Posts Tagged ‘Ramones’

Kevin K Interview

Posted: August 2, 2017 by rockbrat in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

This is an interview Colin Gray (Australian Rock Show/Rockbrat Blog) conducted on September 3, 2010 with legendary NYC rocker Kevin K. At the time, Kevin was about to release his autobiography, ‘How To Become A Successful Loser’, and his 20th Studio album, ‘Joey And Me’. In this detailed interview, Kevin talks about the book, the ‘Joey And Me’ album, playing with Walter Lure in LA, the state of the music industry, his memories of NYC, the ‘Firestorm’ and ‘Deutschland’ albums, his brother Alan, Cheetah Chrome, Freddy Lynxx, the New Toys and a whole lot more. This interview originally aired on the Rockbrat Radio podcast (now defunct) at 10PM on 10 September, 2010.

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Nerd is the word …..

Are Talking Heads the most overrated band of all time ? They are certainly up there. I never understood Talking Heads. They were a band whom never spoke to me – and as a consequence, were a band I never had any time for. Nerds. Art school nerds. History as shown that they came up as part of the NYC punk scene and were a CBGB’s band – but they weren’t a Ramones/Dead Boys/Blondie CB’s band – no leather jackets and ripped jeans rock ‘n’ roll – Polo shirts and tucked in jeans – they were art school geeks with quirky lyrics, thinking music for listeners with Asperger’s – Arty farty crap. Nerd Rock. They came up through the punk period – but they weren’t a punk band. Art punk ? Punk bands of that period were bands like The Boys, The Lurkers, The Damned. Whenever I bought a punk compilation LP and Talking Heads were on it, I skipped the track.  Its arguable that had they come up as part of the UK punk scene, they would not have made it. According to Wikepedia, “Talking Heads helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punk, art rock, dance, pop and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and an anxious, clean-cut image.” Really? Who wrote that dross?  Their breakthrough song – “Psycho Killer”, was so at odds with everything else being released by their peers. Byrne’s annoying screech on the chorus ‘Run Run Away, I , I , I , ay” – is painful to listen through. I read a review once that called him a ‘Genius’? Genius ? Hardly. Even Byrne himself said in recent years that he was borderline Aspergers. Looking back, that’s pretty apparent. Which is neither good nor bad – just how it is, and not a

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The result of consulting Liberace for costume ideas…….ghastly.

criticism or judgment. A big deal was made of the fact that they had a female bass player – they became known for that. Who cares ? I think she originally was only in the band cos she was the girlfriend of David Byrne, she couldn’t play bass. Apparently, Byrne “unable to find a bass player in New York”, persuaded her to learn the bass. David Byrne was a complete nerd. He must have been intimated by his peers of that time – Joey Ramone, Stiv, Debbie Harry and the like. He had an awkward style, dressed like a nerd, and was geek personified. That they became big in the mid 80s was odd to me. Stop Making Sense? Not if they were the other option. Baggy suits, burning down the house. Just shows you what a shit time this was for music. As the late 70s and mid 80s rolled through, Talking Heads were all about African beats / disco funk. Ugh. In the mid 80s you couldn’t turn on MTV without having that Stop Making Sense nonsense forced down your throat. Songs like “And She Was” and “Wild Wild Life, ‘Burning Down The House’, were irritatingly given unnecessary exposure – and subsequently became hits – yet this was a time when the charts were filled with this kind of nonsense. Whenever I hear ‘Like Humans Do” or “Once in a lifetime”, I feel like puking. Looking back, that the band had major international success was an anomaly to me. They must have been tedious to see live. That David Byrne has had a sustained career and enjoyed an international profile doesn’t say much for peoples tastes. Same reason why people bought records by Simply Red or Phil Collins records I guess. Passé. That Talking Heads are also in the banal ‘Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame” says more about what a redundant organisation that truly is. Kudos to Steve Miller for calling them out for what they truly are. I’d love to know if others think I’m being somewhat harsh here. Prove me wrong! Maybe there are other overrated bands Ive missed……..

Mr Ratboy - once a Motorcycle Boy, now a Refugee

There is much to like about new Tokyo outfit The Refugees, who feature Sour Jazz (and ex-Motorcycle Boy/Marky Ramone’s Intruders) guitar slinger Mr Ratboy in the line-up. In a scene clogged with bands, merely content in cloning those who’ve gone before them, The Refugees have a unique style and sound all their own – and they are a fun band to catch live. If you are a fan of Japanese beat groups you will find them very much to your liking. Toss in some smoky bar room sax with straight-down-the-line garage rock – and you have The Refugees. The band consist of Go on vocals and saxophone, Tunko on drums, bass player Ohuchi and the amazing Mr Ratboy on guitar. Mr Ratboy’s resume is longer than a Nozomi Shinkansen and he is still one of the classiest guitar players around. His distinctive sound is a key ingredient to The Refugees. It’s a sound that also includes some stinging saxophone courtesy of vocalist Go. Already proving popular on the Tokyo live circuit, the band are currently in the studio recording 10 songs for future release (to be mixed by Daniel Rey no less). If you live in Tokyo go check them out live. You can view live video on Mr Rockbrat’s YouTube page. News, gig dates, live photo’s etc are all included on the band’s official MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/refugeesxxx

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here kitty, kitty, kitty.

How can we do a post like this and not include Marc Bell aka Marky Ramone. Again, let me state that we love the Ramones as much as anyone, but drummer Marky’s wig was one of rock n roll’s worst kept secrets. Last time I saw the Ramones was in ’89 and my ears are still-a-ringing. The real deal my friends. Often imitated (hello most Tokyo punk outfits) but never bettered. Timeless. If you never saw them live, you missed out. Go get a DVD and see how it was done.  Bet ya never knew that Marky drummed back in 1971 for a band called Dust which also featured Richie Wise on guitar ! They cut recorded product which was produced by one Kenny Kerner. That’s right Kiss-freaks, Kerner and Wise – names now famous with the early Kiss story..is should that be Kisstory. Sheesh, if things had’ve worked out differently, our Marky coulda been the Catman who knows ? At least he woulda been in a band wear sporting a dead black cat on your head was not unusual ! Entrant # 2 is Mr Marky Ramone – Next !!

Kevin K - Numero Uno with Rockbrat & Cowboy Col

The last great rock n roller left alive, Mr Kevin K finally has his autobiography published and it is now availalable for sale. The book is entitled ‘How To Become A Successful Loser’ and if you are a fan of the Rockbrat blog, this is considered ESSENTIAL! This is the rock and roll life story of Kevin K. A true New Yorker. From the beginnings in Buffalo to the twenty plus years of playing the bar scene in Manhattan. To a new life in Europe…Becoming friends with Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Thunders, Cheetah Chrome, Jerry Nolan and Sylvain Sylvain. To shows at CBGB from 1980 – 2003…Drugs, death and failure were a constant in Kevin’s life. Nothing came easy…With thirty five music CDs and over 1,000 shows under his belt.. Kevin is the last of the CBGB musicians still on tour. How To Become A Successful Loser is a collection of autobiographical stories. Fresh, courageous and evocative. A genuine rock action account from the life of Kevin K. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat!!! At only $14 this is a MUST! But it online at Amazon here

Tune in to hear an exclusive interview with legendary NYC underground rocker Kevin K that was recorded on September 3, 2010. Cowboy Col talks to Kevin about all his new releases including the autobiography, his just released double DVD and current studio album ‘Joey & Me’. Listen here

What: Dee Dee Ramone – 2001 Japan Tour Flier

As fate would have it – the month of January 2001 saw Dee Dee tour Japan for the final time in his life. I’ve had this flier for some time – it’s a nice item which I thought I’d share. That Dee Dee King album from 1989 he did is glorious – panned by the critics but what the hell did they know ? Gonne go play my copy now !

 

The late great Johnny Ramone stares out at the Coogee Bay audience

 

Who: Johnny Ramone
When: 11 November 1989 – Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney, Australia
 

I missed out on the Ramones 1980 tour of Australia so the 1989 visit was met with considerable expectation. A packed Ramones crowd is not a great place to try to line up a great photo. Nevertheless, I took the camera along with me to the Coogee Bay Hotel on a humid November evening – to witness the fury of one of the best rock bands to ever climb a stage. This shot of Johnny, clutching his famous white Mosrite was one of the best shots I manged. Since his passing in 2004, I am grateful for having taken the camera along and capturing this image of him – and whilst I acknowledge that it is not one of my best photo’s, it is still quite special to me.