Me’ as much as I loved his rock and roll excess of ‘So Alone’ with its cast of Rock and roll legends from Marriott to Lynott to his comrade in Rock n Roll Gerry. What about ‘Que Sera Sera’ (it just had a fine RSD make over). Some of those covers on ‘Copy Cats’ were superb interpretations of what made Johnny tick at the time and a bunch of tunes that were coursing through his veins. I only wish the Oddballs had gotten to record their album with his as those demos they were working on could have eclipsed everything that went before it but sadly we’ll never ever know. I miss going to his shows which when he played the Marquee were more like events than shows wondering which Johnny would turn up but he never let me down and was always memorable and backed by some amazingly talented people that he always surrounded himself with no matter what the situation he found himself in.
Thunders should have been a huge huge superstar but circumstances and choices probably meant this would and could never happen but he will always be my favourite and if I’m happy or sad feeling up or down Johnny Thunders always had a tune for me from that incredible back catalogue. Johnny rest in Peace and today raise a glass to his brilliance and if you ever picked up a yellow Jr and curled your top lip or flicked your head because you wanted to be as cool as Johnny Thunders well done and always keep his memory alive.
Before we get into the record I just have to mention the package and seeing it expanded to a double album gatefold is so cool. I wouldn’t like to get between the ‘So Alone’ V’s ‘Que Sera Sera debate and which is best as to me they were both the best. When they were released they both were exactly what I wanted to hear at the time. Where ‘Que Sera Sera’ had the edge was the more iconic sleeve so much so that I had it on Picture Disc as well as regular jacket version I also bought the reissued version with new notes around ’91 and the CD version with extra tracks and now this one has the benefit of being able to shed some light via extensive sleeve notes from Thunders biographer Nina Antonia and jolly good they are too as well as more material. With a four-sided 12″ lyric booklet with some awesome pictures thrown in for good measure, this is exceptionally well done and will be well received by the people who love all things Thunders except the few hard to please elitists.
Onto the music, this seems to have benefitted greatly from Pat Collier totally remixing the record and I have to say every second is now far superior if your one of those people who think you can’t ever improve on Thunders originals, well, wait until you hear these. With a fuller fatter sound a lot of the songs sound fresher and songs like ‘Little Bit Of Whore’ positively roar. It sounds like PAt has opened a window on the 2″ tapes and let the light flood in. So the tracklist doesn’t follow the original which might take you by surprise when you first drop the needle but that’s no big deal maybe this version has a better flow.
First up on this 2019 version is ‘Alone In A Crowd’ and straight away the guitars sound bigger sure they echo around the room but there is a crispness a bit more bite happening which sounds great. I guess there was no point in this project if you were just merely going to remaster the damn thing and whilst it might seem sacrosanct to meddle with the original mixes it needed to be done even if it went tits up it had to be different and I have to say its a triumph.
On the first side ‘Countdown Love’ and ‘Talk About You’ are the obvious points of interest and whilst Thunders lack of microphone finesse is evident as he pops and booms the mic it sounds great and you do wonder why it never made the final cut. If you think this is a grab all in one place the definitive collection of ‘Que Sera Sera’ then don’t bother because ‘Tie Me Up’ is a noticeable absentee. Anyway, you do get twenty-three songs on this release which isn’t to be sniffed at. ‘Talk About You’ has the guitars right up in the mix its almost as if Thunders were in the room next to me bending those strings as his Gibson barks out the notes.
‘Short Lives’ is lyrically prophetic and benefits from having the fuller sound I’m not sure if I’m looking for things because I know its remixed but the solo sounds fantastic and something that probably would have been buried in reverb had Johnny got his digits on it. ‘I Only Wrote This Song For You’ retains its fragile vocal as Johnny sounds vulnerable I always loved this song when I hear it I often imagine an orchestra with strings on the verses then when Michael Monroe blows the saxophone it sounds like pure heartbreak. Still brilliant and to follow it up with ‘Cool Operator’ is a masterstroke with that throbbing bass line and then the Sax kicking in and honkin’ with the skankin’ guitar is so Wilco Johnson and something of a much-underrated Thunders tune as the whole band of musicians lock right in and here the percussion sparkles with bells and whistles (ok no Whistles but you get the picture).
If the project was to find the definitive recording called ‘Que Sera Sera’ then I have to say its job done. God bless modern technology eh? Being able to revisit the 2″ tapes and remix them has breathed new life into a record that has stood the test of time and having being given something of a kiss of life sounds brilliant. It’s the little things that reach out and touch you like the soft bass runs on the title track or hearing a solo that’s been raised in the mix or just hearing more guitars but not in a spinal tap way this has really hit the bullseye no question about it.
As for the Extra time LP, disc two is where some rather fine and dandy outtakes and live recordings live for example ‘Copy Cat’ kicks things off one of the new tracks is the bass-heavy slice of Funk ‘n’ Roll ‘Taking You Up Avenue D’ sure its unfinished and something of a song in progress but there is some mean Saxophone courtesy of Monroe that’s well worth its inclusion. As is the outtake of ‘I Only Wrote’ where Johnny fucks up the melody and its done. Then a less funky more guitar-heavy version of ‘Cool Operator’ that is listed as the first version.
As for the live material recorded in Lyon, it’s a great sounding performance Johnnys voice is high in the mix and has ‘Countdown Love’ with the band sounding tight even if the songs sound more restrained than plenty of the bootlegs out there but its a great sounding recording. ‘Alone In A Crowd’ is like an avalanche of Guitars and ‘It’s Alright’ is a really cool Rock ‘n’ Rolling birth of ‘Blame It On Mom’ that makes it fanboy fodder and a must have item. The only shame is its only five tracks maybe next year we can have the full set released hey who knows I wouldn’t complain its what makes RSD worthwhile in my humble opinion.
So there you have it a new improved package of an iconic album that doesn’t get regarded as highly as maybe some of his other do but maybe now the time has come for some reassessment now can anyone shed any light on why ‘Tie Me Up’ is missing? Anyone? Hello? oh well Que Sera Sera.
Following on from his saw blade release previously this year the ever-popular Ginger Wildheart releases ‘Maggie‘ on a shaped 12″ it’ll be limited to 1000 copies and features Two brand new exclusive tracks from The Wildhearts frontman. Recorded as part of ‘ The Pessimist’ s Companion’ album sessions – to be commercially released later in 2019 – and produced by long-time collaborator Dave Draper (The Wildhearts, Ginger Wildheart, Ryan Hamilton, Terrorvision). ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ – originally performed by John Cooper Clarke and ‘No Regrets’ – originally performed by The Walker Brothers. Diverse as ever get ready to rumble in order to secure your copy expect to pay £15.99 for this one.
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’ s debut studio album ‘TheMessage‘ was released on Sugar Hill Records in October 1982 and is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip hop records of all time. The title track, seen as an offshoot of funk upon its release, has since been credited with re-calibrating the direction of hip hop and was hailed the Number 1 greatest hip hop song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. This limited expanded edition features bonus tracks and instrumentals pressed on 180g Sugar Hill Blue vinyl and also commemorates the 40th Anniversary of Sugarhill Records. Oh, and you’ll get a penny change probably for this double album.
‘Green Day Woodstock 94‘. don’t even look on eBay at this one it’ll make you giggle like a school kid with the prices quoted a laugh in themselves. this will obviously be a very popular record to track down on RSD so good luck and remember kids don’t pay eBay prices. Even if it is a bog standard release no doubt with no picture inner bag it’s not on coloured vinyl nor is it 180gm so I’d imagine this will retail about £17.99 and I’ve no idea how many are pressed so I’d imagine a lot. Pssst if it does sell out then there are bootleg copies on the web I’m sure of it a friend told me.
whilst we’ll brush over the plethora of Grateful Dead releases Green River are seeing a follow up to the ‘Rehab doll’ and ‘Dry As A Bone’ reissues a 2000 piece release of a live show, It’s taken from the bands personal archives. Recorded on Sept 28,1984 at the Tropicana in Olympia Washington. It might be fairly unspectacular to most but I’d bet its a damn good show but might be a little uninspired considering what else is on offer. I’m sure it’ll set you back around the £20 mark.
One that will no doubt fly off the shelves (much like the CD did)is this fantastic offering from Heavy Drapes. Described as the brightest burning meteorites in the UK punk scene; a band that soared from playing to twenty-odd people (I’m sure they weren’t odd) in Bathgate in Scotland to the main stage of Rebellion 2017, the biggest punk festival in the world in little over 24 months. The sudden death of frontman and motormouth Garry Borland was the only thing that could have possibly stopped them and that tragic event has seen the best band in the UK dissolve before the release of this, their long-awaited debut album. Thankfully, the surviving band members and producer Mark Freegard have made sure that the legacy of Garry lives on. He lived and breathed this band and this is exactly how he would have wanted it. Garry spent every waking hour in the pursuit of his dream – the dream that Heavy Drapes would release the best album that they possibly could. It was a long time in the making; that was Garry, it had to be perfect. These ten songs stand tall and proud; Heavy Drapes took a very simple formula and gave it a towering, enigmatic makeover. Dangerous, glamorous, sexy and soaring, all of the things that punk rock generally isn’ t in the modern world. Heavy Drapes have crafted an album that truly doesn’ t have a dull moment on it – these songs do not need to be fawned over; they need to be played, loud, proud and indignant, just like Garry……NOW for the first time released on YELLOW VINYL. I’ll have one of those thank you very much! A bargain at £18.99
Ian Gillan ‘Mr. Universe’ 40th Anniversary edition what seems like a very poignant record now in light of the recent passing of Mr. Torme this might just be a hidden Gem in this years RSD releases. Demon Records proudly presents the 40th Anniversary Special Edition of Mr. Universe, the second album and the first issued in the UK. This exclusive and unique Record Store Day release includes Split Coloured (blue and red), 180g heavyweight vinyl. Pay around £22.99 for this one.
Now it wouldn’t be RSD without an Iggy Pop record so this year’s inclusion is a 7″ Dark green ‘Pain & Suffering‘ and its the first time on vinyl. Numbered. also, this year is this bad boy Never reissued on vinyl. No new vinyl is available online. Recorded live during the ”Lust for life” tour at l’Hippodrome de Pantin, Paris, on September 23, 1977. Released with authorization of Iggy Pop. this Packing includes Green color double vinyl with original record labels, printed inner sleeves, gatefold cardboard jacket with 2 pockets that has the original cover art and LP marketing OBI (side spine) with RSD April 2019 logo. but wait for it, it retails at mouth-watering £57.99 for the double vinyl import. Due to that I’m out which is a shame.
This RSD release is the 2 x lp version of the album Jacobites ‘Robespierre’s Velvet Basement’ Originally issued in 85 as a single album as it was regarded as too expensive for a double lp . It has never been re issued on vinyl in the uk since that time . Here we have for the very first time the tracks in the original desired running order and remastered for vinyl and expanded to the 2 discs. Presented in a gatefold sleeve with unseen photos from the time and liner notes from surviving member Dave Kusworth. ( partner Nikki Sudden having died in 2006). The album is already an Underground Classic. This version will be pressed on red white and grey splatter vinyl to incorporate the colours from the sleeve art. around £23.99 seems like a fair price.
Japan – ‘Life In Tokyo’ / ‘Quiet Life’ Released to mark the 40th anniversary of the groups’ 1979 breakthrough single ‘Life In Tokyo’ and follow up album ‘Quiet Life’, this 4 track, double A-side RSD exclusive 10″ is released on original Hansa red vinyl and includes ‘Life In Tokyo part I and II’ and the UK 7″ and extended mix of ‘Quiet Life’. coming in at £14.99 doesn’t seem to bad either.
Joe Strummer’s ‘The Rockfield Studio Tracks’ features ‘Forbidden City (Demo)’ and ‘Cool Impossible’. This limited edition 12″ is pressed on heavyweight vinyl and the artwork features an image of the original audio master tape with a removable photo of Joe. These previously unreleased tracks from 1993 are taken from the Joe Strummer Archive and follows the recent release of the critically acclaimed ‘Joe Strummer 001’ – the first compilation to span Joe’s entire career outside of his recordings with The Clash featuring remastered and unreleased recordings from the 101ers, The Mescaleros, solo albums, soundtracks, and rarities. To be fair this one also looks like it’s coming in at £11.99 which is pretty decent for a 12″ these days.
Johnny Thunders – ‘Que Sera Sera Resurrected‘ The 1985 studio album gets the VIP treatment from Jungle and boy have they done a good job (RPM will review this in the run-up to RSD)- completely remixed and revamped with many unheard tracks – as it should have sounded. It Includes two unreleased tracks left off the original album, plus a bonus album with six previously unreleased outtakes and six live versions. Includes 12″ x 24″ lyric insert with unseen pics. Remixed by The Vibrators’ Pat Collier, for the first time with the guitar fully up in the mix! Johnny missed the mixing sessions, now it can be heard as he originally intended. Limited edition in purple & white vinyl. New sleeve notes by Thunders biographer Nina Antonia. Every Record Store Day has a winner and this boys and girls is this year’s winner. a stunning album just got better! Expect to pay about £20.99 for this double album
Mansun – Legacy This double EP is on 12″ vinyl for the first time. The single’ s lyrics mocked pop and rock bands vying for stardom, but with tongue firmly in cheek as the memorable official promo video featured puppet versions of themselves on their pathway to fame. The EP was released in two parts in 1998, each with four songs, and is now released on one 12″ for the first time – on exclusive RSD19 red vinyl with an OBI wrap sleeve similar to the original 7″ single packaging. Not a bad little purchase this and should only be £19.99 Ben has it firmly in his sights but I’ve not been able to find out how many were pressed to ease his tension.
Ming City Rockers – ‘Lollipopper‘ This is the first Ming City Rockers release since their Steve Albini recorded album ‘Lemon’ in 2016. It is a new line up for the band who have been touring extensively in Europe for the last two years. It signifies a change of musical direction for them and whilst its obviously Mings, their love of hip hop has come to the surface. Mings will be touring the UK to support the release. It will be their first full UK tour since touring with Palma Violets in 2016. There will be a download code with the single. This song is the first produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, The Kills, MIA, The Horrors etc) No sleeve and a bank bustin £10.99
Whilst on the letter M there are a few Motorhead releases out this year possibly the best being the artwork for their cover of the Ramones classic ‘Rockaway Beach’ but the picture disc 7″ is one Johnny Hayward has firmly in his sights and with it limited to 1000 copies he might have to camp out and sharpen his elbows ready for the bun fight. A 40th anniversary double 7” picture disc celebration of the loudest, dirtiest, bastard rock ‘n’ roll of 1979, the year Motorhead released both the seminal Overkill and Bomber albums. This die-cut, gatefold two single set contains the lead singles from those classic albums. Limited to 1000 Copies. £23.99 for this double single as well which isn’t cheap. Whilst ‘Rockaway’ will only set you back £13.99
The New Barbarians ‘Buried Alive‘ gets the triple album deal and clocks in at £33.99 The reasons that Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Ian McLagan, Stanley Clarke, Bobby Keys and Joseph ‘Ziggy’ Modeliste toured as The New Barbarians in 1979 started piling up five years earlier, when Keith took time out from the Stones to join Ronnie, then finding time away from The Faces to record his first solo album. Their obvious affinity, both musically and personally, led not only to Ronnie replacing Mick Taylor in the Stones but to the formation of the New Barbarians as a truly back-to-basics Rock ‘n’ Roll project.Neatly timed to coincide with the punishment duly allotted for Keith’s 1977 Canadian drugs bust, the band performed alongside the Stones at two 1979 benefit gigs for the Canadian National Institute For The Blind before embarking on a short North American tour. In May they headlined at the Capitol Center Arena in Largo, Maryland, and this superb 3 LP set documents that show. Originally released on black vinyl as a boxset in 2010, it is now being made available exclusively for RSD 2019 on black yellow and red vinyl x 3 (triple vinyl) in a beautiful gatefold sleeve – this historic epic show is an essential purchase for all fans of Ronnie, Keith and The Rolling Stones – for Rock ‘n’ Roll outlaws everywhere.
Staying with Keith and Ron for a bit there are several Stones related items up for grabs sadly nothing too spectacular with ‘Through The Past’ Volume two being reissued as well as Vol one being the ‘Big Hits’ High Tide and Green Grass album. with the most interesting being the 10″ of ‘She’s A Rainbow’ recorded a couple of years ago which will be about £11.99 wheras the two LP’s are both gatefolds so look to cough up £29.99 each!
The Sonics – ‘Night Beats‘ Few artists loom larger in the garage-rock legend than THE SONICS. With raunchy, cult classics such as “SHOT DOWN” and “HE’ S WAITIN” off their 1966 album, BOOM, the pioneering band staked their claim on rock ‘ n roll, putting the Pacific Northwest scene on the map and cementing their place as heroes for future generations. Those that followed include Danny Lee Blackwell’ s NIGHT BEATS, a group with its own underground origins as well as a direct, fuzz and feedback-coated link between the impact of THE SONICS and their own potent sound. It’ s this connection that led NIGHT BEATS to record BOOM in its entirety, a proper homage to their musical forbearers. Blackwell, along with an arsenal of ace musicians manage to maintain the spirit of original recordings like “CINDERELLA,” “DON’ T YOU JUST KNOW IT,” and a particularly unhinged version of “LOUIE LOUIE,” while injecting their own brand of earth-quakin’ soul-shakin, maximum R&B. Blackwell takes the lead on vocals and guitar, interpreting Gerry Rosalie’ s mean scream with ease. Mike Brandon holds things down on drums as his partner in crime, bass genius Nate Ryan, while Julien O’ Neill grooves things up on keys and Joe Santa Maria wails on the horns. Finishing touches come from Marlon Rabenreither on acoustic guitar, plus Cole Alexander and Dan Gerbang on backing vocals-all working together to keep THE SONICS’ legacy intact, even as they tear the whole place down.Next time you hear a loud boom and your windows rattle, it’ s probably a sonic boom alright; but on the other hand, it might just be “THE SONICS BOOM.” £23.99 for the single album.
Thin Lizzy – Black Rose Released in 1979, Black Rose is one the iconic Irish bands best loved albums, the record has the only occasion guitarist the late Gary Moore recorded with the band and his influence is felt throughout the album. The album peaked at No 2 in the UK charts and is one of the bands most successful albums and a firm favourite with the fans This version exclusive for Record Store day contains the original album as well as a set of unheard (till now) Demos of the record from Phil Lynott’s archive. The album has enhanced artwork and a new cut has taken place of the record for the best audio quality. It’s a double album and coming in at £29.99 doesn’t seem too bad considering the vaults have been raided for the bonus disc
Teenage Fanclub ‘King’ Repress of second album by Fanclub, originally deleted on its day of release in 1991. don’t snooze this time will cost around £22.99
UK Subs – ‘Another Kind Of Blues’ the 40th ANNIVERSARY edition of the debut album by Punk Legends U.K.SUBS.Originally issued in 1979 and now issued as a deluxe double 10″, in two different shades of Blue Vinyl. It comes with a gatefold sleeve and two inner bags featuring new liner notes by the band members plus lyrics and a repro of the original inner bag. This new edition now features 6 bonus tracks including the UK hit singles “Tomorrows Girls” and “Stranglehold” £25.99 for these 10″ records.
Various – ‘Max’s SKAnsas City’ Recently unearthed ‘lost recordings’ from the early New York ska scene in 1980, in limited edition milky clear vinyl LP. When the NYC ska scene germinated in parallel to the UK Two-Tone movement, the Max’s Kansas City club was at the heart of it. The clubs pioneering record label, run by Max’s booker Peter Crowley, recorded a number of sessions in 1980, including with legendary Skatalites founder Roland Alfonso. But only two 7” singles, by San Francisco’s The Offs and NYC’s The Terrorists, ever got issued. Subsequently, the NY ska scene exploded, with many bands achieving great success. Only now can these previously unreleased studio tracks by Roland Alphonso, The Terrorists and The Offs be heard. The album has 15 tracks, eleven of which are issued for the first time, and it comes with authoritative sleeve notes by ska writer and player ‘Marco On The Bass’.and retailing at £17.99 its one of the best bargains this RSD
Venom – Manitou Released as part of the bands 40th Anniversary celebrations this shaped disc is a classic slab of Black Metal and we all love a bit of Black Metal and Venom this 12″ is going to be the (un) Holy grail as there are only 300 copies made. We’ll be filling up on cup-o-soups of virgins blood the night before and looking for some Bealzibub assistance in picking up a copy Johnny Hayward has put the call out to his local coven to ensure he gets his cloven hoof on a copy and with it costing £21.99 I’m only disappointed it was £6.66 ITs a teaser for the soon to be released whopper of a box set that is believed to be signed by Cronos as well. Seems like as good a time as any to play this then
X-Ray Spex – ‘I Am A Cliche’ Available for the first time on double coloured vinyl (pink and green dayglo to be precise), this brand new compilation brings together all the classic tracks from punk legends, X-Ray Spex’ exclusively for Record Store Day 2019. The limited edition album will be available on pink and green vinyl and packaged in a gatefold sleeve featuring exclusive images from the Poly Styrene archive. The album features the classic singles ‘ Oh Bondage Up Yours!’. ‘ Identity’, ‘ The Day The World Turned Day-Glo’, ‘Germ-Free Adolescents’ and ‘ Highly Inflammable’ plus a bonus 12″ featuring an early 1977 live recording from The Roxy Club, London. A hefty £29.99 will see this added to your collection. And that just about wraps up RPM’s guide to what’s hot in this years RSD shakedown. you might agree or disagree you might wonder why on earth we haven’t mentioned this or that and where is the Stiv OST we wanted to keep something under wraps for ourselves Doh! happy shopping folks I hope you get what you want and it doesn’t leave you short. If it does don’t worry its only rock and roll.
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.