KILLER EARLY FOOTAGE OF WENDY O. WILLIAMS AND THE PLASMATICS TEARING UP CBGB.
A recently uploaded video features some of the earliest footage of Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics, performing March 1st, 1979 at CBGB, doing their song “Tight Black Pants” from their first LP, New Hope For the Wretched.
The video below comes to us from Paul Tschinkel, who recorded it for his punk and new wave cable TV show, Inner-Tube, which ran for ten years on Manhattan Cable. We’ve written about Tschinkel and Inner-Tube here before.
This is priceless historical footage and after watching I find myself saying the same thing I say after viewing any of Paul Tschinkel’s amazing YouTube uploads: “please show us the rest!”
THE B-52S TAKE YOU ON A TOUR OF ATHENS, GA IN 1989.
As part of the promotional efforts for Cosmic Thing, the now-quartet made themselves available to MTV’s Tim Sommer for a tour of their hometown of Athens, Georgia, which, with the exploding popularity of REM, was rapidly becoming a well-known trope even for casual music fans.
the gang start out at the “Hot Corner,” the intersection of Hull and Washington where the Bluebird Café stood at that time but had previously been the location of a “natural foods” restaurant called the Eldorado where Fred Schneider had once worked as a waiter. I’ve always wondered why the B-52s included a tribute to third base on 2007’s Funplex, and now I know what “Hot Corner” is a reference to. Thanks, MTV!
Touring the college town in (what else?) a convertible, the band passes the Georgia Theatre, where the B-52s played on May 20, 1978, and February 2, 1979. Interestingly, they also pass a courthouse, which prompts a comment from Kate Pierson that that was where she got divorced….
‘SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?’: MICK JONES’ LAST PERFORMANCE WITH THE CLASH AT THE US FESTIVAL.
Steve Wozniak may have co-founded Apple, but it was his notorious “US Festival” that makes him one of the greatest rock promoters of our time. First held during Memorial Day weekend in 1982 at the Glen Helen Regional Park outside of Los Angeles, the US Festival (or “Unite us in Song”) was a hopeful outlook toward the coming future and a departure from the “Me Decade” that was the 1970s.
At the time, “Woz” was on leave from Apple after surviving a plane crash that left him unable to create new memories for half a year. Hoping to put together the “Super Bowl of Rock Parties” with a lineup of the best acts in rock music, Wozniak teamed up with heavy-hitter San Francisco promoter Bill Graham to help with the booking. Acts like The Police, Talking Heads, The B52s, Oingo Boingo, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac, and Jackson Browne all performed over three days. In addition to music, the festival was to feature the latest technological and scientific innovations at an on-site expo, while satellites linked attendees with those watching in the Soviet Union. The US Festival was also the first music event in history to use jumbo screens for unobstructed views.
FILTHY LUCRE: A SEX PISTOLS 7” HAS SOLD FOR ABOUT $15,000 USD.
March of 1977 was an eventful month for the Sex Pistols. Founding bassist Glen Matlock had just quit at the end of February (reports that he’d been fired for being a Beatles fan were pretty hilarious, but were also total bullshit), and he was quickly “replaced” with non-bassist Sid Vicious. The band were signed to Herb Alpert’s A&M records after being dismissed from their previous contract with EMI “in view of theadverse publicity generated.” Recording of their first A&M single, “God Save the Queen,” had already begun while Vicious was still just beginning to learn how to play bass, so he wasn’t on the sessions, but it hardly mattered, as A&M would swiftly follow EMI in dropping the Sex Pistols, this time without even releasing a single song (the band got to keep all the money both times, a happenstance chronicled in their song “EMI” and The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle). 25,000 copies of the hastily recorded and manufactured 7” had been pressed, and almost all were destroyed.
CRUCIAL PUNK DOC ‘DOA: A RIGHT OF PASSAGE’ FINALLY RESTORED FOR A HI-DEF DVD RELEASE.
It’s a 1980 documentary/celebration/post-mortem of Punk Rock’s first wave, and it centers around the Sex Pistols’ disastrous 1978 US tour, cut with interview and concert footage of other key and not-so-key UK bands.
Furthermore, there’s a good chance that even if you’ve never seen it, you’ve still seen bits and pieces of it. That famously sad Sid-and-Nancy-in-bed interview was culled from DOA, as is the footage you’ve probably seen of the Sex Pistols’ calamitous Texas gig, and the San Francisco performance at which they broke up—some of that footage later turned up in Julien Temple’s The Filth and the Fury. Some famous footage of X Ray Spex playing “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” is from DOA as well.
Kevin Haskins reads an excerpt from his upcoming Bauhaus book.
BAUHAUS UNDEAD: The Visual History and Legacy of Bauhaus, exhibits an extensive personal collection of Haskins’ ranging from show fliers, photos, hand written lyrics and more—that Kevin Haskins has diligently saved since the band’s beginnings—along with with personal anecdotes as well as stories from the band’s peers.
The book will be published will officially be released in March of 2018 via Cleopatra Records.
THE B-52S BRING THEIR MESS AROUND TO THE POPULAR SOAP OPERA ‘GUIDING LIGHT,’ 1982
Guiding Light holds the record for the longest run of any soap opera. It debuted in 1952 as a narrative doled out in 15-minute increments and made it all the way to 2009, when it was replaced by Let’s Make a Deal, hosted by Wayne Brady. When a show is around that long, it’s tempting to say that “everything” happened on it, but that category doesn’t intuitively include appearances by influential new wave bands. Yet that did happen too.
In 1982 the B-52s appeared on an episode during a promotional tour for their David Byrne-produced EP Mesopotamia. The premise was that there was a venue in the town, which bore the name of Springfield (yes, Springfield), in which musical artists would appear.
The forgotten New Yorker who changed the ‘80s music scene.
When the members of New Order arrived in New York for their first North American gigs in 1980, they were greeted by a booking agent, a drug supplier, a tour guide and their own personal chef — all of whom were the same woman.
The Brits were just one of dozens of new wave and post-punk acts imported across the Atlantic by New Yorker Ruth Polsky. During her tenure as a talent booker at seminal Manhattan nightclubs Hurrah on West 62nd Street (1979 to 1982) and Danceteria on West 21st Street (1982 to 1986), she was the first to take chances on then-unknown bands such as Simple Minds, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Smiths, the Psychedelic Furs and many more. With disco and rock still dominant in the charts, Polsky had a rare ear for fresh sounds, and took chances in bringing them to the United States before most other club bookers would dare.
‘TROUBLE UNDER WATER’: UNRELEASED MUSIC FROM SEATTLE’S LEGENDARY U-MEN.
Bands like The U-Men don’t come along often. A Seattle band at a time when the phrase “Seattle band” carried zero cultural cachet, The U-Men kitchen-sinked Gun Club rootsiness, classic garage rock ‘verb-and-twang, punk sneer, gothic darkness, and Ubu/Beefheart artiness into a single coherent sound that galvanized a hinterlands underground scene and directly influenced the grunge explosion
The latest episode of the Talkhouse podcast — which features musicians interviewing musicians — finds old friends, bassists and fellow Mancuinans Andy Rourke of The Smiths and Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order talking a walk down memory lane in a 25-minute chat that finds the two reminiscing about how they met, their respective legal messes and more.
Hook’s appearance is in promotion of his recently published memoir “Substance: Inside New Order,” which leads Hook to ask Rourke if he’s read Morrissey’s autobiography:
Andy Rourke: “I’ve had a, ya know, a browse, a browse through it. I was just checking out what he’s saying about me, basically. Went through the index.”
Peter Hook: “Ya know what, that was the reason why I didn’t want to put an index in my book. Because I didn’t like the thought of Barney (Sumner) going in the bookshop and just
browsing through the index. I wanted him to have to suffer it!”.
.slicing up eyeballs