Category: ask

Please post the cars (band)

Please post the cars (band)

I’m incredibly  flattered when people make requests like this! I feel like it’s saying, “You’re good at finding high-quality pictures that we haven’t seen a million times, so please show me something new and special from one of MY favorite bands.” That’s very sweet! I’m honored!

That said, The Cars, I dunno, friend. I’m not passing any judgements here – most of the people around me describe my musical taste as “kind of annoying” and I have to agree LOL – but The Cars are one of the bands that didn’t do much for me. 

Not that I gave them a chance. They featured two of my favorite acts as openers in the early-to-mid 80s – ‘Til Tuesday and Icehouse – and both times, I went to the shows to see THOSE bands and left immediately after their sets. (Both were awesome, btw.) Who knows? Maybe The Cars would have won me over if I’d given them a shot. That’s on me, for sure.

That said, Ric Ocasek did a couple of things that I’m NUTS about, both, it happens, in 1982. 

First, after their highly underrated debut album, It’s A Condition, Ric brought the San Francisco-based band Romeo Void to Boston to produce an EP called Never Say Never, released January 1982. 

You’ve surely heard the hit version of the title track, a chart-topping smash with a terrific video and a brash chorus with Deborah Iyall’s incantation, “I might like you better if we slept together….never say never” – in other words, “BUT DON’T COUNT ON IT.” LOL 

But here’s the thing. The EP version wasn’t the hit! The hit version came from the band’s second LP, Benefactor, released in August ‘82, and is defanged from the original, to say the least . Still tough as nails, still with that dissonant post-rock sax stab, but drenched in echo, cussing removed, two and a half minutes shorter, and generally much more mainstream-friendly. 

I do strongly believe in the convergence of punk and disco, and especially in the early 80s, dance punk was my favorite genre. The hit album version in late ‘82 was bouncy, but Ric’s earlier EP production was a punch to the face to distract you from the stiletto sliding between your ribs.

I’ve only found a YouTube clip for the entire EP, which is fine by me. Romeo Void is way too frequently remembered as a 2-hit wonder doing dance pop, but this is hard-core post-punk, as brutal and beautiful as anything from Depeche Mode or New Order, the kinds of bands you should be thinking of when you think about Romeo Void, rather than, say, Blondie or Martha And The Motels (both of whom you know I love, but THIS is not THAT.)

I mean LOOK AT THEM.

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They weren’t just posing. They were playing for keeps – and if you don’t think a Monkees shirt is part of a punk band playing for keeps, then you haven’t heard The Sex Pistols’ cover of “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone”. Origins matter less than the tale you tell down the road.

(Sorry not to have a better pic, though – the later, cuddlier version of the band is the one that survives.)

The punk community in Boston knew all this, including the band’s terrific first indie post-punk elpee. The place I found the Never Say Never EP was in a local punk record shop (I lived there in Boston in the early-to-mid 80s the first time, and again from 2000-2010), IN THE LOCAL BIN, with a handwritten-note appropriating this album on behalf of Boston post-punk because Boston’s own Ric Ocasek (by way of Baltimore, Cleveland and Bowling Green), produced it in Boston.

Not just “I might like you better if we slept together”, but “This is not my idea of a good time”, “Enjoy the privilege of earning twice as much”, “I’m not sorry”, “We’re not safe”, and twisted tales of predators and louts framing so many other declarations of strength and independence  (great quote from Trouser Press: “she sings not only of situations where love is absent, but also of when it should be absent”) – no wonder the record business had no idea what to do with Deborah Iyall! 

But Ric Ocasek did, and he helped make this EP a wall to wall masterpiece.

Put on yer headfonez and TURN THIS UP. Really is phenomenal production.

As much as The Cars didn’t move me that much, Ric Ocasek’s 1982 solo debut, Beatitude, very much DID move me. (It looks like Be-atitude, a reference to the Sermon On The Mount, but it was pronounced Beat-itude, which I thought was AWESOME.)

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The versions of the songs on the LP were okay, but where they really shined was the 12″ dance remixes. My favorite of these by far was “Connect Up To Me”, which was ONLY released as a 12″ dance remix (no  conventional 7″ single release), and frankly went nowhere outside Boston. The whole album disappeared, was never released on CD, and this version of the song didn’t appear digitally until it was included as part of Cars rarities box set. 

The album is available on Spotify, though, and lots of it is on YouTube, where I encourage you to dig in. Even though Ric was the primary creative force (albeit far from the ONLY driving force) behind The Cars, there are ways in which this sounds nothing like them. Even moreso on this 12″ single, which has more in common than Gary Numan (WHO HAD A HIT WITH A SONG CALLED “CARS”) or Kraftwerk than The Cars.

I played the ever-loving shit out of this thing. This version of the song, along with his work on the Never Say Never EP point to directions I wished he’d have explored more, but hey, it’s his career, and he did just fine with no help from me beyond the $6 I spent on this single and his share of the concert tickets where I left before he played.

BUT THIS. THIS.

So I ain’t saying that I’ll never get around to posting The Cars – Never Say Never, right? LOL – but I’ll say that I’m WAY overdue posting a couple of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite years, with roots in one of my favorite towns, and I’m grateful that you’ve given me the perfect excuse!

Thanks again for the generosity of spirit in your ask, too! I hope that these tracks are an adequate down payment on returning the favor for now.

hey sorry to bother! u r so good at finding pi…

hey sorry to bother! u r so good at finding pictures n stuff is there anyway you could find some of lita ford in japan '77 in this outfit? youtube/com/watch?v=-p-mC_B0KAc

It’s funny, there are other eras of The Runaways where we have pictures galore, but no video, but this particular trip was all about the video! 

Speaking of which, here’s the clip you linked to, embedded:

There’s a lot of other truly fantastic footage, but hardly any photos…so, challenge accepted! I’ll start digging around.

Until then, here’s a great poster from The Runaways Live In Japan record, which I highly recommend, featuring Lita’s distinctive hot pants and silver boots! Not quite the outfit in the video, but close enough for now. 

More soon!

hey have you ever listened to harry styles? do…

hey have you ever listened to harry styles? do you have any opinions about him/his album? I hope you’re having a great day ! 😊😊

I like Harry a lot! I’m also very grateful to the hardcore Harry/1D fans who’ve driven up the notes on some of my 1971 Mick Jagger photos, where I agree with them that he looks especially Harry-like. (See for example here and here.) 

The first of those in particular took off like a rocket when Harry’s fans got hold of it, and it remains one of my most popular posts of all time. Notes whore that I am, I can’t thank you enough!

I’ll be honest, though, Sign Of The Times was a tiny bit of a let-down to me because of how quiet it is. Yes, I appreciate that he wanted to largely avoid 1D-style bangers and anthems, which solo, run the risk of sounding like recycled Oasis….although really, would that be so bad? Allow me to gently encourage our boy to do more like this, which I think he nailed:

I nevertheless recommend Sign Of The Times, even the ballads, to anyone losing faith in contemporary pop, or who still thinks that vocal competition shows are shite. Well, okay, the shows really are mostly shite as tv shows, but they’ve turned up some terrific performers, including Harry.

So I do think that Harry is a talent of the first order, and look forward to seeing what else he’ll grow into. 

Speaking of which, grow the hair back, son. I miss it!

PPS. I wouldn’t mind a 1D victory lap tour, either. No need to get back together for any length of time, but that all ended way too quickly.

Thanks for asking! And thanks again to the Harry/1D fans who’ve been so kind to me! 

John Lennon’s Unique Connection To Us, and Our…

Only John would have gotten the kind of reaction he did. Not just compared to Paul. Compared to anyone.

The reaction to his death had everything to do with John’s unique connection to us, and ours to him. 

People gathered spontaneously by the hundreds and thousands around the world from the moment they heard the news on December 8, 1980.

On the day of his memorial, December 14, over 100,000 people came together outside his home in New York alone. 

Every radio station in New York went silent for 10 minutes (not just rock stations, either: every station) as did other stations across the country. 

Individuals around the world went silent, too. I certainly did, and so did many of my friends.

Here are some of the reasons that I believe that only John’s passing touched us this way, and why it still touches us.

 

John was OUR Beatle.

When John & Yoko moved to New York in August 1971, they never went back to England again.

More than that, John fought be here. Almost from the moment he arrived, the US government was trying to throw him out. Constant FBI surveillance, deportation hearings – it took years of battles for him just to be able to stay here at all.

The pictures of them walking to and from court (above, in March 1972) weren’t just staged for publicity. You can find hundreds of pictures of John & Yoko walking around New York, because that’s what they did.


Their address, first in Greenwich Village, then near Central Park, were public knowledge. The night of December 8, 1980, John did what he usually did. He stopped to talk to fans who had been waiting for him outside his home. 

Even if you didn’t live in New York, it was very much in your mind that if you wanted to meet John, you knew you could. It was easy.

Which is also how John came to such a sudden end. John was vulnerable because he chose to live vulnerably.

The Imagine album was released 9/9/71, the single released 11/11/71

And look at the songs: “Imagine,” “Power To The People,” “Instant Karma (We All Shine On),” “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Give Peace A Chance,” “All You Need Is Love” – nobody else could have written even one of these, much less all of them.

It’s easy to point to John’s hypocrisy (which John talked about as much as any of his critics did) and the fact that he was generally a blowhard with an opinion about everything and just roll your eyes, but the fact is that he genuinely aspired to a better world in a way that resonated with us.

It resonated with the people in power, too. The US government in particular was terrified of him. That’s why starting in 1971, John was constantly under FBI surveillance, and under the constant threat of being thrown out of the country.

Portions of the FBI’s files on John were kept secret until 2011 because the government said the information about John’s surveillance endangered national security!

If you’re interested, you finally can see John’s complete FBI files here, and can learn more about it in the film The US  vs John Lennon.


It wasn’t until 1976 that John was granted permission to stay in the US. Below, showing off his shiny new green card.

 

I could go on at length about the depth and breadth of his fundraising and activism – not just anti-war, but also racial and gender equality, education (including leading a protest march for free speech for high school students!), criminal justice reforms, and much more.


The US government’s fear of John Lennon was very much rooted in reality, and we loved that about him. He was speaking for us.


The non-album single"Power to the People" was released March 22, 1971.


Remembering the way that John inspired us led to headlines like this one: “DEATH OF A HERO”


You can see the way that this still resonates when, in 2013, the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in India led 600 guitarists to gather in Darjeeling to play “Imagine” together, in both protest and hope.

John’s connection to us was also intimately personal.

Inspiration, out there, is one thing. John wanted more than that. Or you could say, he wanted less. As far as he was concerned, the world had more people wanting to be leaders than was good for us. 

Instead, he wanted to touch us. 

More than the other Beatles, maybe more than any musician ever, John opened himself to us.

There was the literal nakedness of theTwo Virgins album, and these famous portraits by

Annie Leibovitz

taken the very afternoon that John was murdered.

More important, there was also the emotional nakedness. 

On Plastic Ono Band he dismantled his stardom as he howled out isolation, abandonment, and pain, side by side with songs of wounded tenderness and simplicity. It’s easily among the most personally revealing albums ever released by anyone.

Of course, he’d been doing this since the beginning, even if it wasn’t until later that he explained to us just how very desperate he felt when he wrote songs like “Help!,” “I’m A Loser,” “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” and others. While other rock stars were making drugs look cool, John was the first one I ever heard sing about the harrowing fear and and chaos they caused him, in “Cold Turkey.”

What he showed us when we got close wasn’t always pretty, including on 1971′s Imagine. The vision of the title song is right up against his confession of being a “Jealous Guy” who causes pain, and his undisguised anger at Paul in “How Do You Sleep?” 

He quickly apologized to Paul, both privately and publicly, admitting that his anger ultimately had nothing to do with Paul, that it was all in John’s own head.

And that’s the thing. Some people thought of John as a saint. John didn’t.

It wasn’t (and isn’t) always easy being a fan of John’s. He could be cruel and violent, he was unfaithful to both his wives and a terrible father to his first son, he let drugs and alcohol get the better of him, and much more.

He finally figured out that he couldn’t be a rock star and be the kind of man he wanted to be, so he quit. 

It’s easy to forget now, but he only headlined two concerts, both of them benefits, in 1971 and 1972. He played a few songs on stage with Elton John in 1974, but that was it for live shows. A few albums of course, but after some famous (and infamous) detours, he cleaned up, got into therapy, and became a full-time dad – the first time many of us had heard of such a thing.

Not that he’d gotten everything together by the end, not at all – but he was definitely moving in the right direction for once. He seemed happy, in some ways, for the first time in his life. 

One of the final songs he recorded after his long hiatus said it was like he was starting over, and it was clear that, even more than his recording career, he was talking about his life

And we were watching it happen, because he lived in the open, still walking the streets of New York. 

So there really was that strange extra sense that you get when a friend or neighbor suddenly passes, a confusion, almost like, “But he was just here. I was just talking to him.”

It’s still almost inconceivable that any celebrity was that accessible, either emotionally or physically, in real life, but John Lennon was. 

John’s passing also reminded us that The Beatles were HIS band.

On one level, this is simply, literally true. John had a band already. The others joined it.


John wasn’t the best musician in The Beatles, though. He wasn’t even the best guitarist.

Whether he was the best writer is irrelevant. He and Paul created magic together, and they also challenged each other to be better writers on their own. Paul was more driven and ambitious, but even Paul was very clear: they all looked up to John.


John’s death also meant that there would never be a Beatles reunion. Sure, we knew it was never going to happen really, but we could still talk about at least a one-off concert at some point down the line, right? 

But now, no. 

So there’s a sense in which, when John died, The Beatles died too.

Frankly, to many of us, it felt like the 60s had finally died too.


Mourning John Lennon 

Please note that I’m not placing John’s murder above assassinations like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and the Kennedys. 

John himself would say that his death was no more important than any of the people of color singled out for killing by American police, “security” guards, and vigilantes, or the mass shootings taking place every day in America for no apparent reason other than that they can.

The glasses John was wearing when he was shot, photo by Yoko Ono 

Again underscoring how ultimately insignificant to the world John himself would acknowledge his death to be, this is still only a small look at the scale of our response to it at the time. 

We reacted more strongly to John Lennon’s death than we would have to anyone else’s, because he was more a part of our lives.

Not necessarily because he was our favorite Beatle. Ultimately, not even necessarily that he was a Beatle at all.



John Lennon wanted to connect to us, personally, intimately, deeply, and he did. 

John Lennon, 1971. Below, Strawberry Fields in Central Park, NY

do you get a notification if your post is flag…

do you get a notification if your post is flagged as explicit? i'm afraid mine can be somehow flagged too

A notification would sure be nice! No, I’ve just discovered past posts of mine marked Sensitive because I’m obsessive about looking through my archive. LOL I like revisiting old favorites, and I love seeing interactions in the notes and tags. It’s weird, but not one of the posts that tumblr had falgged has had ANY nudity. And sure, Robert, Freddie, David, Mick – I’ve got a ton of shirtless dudes on my blog, but those aren’t the ones getting flagged. It’s Ozzy in a tutu. What? It’s like tubmlr can’t tell what a safe-for-work picture of arms looks like or something.

hey !!!!! quick question: do u take requests? …

hey !!!!! quick question: do u take requests? like would it be possible for u to find some cream pics? ty v much :)))))

Always happy to take requests! 

I do have a few Cream pics, which you can find tagged here: http://soundsof71.tumblr.com/tagged/cream ….although taking a look just now reminds me that I’ve only posted a handful in the past year. 

While I’m off looking for some fresh ones that haven’t already been widely posted, here’s one I just found on Jack Bruce’s Facebook page! He’s definitely my favorite member of Cream, and I hadn’t seen this one before. Hopefully it’s new to you too! 🙂

I can’t promise how quickly I’ll find something, but stay tuned!

(And to all the other lovely souls who’ve sent me recent Asks: replies to follow soon for you too!)

brownskinsugarplum76:🤔🤔🤔 What do we know ab…

brownskinsugarplum76:

🤔🤔🤔 What do we know about this one, Lemon Mistresses and Misters? New to me…

Kitchener Ontario, November 4, 1969. Tickets were $4 and $5. 

Many more pictures, plus memorobilia and stories from people who were there over at ledzeppelin.com, but for now, I’ll add a couple here.

not true, they played in Italy again.

not true, they played in Italy again.

I don’t think they did, anon. Could be wrong. Page and Plant did, but years after. Someone correct me if I’ve messed this up. Xo

“Does Mick Jagger wear a bra?”

In reply to a recent Mick Jagger post of mine, I was asked:

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Mostly, no. For example:

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But sometimes a man just needs to feel extra pretty.


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In which case, yes, Mick Jagger wears a bra.

Let this serve as a public service reminder that, when you need to work it, you should work it.

TAGGED!

Both @callmethehunter and @silveraspen@silveraspensart tagged me on this, so here we go.

The challenge: 

List the first 10 songs that come up on a shuffle (no skipping) and quote your favorite lyrics of each song then tag 10 people.

My reaction: Wha…? LOL I use Spotify for virtually all my listening, so I have jillions of songs in my library, many of which I’ve never heard, MANY of which I don’t like, and hardly any of which do I like for their lyrics at all. LOL Lyrics are pretty far down my list, actually, well behind hooks, beats, feedback (omg, I love feedback), and general vibe. 

So this is mostly gonna show you what a mess my library looks like, which is fine. Never let it be said that I won’t humiliate myself for my mutuals.

Since some of this is obscure, I’ve included some YouTube clips (tumblr will only let me include 5), with links to the rest.

  • “Wait in the Car”, The Breeders, All Nerve (Commentary, because you know I gotta comment: Hooray! A favorite! And I love the lyric!

Good morning
Consider I
Always struggle with the right word
Meow meow meowmeow meow

(God bless Kim Deal, still bringing the pain as hard as ever at age 57. THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID 57. The version on my list is of course the one from their album, but they recently played this on Conan a coupla months ago, and it slayed. Twin-sister Kelley still bringing the lead guitar pain, too!)


  • The 15th”,  Wire, 154 (One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands – I have every album, comp, and live album since 1977, something like 40 in all, and they’re still making great new music, which I find super-inspiring….but I couldn’t tell you anything intelligent about the lyrics of this. I LOVE IT THOUGH, and the chorus is catchy, goes a little something like this🙂

Providing, deciding, it was soon there
Squared to it, faced to it, it was not there

(Like I said, the lyrics are not why I love this song, and I do love this song. I’ll tell y’all more about Wire sometime, but they’re also all over my Instagram from when I saw them in 2017, along with my pets, random food, and flowers.)

  • “Deeper Into Movies”, Yo La Tengo, I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (Total desert island disk for me, from 1997, delighted to have it pulled up after not listening to it for years. If you can understand the lyrics, you’re sharper than I am, but this is what the ending SOUNDS LIKE TO ME)

Every day the restlessness takes over me
I can see it as I’m closing my eyes
I’ve been sending signals into outer space
They spiral like a fire in the sky

(btw, the best feedback of any song on this list, and one of the great squalls of feedback ever laid to wax. I adore this.)


  • Owe It To The Girls, Locate S,1 Healing Contest. (Yay! Another 2018 fave! Mostly for the sound, which is a towering orchestra of awesomeness from the Of Montreal school of melodic chaos, but a sharp retort to a fella that I hope is now her ex, plus this line slays me:)

I’ve
been a silent wheel of my own destruction

  • “Break the Glass”, Superchunk, What A Time To Be Alive. (I don’t remember even putting this in my library. I like Superchunk, and think that this is one of the best songs on one of their best albums, but, uhm, I’ve heard this twice. I don’t have a favorite anything about it yet. LOL Sounds nice
    though.
    )
  • “Paperback Writer,” The Beatles (The lyrics to this do nothing for me. This song is all about the opening riff, the drums, and the outro, where they sing in falsetto  “Paaaaaaperback wriiiiiiiiiter” followed by an almost  spoken “Paperback writer”. For the record, I’ve listened to The Beatles every day of my life since 1964. This ain’t in their top half, I don’t think, but hey, we’re on shuffle, and this is what we get.)
  • “Astral Plane”, The Modern Lovers. (I DON’T LIKE THIS SONG. It’s an insanely catchy riff, and I adore other songs on this record, but I feel like some neckbeard incel is gonna slaughter a bunch of women and is gonna leave this song right beside his suicide note. Not that Jonathan Richman of The Modern Lovers his ownself is anything like that. He’s an adorable peach. But this one makes me squirm. I dunno, maybe you’ll listen to it, tell me to calm down. Or maybe you’ll encourage me to delete it from my library, which is my current inclination.

I’m gonna meet you on the
astral plane
The astral plane for dark at night
The astral plane or I’ll go insane

  • “Come Around”, Sugar, Beaster (I love Sugar, the early 90s project of Bob Mould, and I also love everything he’s done before – notably Husker Du – and since, including his 3 most recent records in the past few years, but as far as I can tell, the only words in this song are “Come around/ You come around” repeated
    for 5 minutes over an ungodly swirling shoegazey riff….BUT THA RIFF HOLY MOTHER OF SHIT! I saw Bob in concert in 2015, and I think he jammed on this for like 10 minutes. I wish it had been longer.
    )

  • “Hunt Again”, Mission of Burma, Forget. (Wow, a back of the rack favorite that I haven’t listened to since probably 2002, when these Godz of early 80s Boston postpunk got together for a reunion tour and a couple of subsequent albums that were in fact even better than their first incarnation. I LOVE this song, which dates back to aforementioned first incarnation, but more for its urgency than its specificity. It actually DOES have murder in it, and I’m going to pretend it’s a song about a literal snake, which is awesome. I love snakes. Have had a couple for pets. Snakes are awesome. THIS IS ABOUT AN ACTUAL SNAKE RIGHT jfc i hope so)

I am a snake
And I will resume
My contours
Then I’ll hunt again
There really is no choice

++++++++

I’m sure you’ve noticed when you hit “Shuffle” that it’s never truly random, and I think with Spotify, probably even less random than THAT. There are definitely some tracks here that I’ve had in super-high rotation lately (especially The Breeders and Locate S,1), but it was a pleasant surprise to see some old favorites that I haven’t played for years, and weirdly distressing to see some stuff I don’t like….

….but hey, like I said, always glad to humiliate myself for y’all. LOL

The last time I tagged some folks for one of these challenges, not one of ‘em followed up, although two were nice enough to tell me, “sorry son, never gonna happen” LOL which I think is also awesome. I do hope that some of you will feel inspired to take up the challenge yourself, to show us what’s REALLY in your library! Feel free to tag me too!

And kidding aside, thanks again to @callmethehunter and

@silveraspen​ / @silveraspensart

for their continued generous support of my nonsense, and their interest in my weird mess of a life.