Do you ever post any Taste/Rory Gallagher? I tried looking through tags, but couldn't find anything – though that could also be Tumblr being its usual nightmare self.
Well, friend, ya stumped me! I’d heard Rory’s name but knew nothing about him (or heard him that I’m aware of), and had certainly never heard of Taste!
It turns out that our boy Rory had a stellar 1971, with his second solo album called Deuce, two Taste live albums, (Taste Live, and Live At The Isle of Wight), and finishing ahead of Eric Clapton to top Melody Maker’s poll for Best Guitarist!
As you know (and I discovered), he’d left Taste as 1970 ended, and the tale is a sad one, combining the usual record label nonsense of the era with the Irish Troubles. Taste, and Rory in particular, had gone from having vocal supporters in John Lennon and Eric Clapton (opening for both Cream’s final shows at the Royal Albert Hall and Blind Faith’s US tour) to a final show in Belfast on December 31, 1970 as a dozen car bombs ripped the city apart.
Rory was 19 when the band started, and 22 when it all came crashing down.
An amazing telling of the tale here: The rise and acrimonious fall of Rory Gallagher’s Taste: Cork power trio Taste blazed onto the blues scene, propelled by Rory Gallagher’s incendiary guitar. Fours years later they blew up in a maelstrom of betrayal. (Read on – a genuinely fantastic read, even for folks like me who aren’t familiar with Rory!)
Taste was only around for a few years, so not a ton of photos, and most of the ones I’ve seen around the web are already on tumblr. I did find a couple I haven’t seen here yet, including a couple from that amazing 1970 edition of The Isle of Wight Festival:
And one from 1975 that I think looks pretty cool:
And a more tender one:
I found all of these on the Pinterest of a user named Fenna Bosman, and none seemed to point back to tumblr images. If any of you have better sources, by all means let me know!
Anyway, YOU surely have a lot more to tell ME about all this, so feel free to drop me a line! My chat’s open if you want to keep it private, and I don’t post non-anon Asks without permission, so let me know what else I should know!
David Bowie during “The Jean Genie” for The 1980 Floor Show, 1973 (his US TV debut), by Mick Rock. The costume originally had a third hand (guess where) that NBC network officials insisted be removed.
That information about the third hand is so important to me
Then you need to see this recent fan re-edit of the original performance by YouTuber Mister Sussex. It’s one of the filthiest things you’ve ever seen. I was 13 when this aired, and it fried my brain for life. LOL It was after midnight (the show was The Midnight Special, which aired from 11:30PM Friday to 1AM Saturday in my time zone), and I was the only one awake in the house. Having snuck out of bed to watch, I was now practically wetting myself with some combination of panic, lust, and sheer joy. LOL
An absolutely lascivious vocal (plus, check that leer into the audience right after “Loves to be loved…”, around 2:20), regularly spreading his legs so we can see his…uhm, leotard LOL, one of Mick Ronson’s most ripping solos (and unlike the UK “Starman” video from 1972, it’s Mick doing the reaching for David this time) – and David aggressively rubbing his penis on the microphone before thrusting it in Mick’s face while they sing practically cheek to cheek! Plus a TRIO of saxophones backing them up!
Again, this was Bowie’s US TV debut. Nobody knew from Ziggy (which was a flop when it was first released), but Aladdin Sane was a hit and Pin Ups was newly in the shops, so we had SOME idea of how crazy this broadcast was gonna get….but it turns out that no, no, we had not the least fucking idea how crazy this was going to get.
I could write a whole book about this broadcast, and I hope somebody does someday. I could certainly write a whole book about how it impacted me. I mean, all the pictures of it we post on tumblr are one thing. But crank this the fuck up, imagine that it’s the first time you’re seeing anything of Bowie besides a couple of album covers, and be amazed.
@soundsof71 – it was the first time my parents let me stay up past the time they went to bed. My older brother had been able to stay up to watch the Midnight Special, and he was now driving and allowed to stay out as late as he wanted. I changed into pj’s and settled down in nest of blankets and crocheted granny-square afghans to spend me first Grown Up night.
A vision in blue spandex stepped into the stage. His hair was orange and stood straight up on top. Lipstick! Was that lipstick – on man? One arm was bare – the skin shone as white and luminous as an opal. Flames climbed his torso, appliqued gold and red on blue. One bare leg was painted to look like flames.
And then he opened his mouth.
The sound was raw and urgent and ragged and longing and sweet and aching and raw and … utterly otherworldly. I felt an ache, a longing I’d never felt before. I wanted … but I didn’t even know what it was that I ached for. My breath caught in my throat as the vision of androgynous beauty sang, costume changes with each song. My chest hurt more and more as the hour wore on. My toes curled inside my rainbow-stripped socks. I eventually lay my head down on my crossed arms, dazed and exhausted and troubled.
And then it was over. The National Anthem played – I’d stayed up past midnight for the first time in my life…
the night I became a woman. Thanks to David Bowie.
George Harrison’s demo for Ringo’s 1971 hit “It Don’t Come Easy”
Ringo co-wrote the song with George, who also produced this, added background vocals, and played bass and the wonderful guitar that’s so integral to this song’s success.
It’s quite ragged, but this version is AWESOME. There are no horns, and with fewer layers of overdubs, you can really hear backup vocals. George’s guitar is also truly sweet in this version – easily the equal of anything he played on All Things Must Pass. There’s even a bonus “Hare Krishna” chant in the middle!
“Live and Let Die”: Paul McCartney at Desert Trip, his killer band, plus lasers, pyro, some of the biggest video screens you’ve ever seen, and fireworks out the wazoo make the case for Macca as one of the most epic acts on the road today.
(Edit: that headline is from 2016, when Desert Trip took place, and it’s still true.)
All the more amazing because this is about three hours into a show IN THE DESERT, around midnight, with a hot wind blowing sand everywhere. I could barely breathe, and here’s this guy jamming like a kid a third his age.
Remarkably, this was hardly the finale of the show. Paul followed this with “Hey Jude” to end the main set, followed by an encore of “Birthday”, “Helter Skelter”, and the Abbey Road medley of “Golden Slumbers – Carry That Weight – The End”. The whole night was absolutely stunning, and my hand-held camera work (Nikon P900 DSLR) from over a quarter mile away barely does it justice.
At the end, Paul covers his ears and laments, “Too loud!” He’s kidding! Crank it up! You’ll be glad you did.
(Lots more pics from this show, and other related, and non-related, stuff at my Instagram.)
(This was Weekend 2, btw, and he’d been up late the night before dancing in the crowd to The Rolling Stones, and played just a few days earlier at a show in a remote mountain bar that I wrote about here. He’s a force of nature!)
Iggy Pop wears Jim Morrison, Los Angeles 1974, by Gijsbert Hanekroot
I thought they didn’t care for The Doors. Pretty funny.
The Doors, specifically Jim Morrison, actually inspired Iggy to start his first band!
The relationship between Iggy and The Doors is a long one, too rarely told – so ima tell it here at length. LOL
Iggy had already dropped out of the University of Michigan, but used his student ID to get into a Homecoming dance where The Doors played. Jim Morrison came out after the rest of the band had already started playing, drunk and/or high, insisting on singing only in falsetto (wtf) and generally abusing the crowd – who booed, then left in large numbers. Details here.
So, here’s this guy, out of his head on acid, dressed in leather with his hair all oiled and curled. The stage was tiny and it was really low. It got confrontational. I found it really interesting. I loved the performance but the music sounded terrible because they didn’t have the sound system together. They had a really unique style and it wasn’t easy for them to sound good live, at first.
Part of me was like, “Wow, this is great. He’s really pissing people off and he’s lurching around making these guys angry.” People were rushing the stage and Morrison’s going “Fuck you. You blank, blank, blank.” You can fill in your sexual comments yourself. The other half of it was that I thought, “If they’ve got a hit record out and they can get away with this, then I have no fucking excuse not to get out on stage with my band.” It was sort of the case of, “Hey, I can do that.”
(btw, “I can do that!” was also Patti Smith’s reaction to seeing The Doors in New York, although it took her a few years longer than Iggy to actually make her way to the stage, which she first did as a poet with guitarist Lenny Kaye accompanying her in – you guessed it – 1971.)
Iggy had a lot more Doors ahead of him, particularly as he developed a relationship with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.
The photograph above was taken at a Jim Morrison tribute concert in LA organized by Ray Manzarek on July 3, 1974, the anniversary of Jim’s passing in 1971. After playing some of the songs off his new solo album, Ray sang “Light My Fire,” then brought out Iggy to sing “LA Woman,” “Maggie M’Gill,” and “Back Door Man.” Can you even imagine what that must have sounded like? You’ll have to, because no recordings have yet surfaced.
Right after this, Iggy was out of the Stooges, and signed Denny Sugerman to manage him. Denny had managed The Doors, and was managing Ray, who now retreated with Iggy for months of intensive rehearsals for a new band they hoped to form. (Info here, on Ray’s official site.)
There was at least one more concert together in October, the “Hollywood Revival and Trash Dance” at the Palladium, headlined by The New York Dolls, and featuring Iggy, Ray, and a band they put together for the occasion – including James Williamson of The Stooges on guitar! Violence, chaos, and a general mess ensued, but, says Ray, the band “rocked like a motherfucker.”
The band fell apart when Ray couldn’t find a way to fit his nuanced sound into James’s squall, closing what might have been a very interesting chapter in these fellas’ careers. (Details of the October show and the band here.)
I should note that a lot of information from this period is sketchy at best. There’s not even a solid consensus on who else played with Ray and Iggy at these various dates, although there’s some interesting speculation here.
Ray and Iggy apparently tried to form a band again in 1977, details here. Iggy’s 1977 tour had David Bowie playing keyboards, rather than Ray, and I have no idea what transpired between Iggy and Ray – both of whom wrote autobiographies, neither of which mentioned this period.
In fact, Iggy’s autobiography doesn’t mention Ray at all, and Ray’s autobiography only mentions Iggy once, in the context of that University of Michigan show. “It was a total fiasco,” writes Ray, “but the sheer audacity and outrageousness of Jim Morrison convinced Iggy that a life of anarchic rebellion was the only way to fly…and he’s been doing it ever since.”
This is, needless to say, more explanation than most people need LOL but still not the whole story, not by a long shot. Still, this is in fact the first time that I’ve seen even this much of the story gathered in one place. With the exception of the mysteries that I’ve mentioned that may never be revealed, the links I’ve included will get you a good long way down the road.
I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, so thanks for giving me the excuse. 🙂
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.
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.)
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 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.
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 hereand 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!