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SINEAD O’CONNOR: THE JOAN OF ARC SYNDROME

2022-10-31T17:02:21+00:00October 31st, 2022|Essays, Music|

It’s very rare that 34 years after you date someone, you get a chance to witness a documentary about what was going on in that person’s life at the time you were dating them. Remarkable, really, but I got the chance recently when Showtime premiered the documentary, “Nothing Compares,” about Sinead O’Connor by filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson.

PUNK METAPHYSICS: A CONVERSATION WITH TAMRA LUCID

2022-10-21T17:29:52+00:00October 21st, 2022|Books We Love, Literature, Music|

Lucid spoke about punk rock, politics, metaphysics, and more in this email exchange with Happiness author Zack Kopp. “To me punk and metaphysics seem to belong together,” says Tamra Lucid. “Both are rebellions against bullshit. And what is punk anyway? Punk can be for peace or violence, for racism or for equality, for noise or pop, for anarchy or for Broadway. My band has never fit any category. Sucks for algorithms, but so much fun!” Lucid Nation co-founder Ronnie Pontiac was mentored by American metaphysician Manly Palmer Hall (1901-90) at his Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles before the band started playing shows in 1994.

DAVID BYRNE’S: “THEATER OF THE MIND” REVIEWED BY ZACK KOPP

2022-10-21T17:31:14+00:00September 4th, 2022|Music|

I went to a preview of David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar’s Theater of the Mind, inspired by both historical and current neurological lab research, in a warehouse in Northeast Denver last night. Official shows begin next week, but a friend of mine got me a ticket, and what follows is my review of the experience. No doubt there are things I’ve forgotten to mention, like the Scottish interlude of traffic changes so gradual they go unnoticed until the guide hits rewind, the whole production having been designed to illustrate the unreliability of the senses we go by, but not many.

THE WORST ALBUM TITLES OF ALL TIME

2022-08-24T18:40:12+00:00August 22nd, 2022|Music|

Volume one (of many) ©2022 By Chris Zappa As an artist, it must be stressful coming up with album titles. It’s a bit like naming a baby, if that baby’s name was a determining factor in its commercial success or lack thereof. More often than not, artists strive for interesting names, names that make you think, inspiring one to wonder what’s the story behind the title. Oftentimes however, throughout the history of modern music there have been plenty of instances where the band or artist clearly phoned it in, choosing a name so odd — in many cases, so dumb or gross — that no matter how great the songs contained therein may be, there’s no redeeming it. In no particular order, here are a few particularly stinky stinkers that really stink.

THE NOD MONASTERY: THE TRUE STORY OF HOW JIM MORRISON REALLY MET NICO

2022-08-06T20:40:11+00:00August 4th, 2022|Music|

We’ve all seen that horribly facile Oliver Stone film, “The Doors” and we still watch it anyway, even though it sucks– thus is the power of Jim Morrison. He still captures our inner belligerent souls. And Val Kilmer looked and imagined Morrison they way we believed him to be. If only Val had a script to work with. One thing that really bothered me was the scene in the movie, when Jim Morrison meets Nico and she says, “Hi, want to fuck?” Or something equally ridiculous. Nico wasn’t that vulgar, uncouth or stupid. But now for millions of kids, Nico is thought of as a moronic floozy instead of the serious artist that she was. I’m getting sick of bio-pics that get it all wrong and re-write the facts, which happen to be even more fascinating than the tripe we are fed on the screen. Which brings me to “The Nod Monastery,” my corrective of what really happened the night Jim Morrison met Nico, and I think you’ll agree it’s a lot more passionate and dramatic than anything Oliver Stone could dream up.

STERLING SPEAKS! STERLING MORRISON’S LAST INTERVIEW WITH LEGS MCNEIL, 1995

2022-10-21T17:20:53+00:00July 31st, 2022|Music|

©1995 and 2022 By Legs McNeil [Originally published on pleasekillme.com] Sterling Morrison (1942-1995) was the guitarist for the Velvet Underground, appearing on all four studio albums that the band made. He left the band in 1971 and moved to Texas to finish graduate school, became both a tugboat captain and a college professor. Legs McNeil interviewed him in New York in early 1995. At the time, Morrison was undergoing chemotherapy. Sadly, he did not live long enough to witness the answer to his very first comment in this interview. He died on August 30, 1995. The Velvet Underground were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame the following year.

PUSHING PUNK

2022-07-29T16:55:58+00:00July 29th, 2022|Music|

The book is squalid, evocative and often very, very funny — full of contradictory versions of the same story, all of which have some grain of truth — and that’s how real life is; his version, his version and the truth, which is still compromised

HOWIE PYRO – PATRON SAINT OF WEIRD

2022-07-16T15:16:28+00:00July 16th, 2022|Music|

I wanted to share a eulogy I wrote for my dear, dear friend Howie Pyro. We said goodbye to him today at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. There will be an NYC memorial for him July 20th and a big celebration of his life concert July 23rd at The Bowery Ballroom With D Generation , Brian Fallon , HR , Theo Kogan from The Lunachicks and many more…

ORAL HISTORY OF THE MONTH – CALL ME: HERB ALPERT & THE REMAKING OF CHRIS MONTEZ

2022-07-16T15:20:36+00:00June 26th, 2022|Music|

(Or: How a Jewish Mariachi Trumpeter Turned a Chicano Rock ‘n’ Roller into an Easy Listening Pop Crooner) | Born in Los Angeles, a high school classmate and friend of Brian Wilson, rock ’n’ roll tenor and devotee of Ritchie Valens, teenage Mexican-American Ezekiel Christopher Montañez got a name change to Chris Montez and at nineteen had a Top Ten record in 1962 with Let’s Dance. Meanwhile, in another part of L.A., A Jewish singer, songwriter, and trumpeter named Herb Alpert formed a record label called A&M, and inspired by a group of mariachis at a bullfight in Tijuana, recorded a song called The Lonely Bull. The single hit the charts alongside Let’s Dance in the fall of 1962, and also made the Top Ten.

RAY DAVIES NEVER WANTED TO BE A SINGER

2022-07-16T15:20:05+00:00June 23rd, 2022|Music|

In 2009, Ray Davies toured America to promote The Kinks Choral Collection, which featured new studio recordings of some of Davies’ finest songs backed by the Crouch End Festival Chorus. He performed with the chorus at Town Hall in New York in November. Six of the songs from the classic, underrated Kinks’ album Village Green Preservation Society were included in Davies’ “choral collection.” On the forty-ninth anniversary of the release of Village Green Preservation Society, we present the following exclusive interview with Davies, conducted on Nov. 11, 2009 by Legs McNeil and Stacey Asip, in which Davies talked about his family, his working class roots and the early days of being a Kink. This version is condensed from a much longer interview.

GENE KRUPA: THE ORIGINAL PUNK DRUMMER

2022-06-07T04:39:15+00:00June 7th, 2022|Music|

Gene Krupa is easily one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, elevating the role of the jazz drummer from sideman to soloist to superstar. His energetic playing on Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” remains a standard-bearer 80+ years later, and The Drum Battle he recorded with Buddy Rich in 1952 is as dizzying today as it was upon release. But Krupa’s towering influence has not been confined to jazz and swing drummers. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that he was a major inspiration for some of punk rock’s most important timekeepers, including Jerry Nolan of the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Rat Scabies of the Damned, and Lucky Lehrer of Circle Jerks.

JONATHAN RICHMAN: IN LOVE WITH THE MODERN WORLD

2022-06-03T15:41:59+00:00June 3rd, 2022|Music|

Ernie Brooks is a very likable fellow who was raised in New York and Connecticut by intellectual, liberal parents, which explains why he became a civil rights activist down South during the violent “Freedom Summer” of the early 1960s. Ernie’s a Harvard graduate who studied English literature, poetry, and rock 'n' roll, along with his college roommate Jerry Harrison, who later became the keyboard player for the Talking Heads. A chance encounter with Jonathan Richman led to a wild ride as one of the founding members of the legendary Modern Lovers, perhaps the greatest alt-rock, pre-punk, indie band that no one has ever seen.

HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY! REMEMBERING ARTURO VEGA

2022-06-02T15:31:30+00:00May 24th, 2022|Music|

Arturo Vega was the most optimistic, jubilant and fun pal anyone could wish for. If it wasn’t for Artie, Joey Ramone and I would’ve starved to death in those early days. He used to give us each a buck fifty so we could each buy a quart of beer and a pack of cigarettes. Joey smoked Winstons; I smoked Marlboros, at 75 cents a pack.

ERIC CLAPTON IS A FIRST CLASS, GRADE A ASSHOLE!

2022-05-18T13:19:40+00:00May 18th, 2022|Essays, Music|

This article was originally published by Chris Zappa on Medium in 2021 under the title, “I Just Can’t Even With Eric Clapton Anymore.” Chris has graciously given Legsville permission to republish it, and I encourage other music lovers to read Chris’ work on Medium as well as sign up for Zappagram, the mother of all music newsletters, which he runs on Substack.

WHEN THE BEATLES MET ELVIS

2022-05-12T19:35:43+00:00May 12th, 2022|Music|

In one of his many interviews, John Lennon called it the most exciting day of his life. I rather doubt it, but then I grew up with the Elvis that was making movies like “Clambake” and “Girls, Girls, Girls,” so I was never impressed. Like Lennon, I loved Elvis’ early Sun Records stuff and believed Presley went to hell when he joined the army. Still, I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall the night the Beatles finally met Elvis. I hope you enjoy this!

THE BALLAD OF CYNTHIA PLASTER CASTER

2022-04-30T18:03:22+00:00April 30th, 2022|Essays, Music|

Cynthia was truly an original thinker and a meticulous goofy artist who took the job of casting rock stars’ erect “rigs” extremely seriously while never losing her sense of humor about the job at hand. Join me now as we listen to Cynthia Plaster Caster’s story….

PUNK RETURNS!

2022-04-29T17:01:16+00:00April 29th, 2022|Fashion, Music|

So Punk, what are you going to wear? I’m already thinking about Fall 2022. I have just seen my first glimpse of tourist winter white flesh revealed. I witnessed for a mere nano second the stretch marks and imperfections, back fat and butt cracks! I’m ready to see the coats back on and the sins of our unhealthy diets swathed and draped in almost anything.

MAKING THE WILDEST SHOW IN LAS VEGAS PART I: SAM

2022-04-29T13:34:15+00:00April 27th, 2022|Music|

Louis Prima, Keely Smith and Sam Butera revolutionized Las Vegas, the lounge scene and 20th century popular music when they launched their spectacular act in December 1954 at the Sahara hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The story of their success has never been told in full, and never accurately – until now. Based on long-hidden interviews with the principals and extensive research, Burt Kearns reveals how all the parts fell into place, long before that historic debut. In Part One, we meet the man who answered the call of The Wildest, the key player without whom this success story would never have happened.

FORBIDDEN BEAT – THIS IS NOT A “DRUMMER BOOK”

2022-04-22T13:50:55+00:00April 22nd, 2022|Books We Love, Music|

Here’s something I discovered over the last couple of years: Tell somebody you’re putting together a book about music and their response is usually something like, “Cool! I love music.” Tell them it’s a book revolving around punk drummers and the response is more like, “Damn. I hate math.” | ©2022 by S.W. Lauden

GILBERT GOTTFRIED, NYC PUNK

2022-04-13T22:21:16+00:00April 13th, 2022|Comedy, Music|

Gilbert Gottfried was a fearless, hilarious, and truly great comedian. He also was a horror movie expert, a keeper of show business tradition and a gentle, humble man. Oh, and he was also a Ramone! Here’s the classic from USA Up All Night. 1-2-3-GIL!

PUNK ICON JORDAN MOONEY PASSES AWAY AT 66

2022-04-29T17:04:27+00:00April 6th, 2022|Essays, Fashion, Music|

The punk rock stylist and fashion icon has passed away in her home in Seaford on Sunday. Jordan styled the Sex Pistols, managed Adam and the Ants, worked at Vivienne Westwood’s famous store, Sex and starred in the film Jubilee by Derek Jarman. The actress, model, artist and vet has been mourned by the masses on social media.

SOMETHING HAPPENED TO FRANK SINATRA’S GRAVE

2022-04-04T20:16:01+00:00April 4th, 2022|Music|

I’d heard that something had happened to Frank Sinatra's grave. That someone defaced the memorial to the most important musical artist of the 20th century. Attacking Sinatra? This was like taking a wrecking ball to Graceland. Reading about it was one thing. I had to see for myself.

POSSUM HUNTING: ME, DADDY & GEORGE JONES

2022-04-04T17:56:49+00:00April 4th, 2022|Music|

George Jones’ drunk daddy used to wake him up as a child in the middle of the night and make him sing for him and his buddies or get a beating. Maybe that harsh pressure helped create a country diamond. Maybe it just created a mean SOB who also happened to be able to sing.

IGGY AT UNGANOS!

2022-04-02T15:51:26+00:00April 2nd, 2022|Music|

©2022 By Chris Campion | Behold… the transfiguration of Iggy Pop, during a legendary Stooges show at Ungano’s, New York City, which was recorded by Danny Fields and heavily-bootlegged for years.

G.G. ALLIN’S LAST DAY ON EARTH

2022-06-02T15:30:54+00:00April 1st, 2022|Music|

When I was doing a reading tour of the south last winter, I became friendly with Johnny Puke, from Charleston, South Carolina, where he books and manages the Tin Roof, a fun, dumpy punk club. Johnny told me that he was with G.G. the night he died and I thought it would be an interesting story to get on tape.

RICHARD BERRY

2022-03-19T15:20:40+00:00March 18th, 2022|Music|

R&b singer Richard Berry doo-wopped onto the LA music scene in 1953 as part of his high school group The Flairs, three years before Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers became a household name and two years before Little Richard howled across the Billboard pop charts. It was a time when radio was segregated, and r&b was branded “Race Music” as a warning label to pearl-clutching conservative white America and played on separate stations.

HOWIE PYRO SPEAKS — PART ONE

2022-02-22T14:02:35+00:00February 22nd, 2022|Music|

©2022 By Legs McNeil | In honor of Howie Pyro’s new liver and Jesse Malin’s benefit show for Howie’s medical expenses on Saturday, March 5th, I present Howie Pyro, the East Village Zelig, founding member of both the Blessed and D Generation.

ALICE COOPER: RIOT IN TOLEDO!

2022-04-29T17:11:16+00:00February 13th, 2022|Music|

Already frustrated by growing tensions within the band, the group was less than excited about their arrival in Toledo. Later, tour manager David Libert would be quoted saying, "If the Lord ever wanted to give the world an enema, this is where he would stick the goddamn nozzle."

THE RISE OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT

2022-01-26T01:04:31+00:00January 26th, 2022|Essays, Music, TV & Film|

"At age 20, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat emerged from the downtown scene with a budding sophistication equally rooted in abstract expressionism and the post-punk, no-wave, hip-hop, graffiti grit of the Mudd Club avant-garde." | ©2022 by Amanda Sheppard

THE STORY OF SUICIDE WITH ALAN VEGA & MARTY REV

2022-04-29T17:08:54+00:00January 25th, 2022|Music|

Suicide was anything but boring. Far from it. This was dangerous, wildly unpredictable, chaotic performance art. They were really quite a spectacle and left anyone who stumbled into their concerts at CBGB or Max’s with their mouth open, thinking, What the hell is this?

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