Monday 11 November 2013

Two Sixx's makes what?

Back in 2008 as part of a blog post on The Dirt, I mentioned Matthew Trippe’s claims, as published in Kerrang!, that he was Nikki Sixx for a few years after Frank Ferrano (an undisputed Nikki Sixx) was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. At the time there was precious little about this on the internet. This surprised me as conspiracy theories are usually the perfect platform for online discussion. If I hadn’t found anything about it I might have started to doubt the story ever existed. In fact maybe I was Nikki Sixx?

Today the story was recalled on Facebook – and a fresh search shows the internet is now littered with articles on the subject. Highlights include this page which shows one of the original articles (sadly not the one that had the photos designed to show the physical differences between the two Sixx’s) and should you have the time and/or inclination to watch it, this 3 hour and 15 minute video interview with Trippe. 

Friday 8 November 2013

Spike Priggen - Stars After Stars After Stars

From looking at Spike Priggen’s own website, the labour of love that is Bedazzled, he would probably prefer to find himself on a blog called PowerPop Aftershock. But then again the boundaries of my blog have always been pretty fuzzy and intentionally so, and by including covers by two bands previously referenced on here (The Jacobites and The Ramones), as well featuring a photo of the Only Ones on the sleeve, I have no qualms in featuring his 2005 album, Stars After Stars After Stars.

The Jacobites were my route in here, as I was searching online for the lyrics to ‘Big Store’. On reflection this was an unnecessary exercise as one of my copies of Robespierre’s Velvet Basement (I own four, as surely everyone should) includes the lyrics. Still, it led me to page detailing the track listing for Stars After Stars After Stars. Two Jacobites songs (or one Jacobites song and one Subterranean Hawks song if you’re being picky), The Ramones, Alex Chilton, The Zombies ... who is this guy? And where do I sign up?

A few days later the CD was in my possession and naturally I made a beeline for 'Big Store'. It's been slowed down slightly and is a touch heavier, but it's clear that Priggen has got the measure of it. If I'm honest, 'Only Children Sleeping' is less successful but amends are made elsewhere, such as on The Ramones' 'Questioningly'. 

Think Big Star in the studio with Jesse Malin and you're some way to understanding this lost album.

Monday 4 November 2013

Livin' Out Rock 'n' Roll: The Story of the Babysitters & The Last Of The Teenage Idols

I was slightly too young for the Babysitters but discovered them via singer Buttz's later band, The Last Of The Teenage Idols. This film takes in both but is ultimately more than that, as it also tells the story of the London rock scene (or specifically the lack of one) in the early/mid-1980s and shows how determination could see an unsigned band headline a venue the size of the now-demolished Astoria.

Also under-pinning just how different an era this was is the concept of The Rock 'n' Roll Table - located in the Oporto pub in Holborn and effectively chaired by Carol Clerk, news editor at the Melody Maker. Countless musicians would drop by (and infamous criminals would occasionally phone in), stories would be swapped, gossip exchanged, friendships formed and every week a magazine would be published. Journalists claim that the time they spent at The Rock 'n' Roll Table enabled them to hone their writing skills. Like the Astoria, the Melody Maker is long-gone, having merged into NME in 2000. Carol Clerk too is no longer with us.

The closing scenes of the film bring these changes into stark reality. Soho is no longer what it was, with the likes of the Marquee (in both its Wardour Street and Charing Cross Road guises), Gossips (home to Buttz 'n' Spikes club night) and The Intrepid Fox all closed and redeveloped.

The highs and lows of life in The Babysitters and The Last Of The Teenage Idols weave throughout this broader story. The highs include holding the attendance record for the Marquee. And any band that's attempted to tour the nation's 'toilet' venues will sympathise with the, often hilarious, lows.

To buy the DVD of "Livin' Out Rock 'n' Roll" visit the film's Facebook page.

Previous posts:
The Last Of The Teenage Idols - Satellite Head Gone Soft

Monday 23 September 2013

Dogs D'Amour - remastered and reissued for download

Around 18 months ago Tyla posted up an interview in which he mentioned that China Records wouldn't communicate with him about re-issuing his back catalogue. So he took matters into his own hands and began re-recording and re-releasing past albums. It was however probably the reunion shows in February 2013 that have led to all the early Dogs D'Amour albums finally resurfacing, albeit only as downloads.

(Un) Authorised Bootleg Album (Re-Mastered 2013)
In the Dynamite Jet Saloon (Re-Mastered 2013)
Graveyard of Empty Bottles (Re-Mastered 2013)
Errol Flynn (Re-Mastered 2013)
Straight (Re-Mastered 2013)
More Unchartered Heights of Disgrace (Re-Mastered 2013)