Earlier this year – we blogged about some footage from Sydney’s long-lost Dizzy Dollz – which had surfaced on YouTube. Some months later we learn that another gig has been upped – and it’s just as good. When I say I’m in love you best believe I’m in love, L U V – and Mr Rockbrat is diggin’ this time travel – to the seedy Kardomah Cafe big time ! Tonight we have another dose of glam/punk/rock n roll circa 1992. It’s a short set, but a great one. Does vocalist Bella still perform ? She must’ve intimidated the hell out of many a young cherry-boy from that stage. Her voice suits these tunes so well. Did this band ever demo the track ‘Bitch On Heat’ ? Loud and to-the-point – it’s as catchy as all hell. Same with ‘Can’t Stop Shakin’ ? Was that ever put to tape ? Guitarist Glenn Read’s solo is hot – so too, the one in ‘Good Morning Headache’ – he was someone we saw a lot over the years on the Sydney scene (Shy Thunder/White Widow/Starlet) – and he always played with a great tone and feel. Looking back – Dizzy Dollz were more than just T and A rock n roll. As mentioned in my previous post – fun and entertainment were the main focus points. How can you not dig an outfit who rip through cool Runaways and Dolls tunage ?! Their take on Eddie Cochrane’s Summertime Blues is the best you’ll hear this side of Joan Jett’s 1981 run-through. Love it. The Australian underground scene had some great – authentic rock n roll bands in the late 80’s and Dizzy Dollz were just one of em. Spend 40 minutes watching this set and you’ll be in agreeance. OK kids, the sun is now up so I should stumble down Bayswater Road and vanish like a vampire…
Tags: Bella, Dizzy Dollz, Glenn Read, Kardomah Cafe, Lisa Macculloch, Robbie Paris
Tags: Birch Hill, Joan Jett, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Joan Jett 1996, New Jersey, Old Bridge NJ, Sean Koos, Tony Bruno
The town of Old Bridge is located in New Jersey, not too far from Staten Island, around 40km from Manhattan. It was also home to a live venue called Birch Hill – which me and the Cowboy made tracks for back in 1996. The reason ? Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. 40km doesn’t sound far – at least not for an Australian, who thinks nothing of driving a few hundred kilometres to get to the shops and back – well, you get my meaning. This gig stands out for a couple of reasons. See, me and the Cowboy were holed up in a flea-infested hostel around Chelsea, swilling cats piss one humid afternoon – whilst listening to local rock radio. We hear the end of an advert for a Blackhearts show at ‘Albridge’, or was it ‘Aldridge’, ‘Old Ridge’ maybe ? No mention of the gig in the Village Voice either – hmmm. Anyway, we head to the Port Authority Bus Terminal on gig day and manage to annoy the ticket lady officer big time – by not actually knowing our destination. Fucking tourists. ‘Ohhh you mean, Old Bridge’ she whines in a Queens accent. ‘Uh huh, yeah’ we nod – like Beavis and Butthead and board the Jersey-bound bus excitedly. From memory the Old Bridge bus stop was at a nearby mall – which meant a long walk back to the venue – a venue which first reminded me of Bob’s Country Bunker – chicken wire ? Unlike many Australian or British venue’s where you can hit the venue bar pre-show, this place seemed isolated and had the doors locked until like 8.00pm. The only thing to keep us entertained were the ‘Joan Clones’ who sat in their cars – cranking Jett/Runaways tunage, whiling the hours away. One geeky fan came up to us and even texta’d a number on our hands ! WTF ? (don’t want any queue-jumping at a Blackhearts show or Mr Laguna may wanna see you after school). Odd. It was humid in New Jersey that afternoon – so when the doors finally opened we darted to the bar – a man’s not a camel. Birch Hill was apparently a ground-breaking venue which had hosted up-and-coming acts like Marilyn Manson, Korn and the Goo Goo Dolls. Others such as Eddie Money, Anthrax, Sepultura, Scorpions, Dokken, Cheap Trick, Dio, Motorhead, Dream Theatre, UFO, Vince Neil, Yngwie, Misfits, Great White, Cinderella and even Iron Maiden (with Blaze) also played here – amongst countless other acts. Thrashers Overkill – who appear on this gig ad – hail from Old Bridge I believe. Anyway, back to the Jett show.
Boston’s two girl-one guy ‘Chelsea on Fire’ opened many Joan Jett shows in the late 90’s and did so on this occasion. They were unoriginal and unmemorable – and I instead made better use of my time by hitting on a couple of local chicks – big-haired Stevie Nicks-clones. and the booze kept flowing. Local outfit Mars Needs Women were next up – I think they gave me a demo tape – or did they hand em out (?) – and were capital A average. At some stage I recall ligging with Blackhearts Tony Bruno and Sean Koos – the bassist was far more impressed with my 1995 Aussie tour tee than his (ex-Saraya/Danger Danger) band mate (Bruno would later find greener pastures working as guitarist, music director for Enrique Iglesias). Eventually Joanie jumps the stage with shortly-cropped bright orange hair. Not one of her better looks. As usual – Miss Larkin and band fired on all cylinders – and her set was soon over – but not, as you’d expect – was our Old Bridge adventure.
There were no taxis anywhere – and a promised lift by some local Jett-head proved to be bullshit. Anyway, me and the Cowboy start walking alongside the freeway – when we stumble upon a local cop sitting in his car. ‘Any chance of a lift’ ? I ask – and after ID’s are confirmed – we jump in the back of the squad car. ‘I heard Joan Jett now has orange hair’ the officer mumbled. Sheesh – even the local law enforcement were up on recent Jett happenings ! Some minutes later – the kindly cop drops us at a 24 hour diner and says ‘hey when you get back to Australia, you tell Aussie cops that Jersey cops are cool’ ! Absoloutely, 10-4, that’ll be the first thing I do when we land at Mascot. With a hang-over starting to kick in – I slumped wearily into a booth at the diner – ordering coffee and spying the ‘texta-girl’ from the gig sitting nearby. We rolled back into the Port Authority terminal a little under the weather – but drenched in Joan Jett rock n roll. I am attaching the advert for this show in question. Man, I love looking over past gig ads – the names of bands who vanshed – or also conquered – lay before you. This one shows Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould appearing, the afore-mentioned Overkill, and Northern Irish outfit Ash can be seen on a bill supporting Stabbing Westward – no doubt trying to sink their teeth into the vast North American market. Looking back – Merciful Fate – out on the road in support of their then released ‘Into The Unknown’ record with Voivod woulda been cool – hmm, nah, on second thought – I think I’d take the Marshall Tucker Band over the lot of em. The venue closed its doors back in 2003 – making way for some housing community. Often, just making your way to a show is half the fun – and this tale, from Old Bridge NJ in 1996, is just one of many I have tucked away. More road stories later…till then – respect the rock.
Tags: Iggy Pop, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Joan Jett 1995 Australian Tour, Ricky Byrd, Stooges, Tony Bruno
Found this tour advert in an old magazine tonight (anyone remember the short-lived Rebel Razor ?) and I thought it was time to reminisce a little. Joanie had last toured Australia back in 1982, and although she remained productive, there was no big hit here to warrant a further tour downunder (ala I Love Rock n Roll and Crimson and Clover back in the day). So it was with some surprise that a tour – co-headlining with Divinyls, was announced for the winter of 1995. I cannot believe that this tour was nearly two decades back. Where the hell are the years going ? We have written a lot about Joan Jett over the years, so I will not repeat myself – just go grab a beer, put on your copy of Pure and Simple and get in the mood. Anyway, we saw a few shows on this tour, including one at Revesby – long time Rockbrat co-hort Giglizard reviewed the show for Vicious Kitten fanzine at the time, and stated that it was the nearest he’d been to a religious experience (the tour was dubbed ‘an evening mass’). and you know what ? Gig Lizard called it right, once again. 1995 was a weird time for rock n roll. I know, apart from underground rock – there was nothing of interest for me in the mainstream – apart from checking out the the dreamy Merril Bainbridge. Jett/Divinyls did some odd venues on this tour – Barooga (?), Manly Leagues Club in Brookvale, and St George’s Basin to name a few. Maybe the Sussex Inlet region was home to a horde of riot grrrls, who knows ? A couple of memories of this tour stand-out: Getting to meet Joan at the Coogee Bay Hotel post-gig was pretty special.This was not planned – I had spent the Blackheart set gulping brew and taking pix with my old Canon SLR, when a few minutes after their set, I spy Joan and minder (Kenny L I presume) saunter past and made a bee-line after her. Glad I did, cos the opportunity of meeting her again at other shows, here and in the USA, never materialised. I also got a whole bunch of Runaways stuff signed by her during this tour – they come with me to the grave. Another memory is of just how potent Joan and the Blackhearts were – night after night – leaving the Divinyls (whom I dig, big time) to come up short most gigs. Seeing Joan up close, belting out “I Wanna Be Your Dog” will also live with me – man it was good, and freakin’ loud too. I reckon – apart from the classic Blackheart line-up of Byrd, Ryan, Crystal – this is her most solid outfit. Guitarist Tony Bruno is tres cool, and gave the band great balance. Anyway, a great tour – from a true rock n roll original. you shoulda been there kids.
Tags: Andy Bell, Definitely Maybe, Gem Archer, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Tony McCarroll, Top Ten Oasis Songs ?
My recent post about Slade – where I referenced Noel Gallagher from Oasis – reminded me of another article I’ve been meaning to write for some time. And it is something very close to my rock n roll heart: the mighty Oasis and more specifically – what are my Top 10 Oasis songs ?!
The timing seems right, what with the 20th year anniversary of the Definitely Maybe record upon us. With a rich back-catalogue of tunage, it would be impossible to name just one favourite Oasis song – an outfit whom are without a doubt – the last great rock n roll band of our time. Nevertheless, I have managed to select ten tunes – so let’s have it.
This floored me when I first heard it and still does. The way Liam punches into the tune after Noel’s glorious pick slide is mind-blowing. Cryptic – cool lyrics wrapped into a chunky bass-laden chorus, would ensure this song’s popularity over many years – from small clubs to stadiums. Love it !
Often voted the #1 fan favourite, and rightly so. Big, loud guitars – a sweeping chorus – the Gallagher brothers sharing vocal duties – I mean, does it get any better ?! The answer is no, it does not. To be played at maximum volume only.
This one moves me like no other – whether amped up – or performed acoustically by Noel, this track (in my opinion) defines the Oasis-sound far more than Wonderwall ever will. Lyrically, it is Noel at his very best with lines such as ‘Now that you’re mine, We’ll find a way of chasing the sun, Let me be the one who shines with you.’ [Sigh] – Truly stunning.
Don’t Look Back In Anger
Littered with Lennon-isms throughout, this amazing song affects people in different ways. Only the power of a well-written song can do that, like this one. Billboard Magazine said of the tune, “Noel Gallagher reveals a deft sense of timing and craft that turn his improprieties into masterful pop gems.” I cannot add to that.
Some Might Say
This was an easy one to nail – and has the trademark Oasis-sound – big guitars, sing-along chorus and hooks a-plenty. Twenty years on it still sounds phenomenal.
Lifted from the very underrated Standing on The Shoulder of Giants –Gas Panic is one of my choice Oasis cuts – and I mean, what’s not to love ? The mystical lyrics are great – but it’s the way the song kicks into gear about 90 seconds in – that’s the stuff I really dig. Liam introduces this on the live Familiar To Millions album with ‘it’s a Good fookin’ tune this, cmon’! – My sentiments exactly.
Sheer brilliance and the tune which thrust Noel Gallagher above the pack of 90’s songwriters. If this was put on canvas – people would be lining up for hours to see it.
Bring It On Down
Noel has written several loud and dirty punk songs – such as Fade Away and Headshrinker. Both could’ve made my top ten – but it was in fact the similar-veined Bring It On Down which got the nod. What elevates this one is the smashing, raucous guitars mixed with Liam’s snarling vocals. And with a pounding drum intro like no other – this could be one of Tony McCarroll’s finest moments. Great in the live environment too, it contains grimy, street-level lyrics like ‘you’re the outcast – you’re the underclass, but you don’t care – because you’re living fast’. This is about as pure as rock n roll gets, penned by young, hungry working-class kids with attitudes and songs to match.
(It’s Good) To Be Free
This is such a great song, but it was hearing it on a BBC session from late 1994 which in fact knocked me senseless. Noel’s searing guitar work, Liam’s snotty vocal delivery – make an effort to track this down – and you’ll see what I mean. Intensely wonderful.
The Importance of being idle
Kinks comparisons aside – this song went to Number One in the UK and justifiably so. It is catchy as all hell, and (another) of Noel’s finest moments !
So there you have it folks. All done. In compiling a list of only ten, I have obviously left behind countless others….superb songs like Force Of Nature, Magic Pie, Waiting For The Rapture, Hey Now, Step Out, Talk Tonight, I Hope I Think I Know, Lyla, Rock n Roll Star, Little By Little, Shock Of the Lightning, Live Forever, Half The World Away, Stay Young and My Big Mouth – my gosh the list is endless. In case you ain’t figured it out – Oasis have been my favourite rock n roll band of these past two decades – they make me smile – they make me sing, they make me dance – they remind me of why I got into rock n roll in the first place.
The dreams we had as children may fade away – but good times and great rock n roll will live forever.
Tags: Gene Simmons, Kevin DuBrow, Kiss, Noddy Holder, Noel Gallagher, Oasis, Paul Stanley, Quiet Riot, Slade, Sladest
Today I am giving Slade’s 1973 record ‘Sladest’ a thorough inspection – and damn it’s good. Actually it’s extraordinary ! What you are in fact all looking at folks – is the very first record I ever bought. See, me and the Cowboy used to spend many Saturday mornings as kids – perusing local school fetes, and it was on once such occasion, when I – at around 10 years old – shelled out around 50 cents for this guitar-charged classic. Suffice to say, when I got the wax home and spun it, I was addicted for life. The quality of hook-laden songs contained here is incredible – and I spent many hours as a kid – greedily drinking from the Slade well, whilst simultaneously reading over the booklet contained in this gatefold album. Funnily enough, I have a distant memory of one of my sisters – (the one who let the side down when it came to rock cred) – mocking Dave Hill’s haircut. This misguided slur – made by someone who had dodgy albums by the likes of Bony M and Hall & Oates wedged in her K-tel Record Selector (not to mention sporting a do not unlike that of John Oates) – was most unwelcome. All hail Dave Hill – he has penned some of the most recognisable riffs of all time and is waaaaaay underrated. But where was I? Oh yeah – just get a load of some of the tracks on Sladest: Cum on Feel the Noize, Look Wot You Dun, Gudbuy T’Jane, Skweeze Me Pleeze Me, Take Me Bak ‘Ome, Coz I Luv You, Get Down and Get With It, Mama Weer All Crazee Now. I mean, I know this was a Greatest Hits’ album, but sheesh – all tracks really are wonderful rock n roll songs, good time tunes, party tunes – a couple of them are bonafide anthems. No wonder that Slade were hugely influential on Simmons and Stanley from Kiss (not to mention helping themselves to the ‘Alive !’ title for their err live opus from 75 – Slade Alive ! was released three years earlier). And as we would see some two decades later – Noel from Oasis would display his love of Slade through his music and songwriting.
In the 80’s – LA’s Quiet Riot would have massive success with a couple of Slade songs – main man Kevin Du Brow’s vocals eerily like Noddy Holder. Not that I cared – I loved QR as much as Slade – and if you don’t own 1983’s Metal Health and 1984’s Condition Critical may the “Man With The Metal Mask” track you down. Fun fact: Quiet Riot form in 1973 – same year as ‘Sladest’ was issued. This record went to number one in both UK and here in Australia – and justifiably sat there for some time. Apart from Quiet Riot – I know of a couple of other bands to have tackled Slade tunage such as the aforementioned Oasis with Cum on Feel the Noize (which rivals the original) – and the horrendous Britny Fox who butchered ‘Goodbye T Jane’ back in 1988.
So there you have it folks – ‘Sladest’ – the first record I bought which ultimately has led me on an incredible rock n roll journey – which continues to this day. Go buy this and start your own journey now !
Tags: beethovens fist, Lime Spiders, mick blood, mick blood benefit
As we all know, rock n roll is a hard life – with no certainties or superannuation payment at the end of your playing days. 99% of musicians don’t make much money at all – and as the years go by, many artists suddenly find themselves no longer in demand as they may have been in previous years. I don’t know any musicians nowadays who don’t have to work, (at least part time) to make ends meet – let alone support their chosen profession. Which brings me in a roundabout way to Mick Blood. Times have been tough for the Lime Spiders front man – and in recent weeks got a whole lot worse. Needing to leave Queensland for a fresh start in March, Mick set off looking for a new home. After a torrid time of several months, Mick finally found a new pad in Newcastle NSW and set about getting back into work and getting on with his life. But within a few days of moving in, Mick was bashed unconscious one June night in Stockton, leaving him with serious head injuries. He is now in hospital and requires a long period of treatment, recuperation and life re-building. Mick faces an uphill battle in retaining his accommodation and is quickly coming to the end of his life-savings after all that he has been through this year. A benefit gig is being held in a few days in WA to raise some money for Mick, but a web site has also been set up where you can donate a few dollars to help him out. As Mr Rockbrat and I have attested before on many occasions, the contribution Mick has made to Australian rock n roll over a long period of time is beyond significant and deserves way more recognition. The Lime Spiders gave us some absolutely incredible tunes, garage rock that was world class – ‘Out of Control’, the classic ’Slave Girl’, ‘25th’ Hour’,Wierdo Libido and ‘Volatile’ to name a few. Their 1990 album ‘Beethoven’s Fist’ is one of my favourite Australian rock albums ever, littered with rock classics and a WAY underrated album. (read a review of that album below). Mick’s shrieking vocal delivery was distinct – no one sounds like him, before or after. If, like me, you enjoyed the music of the Lime Spiders either live or on record, now maybe the time to return the favour and throw a few bucks Mick’s way when he’s not doing so great. For more information on the Mick Blood Benefit, head here. Get well soon Mick.
Review of Beethoven’s Fist LP by Cowboy Col (this originally appeared in Vicious Kitten Fanzine #3) in 1995
The Lime Spiders bit back hard in 1990, with what proved to be their final Long Player. They released an EP in 1992 which turned out to be their last hurrah, and in that year secured the opening slot for The Black Crowes on their first Australian tour. It was only through vigourous networking by Virgin head honcho Dicky Branson that scored them that gig – not. Black Crowes – Chris and Rich Robinson had hand picked them, after witnessing the rock n roll monster that the Lime spiders were, on a previous U.S tour. This record stands as one of the most complete rock n roll albums to come out of Australia in recent times. From go to whoa, every track is huge. ‘Cherry Red’. Hit single. Top ten. Should have been. Three minutes of high energy rock bliss, complete with sing-along chorus. The other standouts on this record include ‘Real Thing’, ‘I Get Off At The Next Stop’, the sonic relentlessness of ‘9 Miles High’ and ‘Silent Partner’. The opener – ‘Scene Of The Crime’ is another standout track, high quality, harmonized garage rock at it’s best. For mine, this album ranks as vocalist Mick Blood’s finest moment, in a long and inspired rock n roll career. Richard Lawson and Phil Hall provide the thunderous rhythm section, while Gerard Corben’s razer sharp guitar work is nothing short of amazing. ‘Beethoven’s Fist’ was produced by Kevin ‘Caveman’ Shirley and also features the talents of Mark Wilkinson (Girlies, Kcrunch, Brother Brick) guesting on additional guitar. Five years on, this album serves as a testament to The Lime Spiders. This ten song platter is chock full of loud, melody laced, uncompromising rock n roll, and no real fan of rock n roll should be without it.
Tags: let me get this off my chest, Paul Stanley
Without a doubt – the BEST KISS album of all time, is quite possibly Paul Stanley’s ‘bootleg solo album from 2005. From the man who penned such Dylan like lyrics as ‘You Make Me Rock Hard ‘, and ‘Uh All Night’ comes an album chock full of the man’s stage banter. Released in 2005, this fan-made disc compiles 70 tracks worth of Stanley’s distinctive song introductions and on-stage banter. If it’s one thing KISS do well – its the cliche. Their music is cliched, their interviews are cliched, and of course, the on stage banter has more cliches than you can shake a stick at. Just for you – ‘PEOPLE’. I said ‘ JUST FOR YOU PEOPLE!’ HERE IT IS – The best and only KISS album you really need. Get it here. You can Google the artwork.