Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Brat Girls

all of these good to great (except Baby Amphetashite, which, for shame, made the cover of NME - see below )

but all pale next to this

Saturday, April 18, 2015

julie c + alice c

the cover

the original

another glitter rocker getting in touch with his feminine / feminist side

the original

the cover

Thursday, April 9, 2015

"St. Etienne"

Hard to think of music more offensive to the sensibility of Pete 'n' Bob 'n' Sarah than this

But Frank Z bagged the name first

Lord alone knows what the town (or, less likely, the team) signified to him...

Another hippie-dippie era connection I only just twigged (but one that was deliberately chosen by P & B & S)

the connection between this

and this

pastoral future

never mind the ballards

Monday, April 6, 2015

the Sham Pistols

In the straggly yet-another-single-off-the-album afterbirth of The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle's release, excitement briefly convulsed the abandoned flock of punk rock in the summer of 1979 when it was announced that Jimmy Pursey was to join the Sex Pistols as their new front man. 

This was big news, naturally, and I seem to remember it being the cover story of at least one music paper (probably Sounds) and prominently featured in the other ones too.

The Sham Pistols, as the outfit would be known but only retroactively, was more than Pursey-meets-Pistols. It was a chimera-style merger of half of Sham 69 ( singer + bassist Dave Treganna) with the rump of Sex Pistols - Steve Jones and Paul Cook, who in very short order would go it alone as The Professionals. 

For the merger would be short-lived. 

Aesthetic differences led to friction and then combustion, with the ex-Pistols walking out of a recording session.

I seem to remember reading in one of the reports that ensued, Jones commenting disparagingly about Pursey's lyrics, which were - I think - too East End working-class sentimental and British-y for Jones's liking.  He and Cook seemed particularly revulsed and derisive about a line about "dog tag generation" or words to that effect. Which I took to mean something to do with the Second World War, the Blitz, Vera Lynn, etc.

Jones sneered "it's worse than working with Rotten", while Pursey for his part retorted "it was absurd, the difference between us... I knew it could never work out".

Soon after Pursey reformed Sham, who had split earlier in '79; Jones & Cook formed The Professionals.

In Rotten's new biography he writes about Richard Branson's attempts to get him to reunite with Jones and Cook, playing them Professionals recordings, saying "isn't this great, Johnny? What do you think?"

Well, it's got the guitar sound... 

To round off the annals of post-Pistols iniquity, Cook and Jones also joined with another rock'n'roll bad boy, Phil Lynnott, to form the just-for-fun outfit The Greedy Basstards, who if memory serves had a smallish Xmas hit with this punked up seasonal spoof.

Friday, April 3, 2015

the Who Killed Bambi? screenplay

When I was a boy, I dreamed.... dreamed.... of reading the original script for Who Killed Bambi?

Would have wept for joy if somehow it had fallen into my hands

Well, some five years ago,  Roger Ebert, its writer, made the screenplay available to all eyes on the Internet.

And of course I cut-and-pasted it, greedily, and saved it with a frisson of bygone excitement, a phantom-flicker of how teenage Simon would have felt

But  you know what, I've never once opened that document or started reading it.

Too much else to read, and not-read but keep piling up, harvesting and hoarding for a time that'll never come

A little parable there for you, regarding the cultural politics / personal psychology of  abundance versus scarcity!

Here, should you wish to read it, or not-read it, as the case may be,  is the late Roger Ebert's screenplay for the abortive Sex Pistols movie Who Killed Bambi? - which was to be directed by Russ Meyer, "the Bresson of the breast", as Barney Hoskyns put it.  Ebert had written Beyond the Valley of the Dolls for Meyer, which is one of my favorite movies.

If I recall right, there was a couple of days shooting for Bambi and a few scenes captured, and I believe a fragment or two made it into The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle.  The Pistols, particularly Johnny Rotten, were really not into the whole idea of a movie at all, the film was McLaren's obsession,  and a mutual distaste quickly developed between the director and the singer. The project collapsed almost immediately.

Here also is Ebert telling the tale of his and Meyer's involvement with McLaren and the Pistols.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

the hands that you give.... to arse

When I was itemising the highlights of Great Rock 'n' Swindle as replayed by me and my brothers over and over... I unaccountably omitted Malcolm's rendition of "You Need Hands"

Hilarious bit in this sequence from the movie:  frightfully posh voice coach Tona de Brett, who'd been hired to teach the Sex Pistols about "voice production" and found that Johnny Rotten was a hopeless case, opines fondly that McLaren had a "lovely ear" and really should have been a singer.

Contrast that with Trevor Horn's comments about Malcolm being tone-deaf and having zero rhythmic sense.

I think Malcolm does quite a nice job with "You Need Hands".

The bit we liked most, of course, was the ending, which carried on the Pistolian tradition of "vaaaa-cunt" etc, and has McLaren insolently stretching out "us" into "aaaaaaaaarse" -  so,  "the hands we hold we hold so dear / are the hands we love to hear / are the hands that you gi-ive / to aaaaaa-aaaaa-aaaaa- aarrse / everybody / it's the hands that you giii-iiive / to arse"

The original, from 1958, was by Max Bygraves  - sung and written by him (under the pseudonym of Roy Irwin).

Now, funny thing, I have a tiny connection to Max...  My parents both worked at a photographic agency in the early 1960s. The  Keystone Press Agency mostly fed pictures and captions to the Fleet Street papers, but they supplied the Max Bygraves TV show with pictures of children for a routine he was doing in a show. And I guess my mum - after she'd quit to have me - had came in  the office one day and one of the resident photographers took some pics of toddler me. And one shot ended up in this batch they sent to the Bygraves show. The routine was Max singing "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" and then stopping every time a picture of  a child flashed up and doing a joke.

In my case, the patter was something like that, "Buy Venezuelan Zinc, sell pig belly futures"

Now Getty Images own the image; they must  have bought the Keystone archives.