Tune in tonight Friday 11th December 17:00 GMT to see the brand new Magnificent Seven video by film-maker Don Letts, featuring the band performing the song live on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder (a late-night New York chat show) cut with previously unseen film of the group in and around New York and during their legendary 17-night residency at Bond’s International Casino, near Times Square.

There’ll be a Q + A with Don Letts at the same time! Click Here for Youtube Link

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’.

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Born John Graham Mellor  on 21 August 1952 in Ankara Turkey to a Scottish mother and Diplomat Father. John had a mixed bag as a kid being shipped off to Boarding School paid for by the state due to his fathers job he spent the next seven years at Boarding school alleging he rarely saw his parents due to his fathers job.

Mellor changed his name in the mid ’70s from Woody (after Woody Guthrie) changing it to Strummer as a way of self deprecation as to his style in the band 101ers .  Upon his insistence the name stuck and how different would the history books have looked no Joe Strummer instead Woody Mellor!

Early ’76 saw an unknown band called The Sex Pistols support the 101ers at the Nashville Rooms, shortly after he was approached by Bernie Rhodes and Mick Jones to join their band that also included Keith Levine, Terry Chimes and Paul Simonon.  It was Paul who named the band just before their July Debut in Sheffield supporting The Pistols and as they say the rest is history.

When the Clash broke up after a whirlwind decade of chaos and destruction and some very high highs and ultimately low lows. After a luke warm solo career and getting dropped by Sony, Strummer spent some time producing the likes of The Pogues and playing a bunch of shows with them as a repecement for Shane McGowan before he put together the Mescaleros.

It wasn’t until the late ’90s that they put out their first album  ‘Rock Art and the X-Ray Style’.  After touring heavily Strummer headed straight back into the studio to record its follow up ‘Global A Go-Go’ for Hellcat Records. After heading back out on tour on  the 15th of November 2002, Strummer and the Mescaleros played a benefit show for striking fire fighters in London, at the Acton Town Hall. Mick Jones was in the audience, and joined the band on stage during the Clash’s ‘Bankrobber’. An encore followed with Jones playing guitar and singing on ‘White Riot’ and ‘London’s Burning’. This performance marked the first time since 1983 that Strummer and Jones had performed together on the same stage stage.  the news that fans had been waiting for seemed like it might become a reality with The Clash reforming and heading out on tour. Strummer’s final gigs were  Liverpool Academy on 22 November 2002, yet his final performance, just two weeks before his death, was in a small club venue ‘The Palace’ in Bridgwater, Somerset, near his home.

Heartbreakingly, Strummer died suddenly on 22 December 2002 in his home at Broomfield in Somerset, the victim of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.  Strummer was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family. Strummer was instrumental in setting up Future Forests (since rechristened the Carbon Neutral Company), dedicated to planting trees in various parts of the world to combat global warming. Strummer was the first artist to make the recording, pressing and distribution of his records carbon neutral through the planting of trees. In his remembrance, Strummer’s friends and family have established the Strummerville Foundation for the promotion of new music, which holds an annual festival with the same name.

At the time of his death, Strummer was working on another Mescaleros album, which was released posthumously in October 2003 under the title ‘Streetcore’. It was discovered following Strummer’s death that he was an archivist of his own work, having barns full of writings and tapes. Over 20,000 items were stored in the Joe Strummer archive and on 28 September 2018, a 32-song compilation album titled ‘Joe Strummer 001’ was released. The album, which was overseen by Strummer’s widow, Lucinda, and producer Robert Gordon McHarg III, features 32 songs, 12 of which have never been released. The set spans Strummer’s career from the 101ers to the Mescaleros and features some unheard demos from the Clash following the departure of Mick Jones, along with an unreleased song recorded by Jones and Strummer in 1986. The set also features two of Strummer’s final recordings and is one of the best box sets available not just for Strummer or Clash completists its well worth getting hold of..  Joe Strummer will never be forgotten and will always be held up as one of the true musical geniuses and pioneers.  He was responsible for writing and recording some of the best song to come out of the punk scene in the ’70s and always came across as one of the good guys and he’s sadly missed today its hard to believe hes been gone seventeen years.  RIP Strummer you legend.

Legendary Northern Irish punk rock act Stiff Little Fingers are delighted to announce a full UK tour in March 2020 – The 2020 Tour.

The tour will see the band play their29th consecutive Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom St. Patrick’s Day show as part of their traditional March tour. The band also headline London’s Roundhouse to end the 13-date run.

All the dates will feature support from The Professionals and TV Smith. The Roundhouse show only will also feature a very special guest slot from the Neville Staple Band. With an iconic career of over 40 years, Stiff Little Fingers remain as vital as ever.

The full tour dates are as follows:
Thursday 12thMarch 2020                               Bristol, O2 Academy
Friday 13thMarch 2020                                     Cardiff, Great Hall
Saturday 14thMarch 2020                               Birmingham, O2 Academy
Monday 16thMarch 2020                                Norwich, UEA
Tuesday 17thMarch 2020                                 Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
Thursday 19thMarch 2020                               Troon, Concert Hall
Friday 20thMarch 2020                                     Newcastle, O2 Academy
Saturday 21stMarch 2020                                Leeds, O2 Academy
Monday 23rdMarch 2020                                Northampton, Roadmenders
Tuesday 24thMarch 2020                                 Nottingham, Rock City
Thursday 26thMarch 2020                               Portsmouth, Pyramids   
Friday 27thMarch 2020                                     Manchester, Academy
Saturday 28thMarch 2020                               London, Roundhouse

Tickets are available from www.slf.rocks

In addition to the dates announcement Stiff Little Fingershave just put out two special ‘Virtual Reality’ videos filmed with a 360 degree camera attached to the drum kit, from this years “Putting the Fast In Belfast 3” show in August. This gives the user, via their mobile viewing device or computer, the option to view whatever part of the stage and or band member they so wish via movement of the viewing device or via a mouse or pointing tool. The two tracks are their iconic punk anthems “Alternative Ulster” and “Tin Soldiers” available via the links below and on the bands own YouTube Page.

 

Stiff Little Fingers have been incredibly active in recent years, playing some prestigious live shows, including: three years of headline sold-out hometown performance in Belfast’s Custom House Square; London’s Hyde Park British Summer Time concert with Green Day; the 28th traditional St. Patrick’s Day sold-out show at Glasgow iconic venue Barrowland Ballroom.

In addition to the live performances, the past five years saw Stiff Little Fingers release two records: their tenth studio album “No Going Back” in 2014, which showcases a band at the height of their powers, still able to capture the heart of the listeners with relevant topics and honest sound, reaching #1 in the UK charts; and a live album “Best Served Loud – Live At The Barrowlands” in 2017, which immortalises Stiff Little Fingers’ epic performance at their annual St. Patrick’s Day show.

Formed in 1977 in Belfast Stiff Little Fingers were among the pioneers of punk rock. Joining ranks with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks, and Undertones they brought in a new era of music and they’re still keeping that spirit alive 42 years on!

www.slf.rocks  / www.facebook.com/StiffLittleFingers  / www.twitter.com/RigidDigits

Band picture credit to :  Bernie Mcallister

In 1977 Blondie signed their contract with Chrysalis Records which went on to release ‘Plastic Letters’,  ‘Parallel Lines’ in ’78, ‘Eat To The Beat’ in ’79, ‘AutoAmerica’ in 1980 then finally ‘The Hunter’ in ’82.  An incredibly successful period for the band during an incredibly competitive time for music where the band single handidly embraced different genres like pop, punk and rap music and did it with style.

Gaining number one hits whilst on Chrysalis helped a whole raft of new wave and post punk bands get signed in their wake as major labels fell over themselves to sign the punk bands of the day.

Two years later an unknown Irish band released their first EP. ‘U2-3’  Like em or loath them U2 went on to become the biggest band in the world if you have one of those original pressings of which there were 1,000 made you should have it in a vault.

In ’83 Mick Jones was fired by The other three members of The Clash who claimed he’d drifted from what the band was all about from the start he went on to form B-A-D.

The Clash came to a rather sad ending in May 1983. The group had every reason to be on the top of the world by this point: their previous LP, Combat Rock, was an enormous hit and their singles “Rock the Casbah” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go” were all over radio and MTV. But drummer Topper Headon was kicked out of the group for drug abuse in 1982, and Mick Jones and Joe Strummer were barely speaking.

They took a six-month break after the ‘Combat Rock’ tour ended in November 1982.  A $500,000 offer from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to headline New Wave Day of the US Festival proved impossible to turn down. Some warm-up shows for the huge festival were booked, the group went on a four-date tour of Texas and Arizona. Tory Crimes (who rejoined the band in 1982 after Headon got the boot) was once again out of the group by this point, so they took out an ad in Melody Maker and recruited 23-year-old Pete Howard.

The band eventually went on stage at US festival two hours late and played a sloppy, 80-minute set in front of a banner that read “The Clash Not for Sale.” Joe Strummer taunted the audience from the stage and afterward, the band got into a brawl with security. The group still walked away with a half-million dollars; four months later, they announced that Mick Jones was leaving the group. The chaotic US Festival was his final appearance with the band and the final two songs were “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Clampdown”.

Joe Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon did release ‘Cut the Crap’ in 1985 and toured as the Clash that year, but that’s like a Rolling Stones tour without Keith Richards. It doesn’t count. The real Clash bowed out at the US Festival other opinions are available.

Finally on this day In 1955 Bruce Foxton, bassist for The Jam was born. Happy Birthday Bruce.

Everyone knows the image of Paul Simonon destroyed his Fender Precision at a gig in New York in 1979, The image was captured forever by Pennie Smith. The moment was used for the cover of the band’s third album, ‘London Calling’. Smith originally didn’t like the shot as she has said it was too blurry but the band loved it and the rest is history. Going on to be ranked the greatest rock photo of all time.

Now, the Precision will be displayed at the Museum of London as part of an exhibition of more than 100 personal items, some previously unseen, all taken from the band’s archive.

Strummer’s notebook from the period as well as the typewriter he used to note his ideas and lyrics will also be on show, Mick Jones’ contributes handwritten album sequencing notes and Topper Headon’s drumsticks will be on display.

Simonon smashed his Fender Precision bass at The Palladium in New York City on 20th September 1979, when he realised fans were not being allowed to stand up out of their seats.

“That frustrated me to the point that I destroyed this bass guitar,” he said in an interview with Fender in 2011. “Unfortunately you always sort of tend to destroy the things you love.”

 

But the musician made sure he gathered the pieces of the guitar to keep. This exhibition promises to be an amazing experience for fans of the band and music fans in general.

 

Beatrice Behlen, the senior curator of fashion and decorative arts at the Museum of London, said the venue tells “the stories of our capital through the objects and memories of the people who have lived here”.

She continued: “This display will provide a brand new, exciting and vibrant take on this, showcasing rarely seen personal objects and telling the incredible story of how London Calling was, and for many still is, the sound of a generation.”

The Clash: London Calling, a free exhibit, runs at the Museum Of London from 15 November 2019 to spring 2020.

FOLLOWING THE DEMISE OF PLEDGEMUSIC, PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN FULFILL ALL EXISTING PRE-ORDERS FOR THE GROUP’S LIVE AT THE 100 CLUB ALBUM

 

PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN’S LINEUP FOR THIS ‘ONE NIGHT ONLY’ CONCERT FEATURED ALFIE AGNEW (Adolescents, D.I.), SEAN ELLIOTT (D.I., Mind Over Four), RAT SCABIES (The Damned), AND PAUL GRAY (The Damned, Eddie & the Hot Rods, UFO)

Live at the 100 Club is available now on red vinyl, CD, and download

Professor and the Madman announce that they have personally fulfilled all orders for their Live at the 100 Club album. Recorded in August 2018, Live at the 100 Club was initially offered for pre-order exclusively through the crowdfunding website PledgeMusic. However, after months of delays, the campaign was temporarily derailed when PledgeMusic operations shuttered in May.

“Pledge was such a great conduit between the artists and the fans and it should have been bulletproof,” says the band’s Sean Elliott. “I’m sad to see it gone.”

Picking up where PledgeMusic left off, Live at the 100 Club is now available exclusively on red vinyl LP and CD Here. It is also available digitally at all retail platforms.

The album features a dozen tracks which span PATM’s trio of studio albums alongside two new entries to the band’s discography. “Nuclear Boy” is a cover of the 1981 power pop entry by Hollywood-based 20/20, while “Quit This Town” was first released in 1977 by UK rock act Eddie and the Hot Rods. The live version of the latter track features a guest appearance by former Hot Rods songwriter/guitarist Graeme Douglas.

Live at the 100 Club was recorded at the famed London hotspot on August 10, 2018. In existence since 1942, the venue located at 100 Oxford Street began as a jazz and swing music nightclub but is now best known for its role in the evolution of Britain’s punk rock movement. In September 1976, the 100 Club hosted an international punk festival which included performances by the Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash, Buzzcocks, The Jam, The Stranglers, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, among others.

With its rich punk history, the 100 Club was the ideal venue for Professor and the Madman’s UK debut. The group’s lineup is comprised of members with deep roots in the scene: singer/guitarist Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.), singer/guitarist Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four), Rat Scabies (The Damned), and Paul Gray (The Damned, Eddie & the Hot Rods, UFO).

Billed as a ‘One Night Only’ event, the 100 Club show provided a rare chance to see this version of the band. Due to the distance between Agnew and Elliott in Southern California, and Scabies and Gray in the UK, logistics make it difficult for the quartet to convene for live performances. For the majority of PATM’s live dates in America, Agnew and Elliott are joined by fellow musicians from Orange County, CA.

Professor and the Madman released their third studio album, ‘Disintegrate Me’, in February 2018. Choosing the group as one of its “Bands to Watch in 2018,” Classic Rock Magazine declared “Disintegrate Me is an infectious cocktail of power-pop/rock, ‘60s British Invasion and melodic psychedelia. It’s rich, quality stuff.”

Agnew, Elliott, Scabies, and Gray are currently at work on a new album for release next year.

 

CONNECT WITH PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN: 

Stiff Little Fingers are pleased to announce additional UK/EIRE tour dates this summer.

After the traditional and critically acclaimed run of UK dates in March, the band is back on the road in May and August to deliver their usual energetic and spellbinding performance to fans across the country. With a career spanning over more than 40th years, Stiff Little Fingers’ live shows always become something special and a unique event that never disappoints.

2019 Celebrates 40 years of the band’s iconic debut album ‘Inflammable Material’.
Released on 2nd February 1979, the album features the legendary tracks ‘Suspect Device’ and ‘Alternative Ulster’.

Stiff Little Fingers have been very incredibly active in recent years, playing some very prestigious live shows, including two years of headline sold-out hometown performance in Belfast’s Custom House Square; London’s Hyde Park British Summer Time concert with Green Day; the 28thtraditional St. Patrick’s Day sold-out show at Glasgow iconic venue Barrowland.

In addition to the live performances, the past 5 years saw Stiff Little Fingersrelease two records: their 10thstudio album “No Going Back” in 2014, which showcases a band at the height of their powers, still able to capture the heart of the listeners with relevant topics and honest sound, reaching #1 in the UK charts; and a live album “Best Served Loud – Live At The Barrowland” in 2017, which immortalizes Stiff Little Fingers’ epic performance at their annual St. Patrick’s Day show.

Formed in 1977 in Belfast Stiff Little Fingers were among some of the pioneers of punk rock. Joining ranks with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks, and Undertones they brought in a new era of music and they still persevere in keeping that spirit alive 42 years on!

UK TOUR DATES 
Fri 16thAug – King George’s Hall, Blackburn
Sat 17thAug – Hardwick Live Festival – Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield, Co. Durham
Sun 18thAug – Tivoli, Buckley
Tue 20thAug – KK.’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
Wed 21stAug – Guildhall, Gloucester
Fri 23rdAug – Academy, Dublin
Sat 24thAug – Putting The Fast In Belfast – Custom House Square, Belfast

Tickets available from all usual outlets. 
USEFUL LINKS 
www.slf.rocks / www.facebook.com/StiffLittleFingers / www.twitter.com/RigidDigits

What’s that musty smell? Ah yes, it’s emanating from the veritable feast of vintage collectables housed in the Pop Culture Schlock archive. For your delectation today I take you back to the Christmas of 1979; a seminal decade of music about to come to an end and give way to the dawn of a more brash, more brazen ten year period…

 

If you were a good, music-loving boy or girl in 1979 and had a.) done well in school, and; b.) not scratched your big brother’s vinyl, then there was a good chance that you’d find the Rock On! Annual 1980 nestled under the Christmas tree in your modest living room.

 

“The Rock What Annual?” I hear you exclaim, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed at your lack of knowledge on this subject because, truth be told, Rock On! magazine was a short-lived, oft-forgotten publication… if you’d ever heard of it at all.

 

Rock On! magazine debuted with an issue cover-dated May 1978. Debbie Harry featured on its cover and the mag – costing a whole 25p – promised a healthy mix of punk, new wave, heavy metal, and prog rock. It kept its promise too as, over the course of seven eclectic issues, Rock On! dished out features and photo spreads on a dizzying cadre of top musical combos; from Status Quo to Sham 69, The Clash to KISS, Rush to The Rezillos. Meat Loaf graced a cover, Ozzy, too, until Issue 7, with Jimmy Pursey as its cover star, and cover-dated November 1978, when Rock On! disappeared from newsagent shelves. The editorial in that final issue wrote of the outrage of cutting off such a desirable publication in its prime but, if anything, Rock On! was a victim of its own blurring of genre lines: readers seemingly wanting specialist publications dedicated to singular strands of the rock ‘n’ roll world rather than this ambitious crossover style.

 

That final editorial, though, did offer some hope for the future; stating that it was the last Rock On! “in its present form”. Fast forward to around a year later and, in the Autumn of 1979, the true final piece of the Rock On! jigsaw arrived in shops and catalogues to complete the punk ‘n’ prog rocking picture.

With a scorching hot live photo of Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott on the cover, Rock On! Annual 1980 (price – £2.00) may well have been jostling for attention on the shelves alongside big-hitting television and film spin-off annuals, but it certainly looked the most badass. It was, the cover screamed, packed with pictures, facts, and quizzes on your favourite rock bands. It did not disappoint.

 

The heady mix of photo spreads and more in-depth features on select bands really did make Rock On! stand out from its competitors, and this annual amps that angle right up to eleven. The first photo spread was a “Tribute to Vocal Power!!!” (yes, with three exclamation marks) and featured cool live action shots of Joe Strummer, Johnny Rotten, Cherie Currie, Pete Townsend, Willy DeVille, Graham Parker, Joan Jett, and Mick Jagger. A good start, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Next up, a photo diary detailing a “hard band” going “soft” as The Stranglers met their devoted fans, followed by a quartet of stinging live shots of “the band the critics love to hate”, Status Quo. Rock On!’s attitude to those Quo critics could be “summed up in two fingers” readers were informed.

 

With barely a pause for breath, a six-page A-Z of Heavy Metal feature detailed the prime acts in the genre, from AC/DC to, erm, Wishbone Ash. A-W, then. A few curious names in this run-down, too: Prism, Quartz, and Mahogany Rush rubbing shoulders with the expected likes of Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and, a firm favourite on the turntable at RPM HQ, Uriah Heep. A “Heads Down Heavy Metal Quiz” followed: a select question being “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees was a double live album for which heavy metal superstars?”

 

A Ten Years of Genesis feature followed, the first in a series of in-depth essays by John Tobler. His similar two-page spread on the history of Queen followed, as did those dedicated to Thin Lizzy, Blue Öyster Cult, Rush, and KISS. The latter, subtitled “Kings of Shock Rock”, wrote of “the forty foot columns of fire that emit from Gene Simmons’ mouth” and, c’mon, if you were eight years old at Xmas 1979 you had every excuse for then falling head over platform heels in love with the idea of the hottest band in the world.

There was a Rock On! reggae report, a fashion guide of sorts where the Quo’s Rick Parfitt spoke of his love of jeans and Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers of his love of raincoats (!), a Hi-Fi buying guide, a feature on sound engineers, a top DJ article covering John Peel and Anne Nightingale, plus one-page specials on Peter Gabriel and Ken Hensley of the Heep.

 

A photo spread of Ian Dury swimming (just your seven shots) padded out the pages, but not before an impressive photo set of live Black Sabbath shots appeared, a Star Cars article featuring Steve Jones, Meat Loaf, Midge Ure, and, ominously, Cozy Powell, a “Cult Heroes” feature detailing the likes of Iggy Pop, Nils Lofgren, Todd Rundgren, Tom Petty, and Bruce Spingsteen, and a “Sex ‘n’ Girls ‘n’ Rock ‘n’ Roll” spread featuring Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, Siouxsie Sioux, Linda Ronstadt, Annie Golden, Poly Styrene, Stevie Nicks, and Rachel Sweet.

 

A “That Was The Year That Was” feature dedicated to 1978 was an obvious leftover from the previous year’s magazine and makes for entertaining if a little sombre reading amongst the other genuinely funny articles. Rock On! was a cool magazine, with its tongue firmly in its cheek and its love of a broad range of music at the forefront of any thinking. Your Uber Rocks, your RPMs are all subconscious descendants of Rock On! magazine.

No annual is complete, however, without a pull-out poster section (even if no kid ever dared pull a poster out of an annual!), and Rock On! Annual 1980 does not disappoint in that department. There are pin-ups of the aforementioned Pursey, Rezillos, Dury, Harry, Clash, and Lynott, plus Bob Geldof, Paul Weller, Freddie Mercury, David Lee Roth, Jon Anderson, Elvis Costello, Paul Stanley, and the Buzzcocks. Great photos too.

 

The Rock On! Annual 1980 may well be an uncommon piece in the average music memorabilia collection, but it is certainly a worthy one. Copies turn up on the secondary market relatively cheaply and, yeah, you should pick one up if you get the chance. The Rock On! staff were most certainly music journalist mavericks, and we’ve all tried to go there, right? Search for this precious, rockin’ tome… or you might never know how Rick Parfitt’s aunt ironed his double denim.

 

Thanks for reading, and for the feedback on my first column on the debut Alice Cooper comic. I’ll be back next month with something suitably archaic that the rock ‘n’ roll world tried to forget. Search for Pop Culture Schlock 365 on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

On this most rockin’ of days way back in 1975, AC/DC released their debut album ‘High Voltage’. The album featured a cover of ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams and ‘She’s Got Balls’ which was written about singer Bon Scott’s ex-wife Irene – the first AC/DC song for which he wrote lyrics.

Bon, Malcolm, Angus, Mark and Phil saw this record peak at number 14 but has since gone 5x platinum what you could describe as being a slow burner.

Originally released on Albert Productions in Australia and has never been reissued by another label in this format. The international version of High Voltage, which was issued on Atlantic Records in 1976, has different cover art and track listing, with only “She’s Got Balls” and “Little Lover” appearing overseas. “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Soul Stripper”, “You Ain’t Got a Hold On Me” and “Show Business” was later released on ’74 Jailbreak in 1984. “Stick Around” (about Scott’s inability to hold onto a lover for more than one night) and “Love Song” have been released on Backtracks in 2009. The title and artwork were the suggestion of Chris Gilbey of Albert Productions. In the 1994 Scott biography Highway to Hell, Gilbey explains that he came up with the concept of “an electricity substation with a dog pissing against it. It’s so tame now, but back then we thought it was pretty revolutionary.”

The musicians that played on this release were quite different from the internationally famous line up of AC/DC – George Young who also produced the record played some bass guitar, rhythm guitar, and backing vocals, Rob Bailey also played bass guitar whilst Peter Clack played drums on their cover of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. Tony Currenti played drums on the other seven numbers. Whilst it might not be the best DC album ever this version is certainly worth tracking down if you don’t already have it amongst the other 3,000 different versions with different covers and track lists.

 

Buy ‘High Voltage’: Here

In other significant news on this very day in 1979, Blondie scored their first UK No.1 album when ‘Parallel Lines’ started a four-week run at the top of the charts, featuring the singles ‘Heart Of Glass’, ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ and ‘Sunday Girl.’ With its iconic album sleeve, a generation of teenage boys fell in love more so when they managed to see the video for ‘Heart Of Glass’. Deborah Harry – vocals, Chris Stein – guitar, 12-string guitar, E-bow, Clem Burke – drums, Jimmy Destri – electronic keyboards, Nigel Harrison – bass guitar and Frank Infante – guitar was the iconic line up who recorded ‘Parallel Lines’ in New York City where the band shared an unbreakable bond and used the city in many of their videos and were forever tied to clubs like CBGB and Max’s.  ‘Heart Of Glass’ was one of the biggest selling singles in the decade reaching number one in over eight major record buying countries.  Amazingly it was only the UK where the album hit the number one spot only reaching number six in their native USA. who knew?

The album has been reissued and expanded several times since its release back in 79 and you can pick up a copy Here

Also, RPM would like to give a shout out and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday to Billie Joe Armstrong, Born Today back in 1972. Whilst fronting Green Day Armstrong is also a member of the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and provides lead vocals for Green Day’s side projects Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network. Many Happy returns Mr Armstrong.

Buy Pinhead Gunpowder: Here

Finally, on this very day in 1979, The Clash opened the US leg of their ‘Pearl Harbour ’79’, North American tour at New York’s Palladium. The Clash were keen to embrace the US, though Epic were less enthusiastic despite releasing …Melody Maker writer Caroline Coon paid her own way to New York and set up eight shows in medium-sized venues that mainly sold out. The Pearl Harbour ’79 US tour allowed The Clash to visit key cities. The band took Rock’n’Roll legend Bo Diddley out as support act to make America aware of its musical legacy. “We brought them in and helped to introduce them to people who weren’t aware of them,” Jones told Coon. Diddley got on famously with the band, who hung on his every war story.