Friday, April 29, 2016

Saturday, March 29, 2014


The Clash were riding high, having a a few hits in the USA, and here they were opening up for some outfit called "The Who," who were maybe on their maybe first "farewell tour." David Johansen preceded The Clash--he sang that jungle song. Getting ahead of myself--getting into the stadium is a story in itself. No tickets, but when you have a friend who is an NYPD detective with the ability to "tin" one's way in, it was a piece of cake. Except for the fact that he had his off-duty pistol in an ankle-holster, which freaked out security. "I'm on the job, he's with me," became a mantra, as the security monkeys patted us down even 20 years before 9/11.

We wound up in the right-field loge. The stage was way out in center-field. A guy fell out of the upper deck into the loge a section over--injury extent unknown. You could barely see the the performers. The Clash, being smart men,sported garish and outlandish garb to make for a more visual effect--a bright red suit on Jones, a coonskin cap on Strummer. They really rocked up "Rocking The Casbah," making it a punk rock song. They sang all their anti-war songs, as I think The Falklands or some such was going on.

It was nothing like when I witnessed the group at the Palladium or Bonds, where those houses were blown, and I was singularly blown away.

And then The Who came on. Pete ripped his hand to bloody shreds. I only knew this because there was GIANT simultaneous video of the band performing behind them. If Johansen and The Clash were afforded this amenity, I might have enjoyed the evening more.

Thank you, Butch.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Big Fight At Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers/Buzz & The Flyers at Max's Kansas City c. 1980

Crazy Cavan and his group were pretty big rockabillies in England at the time. I had this rekkid called "Rock 'N' Roll Is Still Alive" that featured them and their overly sideburned Edwardian-suited male and skank-ass female whore supporters on the cover. The LP was a live record, and also had okay performances from The Flying Saucers and The Hellraisers. So CC & the RR came to New York City--the Big Time, or so they thought. They apparently did not know, however, however these things are done, that Buzz & The Flyers would open for them. Buzz & The Flyers was the best rock & roll band operating in NYC at the time, hands down--no shit, slick.
How to explain Buzz & The Flyers? We followed the band all the time ever since I saw a Village Voice ad about "Rockabilly Night" at some joint called The Rocker Room, somewhere on a street that begins with 4. I could write a freakin' book about Buzz & The Flyers, but here's what happened on the night in question. We went nuts for Buzz, but the Crazy Cavan Teddy Boys in the audience who came over the pond with their favorite band got pissed when we kind of ignored CC and didn't show enough enthusiasm for the headliners. We weren't clapping or dancing for them. Max's wasn't well attended that night, but alcohol had full attention all around and the battle was easily engaged after the mad Brits assaulted us. My spex got knocked off and Butch had this guy's (the bloke is on the cover of "Rock 'N' Roll Is Still Alive") fancy suit all ready to rip--"If his glasses are broken I'm ripping this sleeve off." Altercation broken up. Nothing to see here, but what a pretty good night.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eddy Dixon

I had Robert Gordon's records, but never saw him back in the day. I did, however, see him and Willem Dafoe (in his first movie role) in "The Loveless," a movie about two 1950s bikers who are headed for the Daytona races but mechanical difficulties in a small town with a hard-nosed sheriff with a smoking hot daughter get in the way. I saw this at the 8th Street Playhouse on, uh, 8th St. in "The Village." (Ask me about how when we went to see "Rock & Roll High School" there Marky Ramone and his mother sat right in front of us.)

Anyway, "The Loveless" had a great soundtrack, with a couple of Robert Gordon originals and re-recordings by the the likes of Little Richard of signature hit tunes.

Also on there was this guy Eddy Dixon, with a song called "Relentless." It was a slow one, but it boomed with singing emotion and twang guitar. Eddy Dixon's voice sounded at times otherworldly, like some latter-day Gene Vincent. The song had great lyrics too, containing a refrain "Look out, cat, I'll kill you twice." It was, to put it in WFMU "Fool's Paradise" DJ Rex's words, "a remarkable achievement in recorded sound."

A couple of years after the movie came out, I was skimming the Village Voice one week, and I saw that Eddy Dixon would be playing one of those music joints that crowd Bleecker St. I rounded up a crew from Staten Island and my East Village girlfriend and we went. We arrived midset and it was I must say disappointing. They must have been on something. No tightness, all over the place, and the guy couldn't sing. I kept calling out "Relentless!", "Relentless!" Eddy Dixon flipped because someone actually knew a song he recorded, and he tried. Oh, he tried. Poor guy. The "Relentless" he played was unrelentlessly piss-poor. Sounded nothing like the record and you could see he was struggling. I'm not really knocking him, it could happen to anybody. I screwed up singing a couple of times me-self.

My girlfriend recognized Eddy as a freelance plumber from the East Village, who had done work in her co-op tenement. Turns out he later played some bit part in "Wild at Heart" and was in a David Lynch short film "Rockabilly Guy". I wonder what he's doing today.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Phish Dec. 30, 1997 Madison Square Garden

Wait. What? Me at a Phish show? Free ticket in a big telecom's luxury box courtesy of this guy Terence, that's why. Old pals in attendance, as well. Couldn't see the show for the marijuana clouds, and from what I heard of it I'm glad I was never a Phish fan, because I'm certain I'd be disappointed. Oh yeah, and some dang hippie kids raided our box and swiped our free hot dogs, but at least we guarded the Heinekens properly.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ramones/Runaways/Suicide Jan. 7, 1978 Palladium NYC

Home from college, I dragged Duff, Eddie, and Butch to this. This was my second Ramones show, and it was a significant one because it was the first one the group played outside of a club in New York. A big-time genuine theater. Tickets were like $5.00, which I purchased from the Ticketron guy at The Record Baron on Forest Avenue on Staten Island. We were in about the 10th row in my estimation.

Suicide opened up. I guess they were forerunners of what was called "No Wave." This two-man "band" consisted of Alan Vega on screaming and Martin Rev on some kind of keyboard set-up that blasted our ears with some sort of unlistenable electronic racket. Boos rang out, and then they got pelted with crap. They blew. (Note however I did buy Vega's 1981 rockabilly record, Collision Drive, which I did like). We couldn't stand no more, so we went out to the lobby for beers. I scoped out Debbie Harry and David Johanson hanging about.

Of course, the Runaways exuded nothing but sex, and I'd read their management/PR had in the past hired teen boys to rub their crotches while standing stagefront. Eddie really had the hots for Lita Ford, the one with the long blonde hair. Joan Jett, in her Runaways, pre-"Joan Jett" persona, exhibited some fine rock & roll moves. I didn't like them too much though, but how can one resist the chorus to 'Cherry Bomb"? I was there to see The Ramones, the most amazing band I'd ever seen up to that point in my life. (I'll get to writing about the first time--that's gonna be a long post.)

The Ramones leapt on the stage and put out non-stop for 27 songs, my research shows. "Rockaway Beach" was the first one, with "Blitzkreig Bop" number three. They did the usual ritual doffing of leather after a few numbers. With a bigger stage, there was some room for Johnny and Dee Dee to do some choreographed maneuvers. They would head to the rear of the stage and and then charge up to the lip, bashing their instruments on the way. No audience member held their seat, and everyone rushed up the aisles to get close to the action. The pinhead showed up for the "We're A Happy Family" part of the encore.

The ears rang after this one, boy. The lives of Duff, Eddie, and Butch, who were more mainstream in their musical tastes, were altered forever by the show. For me, it was number two in a long line of Ramones concerts to come.