Mr. Jimijam's Civil War Relative
Mr. Jimijam's Civil War Ancestor

Mr. Jimijam Articles and Interviews

(01) 6.20.83 - THE GRATEFUL DEAD review
(02) 7.3.83 - ROCK AGAINST REAGAN review
(03) 1.20.84 - REBEL ROCK UNITY review
(04) 6.24.84 - HUSKER DU review
(05) 8.14.84 - AGENT ORANGE review
(06) 9.29.84 - PSYCHODRAMA review
(07) 11.26.84 - PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION review
(08) 12.12.84 - MOTORHEAD review
(09) 12.16.84 - SCREAM review
(11) 3.22.85 - GIRLSCHOOL review
(12) 4.22.85 - OUTRAGE review
(13) 5.1.85 - TRUE TRASH #1 - WDC PERIOD #8 column
(14) 5.3.85 - BURNING SPEAR review
(15) 5.23.85 - HR of THE BAD BRAINS interview
(16) 7.13.85 - OUTRAGE review
(17) 7.20.85 - THE BAD BRAINS review
(18) 8.5.85 - NINA HAGEN review
(19) 8.9.85 - NEW ORDER review
(20) 8.17.85 - MILES DAVIS review
(21) 9.12.85 - T.S.O.L. review
(22) 9.29.85 - THE SCREAMING BLUE MESSIAHS review
(23) 10.11.85 - X review
(24) 11.19.85 - AC/DC review
(25) 1.30.86 - THE FACTORY review
(26) 2.7.86 - HR and PRESS MOB review
(27) 2.13.86 - 9353 and SILENT RADIO review
(28) 4.1.86 - ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN and THE CHURCH review
(29) 4.2.86 - THE CULT and THE DIVINYLS review
(30) 9.18.86 - ANTHRAX review
(31) 9.19.86 - EMERSON, LAKE, AND POWELL review
(33) 6.18.87 - REDD KROSS review
(34) 10.13.87 - NONA HENDRYX review
(35) 2.9-10.88 - FRANK ZAPPA review
(36) 3.2.88 - GOVERNMENT ISSUE review
(37) 5.22.88 - ROBERT PLANT review
(38) 5.24.88 - THE VILE CHERUBS review
(39) 6.1.88 - TRUE TRASH #2 - WDC PERIOD #12 column
(40) 7.1.88 - TRUE TRASH #3 - WDC PERIOD #13 column
(42) 7.14.88 - ERASURE interview
(43) 7.27.88 - VACATION and SCREAMS OF PAIN review
(44) 10.1.88 - TRUE TRASH #4 - WDC PERIOD #17 column
(45) 1.1.89 - TRUE TRASH #5 - 1988 IN REVIEW column
(48) 3.15.89 - KAREN FINLEY review
(49) 4.1.89 - TRUE TRASH #6 - WDC PERIOD #18 column
(50) 5.17.89 - THE TOM TOM CLUB review
(51) 6.1.89 - TRUE TRASH #7 column
(52) 7.1.89 - ROX MAGAZINE #13 - STRANGE BOUTIQUE - "Breaking Out" story
(53) 7.1.89 - ROX MAGAZINE #13 - DC ROX #1 column
(54) 8.1.89 - ROX MAGAZINE #14 - INDESTROY - "Senseless Theories Destroyed" story
(55) 8.1.89 - ROX MAGAZINE #14 - DC ROX #2 column
(56) 9.1.89 - ROX MAGAZINE #15 - DC ROX #3 column
(57) 10.1.89 - ROX MAGAZINE #16 - DC ROX #4 column
(58) 10.3.89 - ROX MAGAZINE #17 - P.I.L. and STRANGE BOUTIQUE review
(59) 10.7.89 - MIND PRESS RELEASE
(60) 11.1.89 - ROX MAGAZINE #17 - DC ROX #5 column
(61) 11.13.89 - THE BUZZCOCKS review
(62) 12.1.89 - ROX MAGAZINE #18 - DC ROX #6 column
(63) 12.1.89 - TRUE TRASH #8 - WDC PERIOD #19 column
(64) 1.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #18 - THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS - "Re-Inventing The Magic" story
(65) 1.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #19 - DC ROX #7 column
(67) 2.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #20 - DC ROX #8 column
(68) 3.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #21 - DC ROX #9 column
(69) 4.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #22 - DC ROX #10 column
(70) 4.4.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #23 - SCREAM and PRONG review
(71) 5.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #23 - DC ROX #11 column
(72) 5.5.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #24 - RUSH and MR. BIG review
(74) 6.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #24 - DC ROX #12 column
(75) 7.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #25 - DC ROX #13 column
(76) 8.1.90 - RHYTHMS MAGAZINE #4 - G.I.'s JOHN STABB letter
(77) 8.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #26 - SCARLET O - "Not What Nathaniel Hawthorne Had In Mind" story
(78) 8.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #26 - LOVE/HATE - "Primal Urges Go Electric" story
(79) 8.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #26 - DC ROX #14 column
(80) 9.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #27 - DC ROX #15 column
(82) 10.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #28 - MURDER INK - "Tattoo Your Ears" article
(83) 10.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #28 - ULTRA VIVID SCENE - "A Guilty Pleasure" article
(84) 11.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #29 - VIO-LENCE - "Thrashing The Masses" article
(85) 11.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #29 - DC ROX #16 column
(86) 12.1.90 - ROX MAGAZINE #30 - DC ROX #17 column
(88) 1.1.91 - ROX MAGAZINE #32 - ALICE IN CHAINS article
(89) 1.1.91 - ROX MAGAZINE #32 - IRON CHRIST - "Getting The Most Out Of Your Moment" article
(90) 1.1.91 - ROX MAGAZINE #32 - DC ROX #18 column
(91) 1.1.91 - ROX MAGAZINE #32 - EAST IS EAST - "Image + Music = Success?" article
(94) 4.1.91 - RHYTHMS MAGAZINE #1 - WHO IS GOD? - "Three Bartenders And A Drunk" article
(95) 4.11.91 - INFORMATION SOCIETY review
(96) 8.16.92 - THE LOLLAPALOOZA FESTIVAL 1992 review
(97) 11.8.92 - PAUL KANTNER and ROBBIE ROBERTSON review
(98) 3.7.94 - DWEEZIL ZAPPA review
(100) 5.25.94 - DEBBIE HARRY AND CHRIS STEIN review
(101) 11.1.94 - TONY BENNETT review
(102) 11.8.94 - ICE-T AND BODY COUNT review
(103) 7.11.98 - SEAN LENNON and RUFUS WAINWRIGHT review
(104) 3.25.99 - THE ROOTS AND THE GHOST OF LADY DAY article
(105) 10.23.99 - STRING CHEESE INCIDENT review
(106) 10.25.99 - FLEMING & JOHN, TRAIN, BEN FOLDS FIVE review
(107) 10.27.99 - THE COUNTING CROWS, THE GIGOLO AUNTS, JOE 90 review
(109) 11.4.99 - BJORN AGAIN review
(110) 11.6.99 - SAVE FERRIS and TWO JACKS review
(111) 11.11.99 - THE PET SHOP BOYS article
(112) 11.12.99 - THE FUNKY METERS and BLUE MIRACLE review
(113) 11.18.99 - SMASH MOUTH and CITIZEN KING review
(114) 11.19.99 - MEDESKI, MARTIN, AND WOOD and PROJECT LOGIC review
(115) 11.21.99 - MOXY FRUVOUS and MARGE CALHOUN with RON HOLLOWAY review
(116) 11.23.99 - BOB WEIR'S RATDOG review
(118) 12.2.99 - JARS OF CLAY and SILAGE review
(119) 12.11.99 - THE ALL MIGHTY SENATORS, JAH WORKS, LOA review
(121) 12.27.99 - VERTICAL HORIZON and FIVE WAY PARTY review
(122) 2.1.01 - RICHARD ASHCROFT (THE VERVE) review
(123) 2.10.01 - LUNA and ADEN review
(124) 2.24.01 - JEFF TWEEDY review
(125) 2.27.01 - ROBERT EARL KEEN and KASEY review
(126) 5.26.01 - JAMES BROWN AND HIS BAND review
(128) 6.15.03 - CAPITAL PRIDE FESTIVAL with CLINT CRISHER article
(129) 6.29.04 - BEN FOLDS, GUSTER, RUFUS WAINWRIGHT review

6.20-21.1983 - "The Michelob Concert Series Presents"
Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD

In my lifetime I have seen The Grateful Dead on many occasions, over 40 times by my estimation, and in most cases going to the concert and hanging out in the parking lot and watching the multi-colored freaks bartering and selling a multitude of items from organic food to crafts to tie-dyes to bracelets and high-quality marijuana and LSD, and most importantly bootleg tapes of previous Dead shows, all that was the best part of the day. Musically The Grateful Dead fluctuated from upbeat hippie jams to dreadful and murky junkie jams that could really get on my nerves because they could play the same damn three notes for two hours and never go anywhere with it. But overall I enjoyed many Grateful Dead shows in my time, I loved their songs like, "Truckin'", "Dire Wolf", "Friend Of The Devil", "Shakedown Street", "Me And My Uncle", "Tennessee Jed", and "Touch Of Grey", plus their rather eclectic cover song selections were fun to dance to like an idiot doing the hippie shake. This show is particularly memorable to me because the weather was rather overcast and drizzly that weekend and the shows at Merriweather Post Pavilion are rain or shine, and I was there with my t-shirt screen-printer friend Kelly Corcoran and sadly we only had lawn tickets. The lawn was soggy and muddy and I had foolishly wore flip-flops so I kept slipping and sliding on the slanted muddy hill so I could never stay still long enough to focus on listening to The Dead. About two hours into their set the skies opened and the rain fell in buckets as they say, so the unlucky people on the lawn started running to their cars, but as you leave the venue the path narrows on a hill that has a creek at the bottom, so the rain caused it to rise and with Kelly on shoulders I soon found myself wading through rushing water that was up to my neck. Somehow we made it through and got to our car soaked to the skin, but laughing because as we had waded through the rising water, Kelly had began mooing like a cow and soon hundreds of people followed suit. Now in retrospect that really seems appropriate for a bunch of Deadheads considering how things ended up for Jerry Garcia and other band members throughout the years (Pigpen, Keith and Donna Godchaux, Brent Myland), and particularly how hideous some of the Deadheads acted the summer of Jerry's demise, rioting Deadheads who would have thought, and lastly but especially the two fools who snuck the final speedball to him when he was in rehab for the last time. Jerry Garcia looked so sad and broken in his last few photographs that tragically appeared in several tabloids.

7.3.1983 - "Rock Against Reagan Concert And Rally"
The Lincoln Memorial's Reflecting Pool - Washington, DC

It was an insanely hot summer in the city on the swamp and our "kookoo for koko puffs" President Ronald Reagan was scaring America and the rest of the world with his mad ultra-conservative ramblings and Star Wars defense system, and his crazy as a loon wife Nancy was running around the country screaming, "Just Say No!", to the school children in Middle America. But the kids were screaming back, punk and hardcore music was taking over the playgrounds and basements of the suburbs as the sound expanded from the streets of New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, and the general public was getting scared. When this gig was announced in the City Paper, my friends and I at art school were psyched; we could not wait to see our punk rock heroes The Dead Kennedys play on the National Mall of all places and on a holiday weekend. Especially ever since Reagan's Secretary Of The Interior James Watt had declared that all rock bands have been banned from playing at any Independence Day events on the Mall, and then he announced that Wayne Newton would be performing at the annual concert. He proclaimed that the "rock bands" that had played on the Mall on the previous two years, had encouraged drug use and alcoholism and that had attracted the "wrong element", whom would mugged people and terrorized families as they tried to celebrate America's birthday. But the completely absurd thing was that from 1980 through 1982, it was The Beach Boys and The Grass Roots who performed at these concerts on the Mall, let me repeat, The Beach Boys, I may really, really, really hate and despise The Beach Boys and their music, but never in a million years would I have considered them a "druggie" band that attracted the so-called "wrong element". Rob Grill, the lead singer of The Grass Roots, stated that he was "highly insulted" by Watt's crass remarks, which he called "nothing but un-American". The Beach Boys in a Washington Post article stated that the Soviet Union, which had invited them to play Leningrad in 1978, "obviously did not feel that the group attracted the wrong element". Even Vice President George H. W. Bush told the press, "They're my friends and I like their music." After Watt had found out that "The Gipper" and his wife were big fans of the group, he publicly apologized to the band; then the First Lady apologized for him, and the White House staff presented Watt with a plaster foot with a hole in it for his very bad career-wrecking decision. On the Fourth, when Wayne Newton took the stage, he was resoundingly booed by the audience; James Watt resigned in November 1983, and on July 4th, 1984 the next year, The Beach Boys played to an estimated 750,000 people on the National Mall. Talk about irony! July 3rd arrived and my friends and I headed downtown to the Lincoln Memorial early, so we could get a good spot for watching the concert. It turned out to be an overcast and unbearably hot day, which made people cranky and ready to fight. All around us the punks and the hippies were yelling and throwing things at each other, and the situation was getting more explosive by the minute. When we arrived The Velvet Monkeys were already on stage playing their spastic art-noise and they were mostly unbearable to my ears. They finished their set and a plethora of political types ranted and raved, these self-aggrandizing and self-contradictory loudmouths just really get on my nerves. Braille Party played next, they are one of my favorite local groups, and Lou Gigger and Matt Riehl really know how to interact with their instruments on the stage. More rambling speakers and then local punk-funk heroes hit the stage, and The Static Disruptors got the place jumping and moshing, they were awesome. The afternoon continued like this for hours, idiot speakers and then the next band; The Ruts DC from England laid down some decent roots-rock-reggae dub, some annoying hippie crap from Rupert Chappelle, and then the hardcore started and police officers on horseback began encircling the crowd. Toxic Reasons raised a racket as the mosh pit got wilder and wilder; The Crucifucks played their brand of goofy punk and mocked the cops who were not too pleased. Those crazy boys from New York City, Dave Insurgent and Paul Cripple of Reagan Youth, really got the audience going crazy with their anarcho-music and their crowd-baiting antics, and boy do they hate Reagan. Next those bad boys from Houston, Texas, D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles) let loose with their hardcore thrash, and the crowd went mosh-crazy, my friends and I were feeling a bit edgy from being trapped between the cops and the swarming crowd of punks, freaks, and hippies. Then Austin, Texas outcasts M.D.C. (Millions Of Dead Cops) hit the stage with a roar, and they are one of the most political punk bands ever, their singer Dave Dictor even was gay-bashed by The Bad Brains singer HR. I love their songs "John Wayne Was A Nazi" and "Dick For Brains" and they sounded great, and then they let loose with "Dead Cops". The cops were not amused and they began moving into the crowd and randomly using their batons on people. It was starting to get real scary and dangerous to be here. Finally, it was time for what I have been waiting for all day - The Dead Kennedys - the band took the stage with a sense of urgency as they blasted off with "Police Truck" and the crowd went ballistic as bodies were flying everywhere, I've never seen anything like it before, or have I ever since. Hoards of punkers climbed on to the stage as Jello Biafra led them in singing the church hymn "Rock Of Ages" and then East Bay Ray's guitar exploded furiously with the opening riff of "Moral Majority" and all those punkers dove off the stage in one huge screaming mass. During "You've Got A Bigger Problem Now" Jello Biafra flung himself into the sweaty and writhing audience, it was brilliant. Jello really knew how to work the crowd, he shared his microphone with various audience members, he helped fallen dancers get off the ground, all while he moved with ease out of the way of the endless stream of stage divers as he bounded across the stage and bantered with a wickedly acerbic sense of humor. A police helicopter began circling the crowd as if on cue as The Dead Kennedys launched into my favorite song of theirs, "Holiday In Cambodia", Jello saw the helicopter and shouted, "The helicopter! Here comes the helicopter!" Then the cops started shining huge truck-mounted klieg lights on the crowd, as the helicopter buzzed the crowd and took photographs of the people below, who in turn began pelting projectiles at it and the rows of cops in full riot gear circling the concert. It was so surreal that I kept thinking I was in some Hollywood action movie. After several more songs the band left the stage and the crowd and I roared for more. Jello Biafra returned to the stage and lambasted the audience for not working hard enough to change society and then he proclaimed, "This next song is in honor of the guy who's going to be playing at the Capitol tomorrow!", as the band began playing "Viva Las Vegas". We spent the next hour trying to escape the area without getting arrested or brutalized by the police, but still, it was one of the most amazing days of my life and I will never ever forget it.


It is a Friday night at The Wilson Center and it could have passed as a masquerade ball, more so than a step towards unity. Don't get me wrong, the gig had its cool runnings; but there were just too many trendies, those coming to see and be seen, those who almost and/or completely forget the music and the message. Underground Soldier got off to a slow start but did finally crank it out. They sort of reminded me of a high-speed Black Sabbath. The female singer had a nice voice, but it sometimes got whiny. The lyrics had some depth, some songs had moments of political insight, but the band needs to tighten up. Madhouse were next - X on Quaaludes as I call them, I am getting tired of this recent rash of X sound-a-likes. Billy Zoom as an underground guitar hero - shit! A few of the songs were enjoyable, but close your eyes and you would swear it was Exene and John Doe after a drinking binge. Get original, people! The Mob from New York City hit the stage - Let's Thrash!!!! - They were okay but not my scene. They were oddly entertaining though; they had great attitude and great lyrics besides. They need to smooth it out some and tighten it up a bit, which is the problem of a lot of hardcore bands. Scream tear it up! Every time I see them, I dig them more and more. Skeeter Thompson's bass lines throbulated my whole body. Franz Stahl's guitar lines really scratch my cranium like a rusty file. Kent Stax's drumming pounds it in and makes sure you get the message. Did singer Pete Stahl just get out of St. Elizabeth's? The boy is crazy! His between songs banter was strange and psychotic - prophet or madman - "My mother is my best friend." - and his lyrics made you think or want to scream fuck you. Great lyrics though, I hope they get the recognition that they deserve. Michael Enkrumah is a prophet from Jah so ye take heed! The expanded line-up filled out the band's sound, but in some instances it took away from the music. I love Michael's lyrics, his song "Metro Bus" is so, so familiar to me. But where did everybody go, the crowd suddenly shrank. But too bad for them, the set was awesome, give thanks! Get the message - Jah Love! Check Michael Enkrumah and The Israelites out and listen and learn and spread the word.

This was the first review that I wrote once I began to immerse myself in the local music scene and started hanging out with the guys in Outrage, Scream, Michael Enkrumah and The Israelites, and The Bad Brains, and I became infatuated their Rastafarian beliefs which explains the funny Rasta talk in my review, but that was short-lived when HR and the other Rastas found out that I was gay - oh the drama! The review was printed in the Spring Issue of Barbara Rice's fanzine "Truly Needy" and I hope my writing has become more polished since those early days.

6.24.1984 - "Truly Needy" Magazine and NO B.S. Productions Present
The Newton Theater - 11th & Newton Sts., NE - Washington, DC

After a few months, the shows that Gretchen Fischer and I promoted had gotten bigger and bigger and for this show we decided we needed some help in getting bigger bands; so we asked Barbara Rice of "Truly Needy" magazine to help us and she came through with a contract for Husker Du and said she would help us with her connections if let her be our co-promoter, we agreed of course. The day of the show, the madness began, first the PA system broke and we had to find a new sound system pronto, Husker Du's road manager had called for directions to the venue, and oddly it was Outrage/HR guitarist David Byers who had answered the telephone and gave him bad directions, so they were lost and late and got no sound check because Government Issue were on stage and then when the stage diving was at its most manic, the owners who were a mother and son team freaked out because the flying bodies reminded them of their son/brother who was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident by being thrown. They threatened to stop the show if it didn't stop, and that aggravated Government Issue vocalist John Stabb extremely and he went on a tirade and screamed, "We're punker rockers and this is how we dance!" Somehow this threw things even more off-balanced and one of the stage divers hit the stage stairs and split his head open and I had to call the paramedics and an ambulance to take him to the hospital which he did not want to do because he wanted to see Husker Du. Once we got through that drama we got Negative Approach on stage they rocked as we tried to refrain any stage diving. While they were playing I went to find the Husker Du guys and get them ready to go on stage, the road manager told me they were in the make-shift dressing room, so I went to it and the door was shut and when I opened the door I saw Bob Mould "en flagrante" with a skate boy's penis in his mouth, boy was I shocked, I see cannot get the sound of the jingling of the skate boy's wallet chain out of my head...and oh the pissed off look in Bob Mould's eyes. Years later I read an interview with drummer Grant Hart referred to this tour as the "Pants Down Across America Tour" and I got a good chuckle out of that. The band played brilliantly for about 35 minutes until Bob's guitar stopped working and after a few false starts, the band called quits and left the stage and I dealt with the fall-out and the screaming owners - what a show.

8.14.1984 - "A No B.S. Productions Presents"
The Wilson Center - 15th & Irving Sts., NW - Washington, DC

This was the biggest show that Gretchen Fischer and I promoted as No B.S. Productions even after we had to move the gig to the Wilson Center from the Newton Theater at the last minute, and things were starting to get crazy. The door receipts were incredible at this show, 912 people at $6 a head, and it seemed like all I did was stay in the back room and count one dollar bills and try to get the bands to go on time and not fight with each other over who was responsible for drawing the most people. Somehow with the help of Kenny Dread and David Byers, I kept myself and the show together, paid everyone and gave the bands bonuses and Gretchen and I still had $1200 to split between us. All the bands played great with little drama even though Agent Orange's tour manager tried to push me around a bit for more money because their gig in Richmond, VA, the night before had ripped them off. My favorite though was Marginal Man, who played with such intensity, it was mind-boggling. But I was learning that putting on bigger and better punk rock shows was very hard work and took up a lot of my time, and I was getting unsure if this was the line of work that I wanted to continue doing.

9.29.1984 - PSYCHODRAMA
The Biltmore - 1811 Columbia Rd., NW - Washington, DC

One of the strangest bands ever to come out of DC, and good lord, they took things to the extreme, dead anti-rock star G.G. Allin stole his act from Psychodrama. The singer/ranter Brett always hung around the shows I promoted and gave me these scary-ass hand-made demo cassettes that scared the hell out of me and I was genuinely terrified to put him on one of my bills. I was afraid of being arrested for promoting obscenity. His tapes sounded like something from "The Exorcist" and random beats on top of Brett's rants and chants, especially horrific was the one called "Nigger". Brett got even stranger when he began wearing a coat made of dead birds and worse of all, people began bringing him dead birds to add to it and he really stank. So I promised I would come to one of his shows, and...oh god...there were old televisions randomly on stage showing strange slasher porn and eerie tape loops and then Brett started fucking a chicken...I repeat...fucking a started making all kinds of noises and Brett too, but I could not take it and fled the premises...the horror...the horror.


The day had arrived - PRINCE - omigod, will he be worth eighteen dollars and fifty cents, will he be worth the hassle of standing in line for five hours and then have them sell-out on me, and then getting rained on at one in the morning when the next four shows went on sale. Well...No...We completely missed SHEILA E. and we got there only five minutes before he came on. Opening with LET'S GO CRAZY, Prince shot his wad with the first two songs. I cannot complain about the sound system or lights, the stereo effects blew me away, back and forth, round and round, it was amazing. The lights were wildly psychedelic and well done. Today's technology, I guess. Doing but only a medley of pre-PURPLE RAIN songs, Prince recreated his movie on stage. It was almost picture-perfect, too perfect, in fact. The drummer could have fixed dinner and did the laundry; he only hit the cymbals and sometimes the snare drum. The rest was rhythm tracks and backing tapes. I will swear to God that some of the guitar was taped. It was Prince's show, everyone else just looked pretty. THE REVOLUTION needs some evolution. I guess he had to prove his heterosexuality because he really played it up to the women. I completely lost interest sometimes and my mind wandered off and I thought about things like maybe he was a hologram...Well, anyway the whole show was too studied and controlled, it was too...something. The crowd acted like they were watching TV. There was no excitement in them, hardly any applause. It was weird. The show was nice, but it had no substance.


METAL MANIA INVADES DC - December 12th at the Ontario Theatre - FUCKING 14 DOLLARS - It was a nice, a lot of kids from the suburbs, even some "punks", and so many Dee Snider of TWISTED "FUCKIN'" SISTER look-a-likes. EXCITER opened the show with lots of noise for the boys. Loud and hard, they even got me head banging a little. The guitarists had moments of great interplay but for the most part they were cliched. I did not like the way the drums were set up and they were way too noisy. They didn't do anything new and they were visually boring. Did I smell fire and brimstone or was it MERCYFUL FATE? King Diamond and his coven took the stage and promised us THE HOUSE OF SATAN. I was turned off instantly. A bone cross as a microphone - cute! Boring band, it sounded like they were JUDAS PRIEST at their first rehearsal. They looked lost in the twilight zone somewhere. Stupid lyrics, stupid gimmick, stupid attitude, what they did on stage is dangerous and can fuck some kids' minds up. LEMMY in the fuckin' flesh, MOTORHEAD finally made it to Washington, DC. With IRON FIST they smashed into the crowd, who instantly banged into motion - non-stop energy, speed, and power - barely stopping between songs Lemmy and the boys let it rip. The sound system was incredible, and there were three truckloads. There were so many stacks of speakers. It was way too loud; my ears were ringing all the next day. They played a good selection of their songs - ACE OF SPADES - MOTORHEAD - BOMBER - JAILBAIT - METROPOLIS - It was total power with NO REMORSE. I personally didn't miss former guitarist Fast Eddie Clark, the two new ax-grinders more than made up for him. Pete Gill was incredible, he made the traps pop. The new songs were really great and showed maturity and growth in Lemmy's songwriting. They closed with OVERKILL, and they were. I had lots of fun; it was a really great show.


Punk at The Bayou - or shall I say "post-punk" - whatever that means - SCREAM open up for THE RED ROCKERS. SCREAM came on stage ready to jump to it. Pete Stahl was in prime shape, attacking the words with primal intensity, he really let loose. Franz Stahl was suavely calm as he flung licks off his guitar. I never really noticed how well he plays until this show. Skeeter Thompson who I believe is the finest bass player in town, really held the bottom up with slow loping bass lines, yet they seemed to be fast. Kent Stax kept his traps in the mix. Skeeter and Kent are one of the finest rhythm sections that play around town. Harley Davidson has found his place; he gives SCREAM that metal edge that fills their sound out. He ripped out some nasty riffs that scratched your head top. Doing fifteen songs, five new ones, they played a well-rounded set. "Still Screaming" was done incredible. They went off with "Spanking The Monkey", Pete could have made Prince blush. I really like their version of SWEET's "Ballroom Blitz". It was a fantastic set; I wish I had a tape of it. I didn't see THE RED ROCKERS, but my friend Gretchen said they had cute clothes and nice thighs.


Former BAD BRAINS lead singer JOSEPH I has joined forces with some of the hottest PLAYERS OF INSTRUMENTS on the East Coast scene to form a dynamic new outfit - HR. Featuring the powerhouse drumming of bredrin EARL HUDSON, also ex-BAD BRAINS, the group cranks out a compelling mix of hardcore THRASH and pumped-up contemporary FUNK/REGGAE. HR is propelled forward by the dual guitar attack of DAVID JORDAN and DAVID BYERS, two versatile and innovative players from the WASHINGTON, DC area. DAVID JORDAN's fluid, atmospheric guitar textures have most recently graced new music group RED SINK, and reggae/rockers MICHAEL ENKRUMAH AND THE ISRAELITES, while DAVID BYERS has made a heavy duty local guitar rep as lead player in a series of important DC bands - hardcore pioneers THE ENZYMES, art-funk heroes TONY PERKINS AND THE PSYCHOTICS, reggae stalwarts LIONHEARTS, and presently go-go fusionists OUTRAGE. Rounding out HR's line-up is HARD bassie JUDAH II, from New York City's acclaimed thrashers THE MOB.
HR is preparing to enter the studio to record their debut WAX, a seven-song MINI LP to be the premier release of JAH YOUTH RECORDS. The HR MINI LP will consist of four HARDCORE style songs on one side and three DANCE oriented FUNK/REGGAE numbers on the other. Released in conjunction with the MINI LP will be a promotional video clip of "IT'S ABOUT LOVE", the lead-off FUNK/REGGAE tune, "IT'S ABOUT LOVE", will subsequently be available in 12" DANCE re-mix form.


CHANT DOWN BABYLON! HR comes out screaming, guitars blazing! A year after ROCK FOR LIGHT, the BAD BRAINS' classic hardcore/reggae album, the former lead singer JOSEPH I, aka HR, comes forward with a new band and an independently produced MINI LP. The HR band features an all-star line-up: JOSEPH I's brother EARL HUDSON, also ex-BAD BRAINS, on drums, JUDAH II, formerly of NYC's THE MOB, on bass, DAVID JORDAN, dreadlock guitarist extraordinaire, and DC's own DAVID BYERS, hot guitarist of go-go/funk sensation OUTRAGE. The HR seven-song MINI LP also features OUTRAGE members DOC NIGHT on sax and KENNY DREAD on synthesizer, as well as ZIONTRAIN saxophonist HOWARD GAD. Let's have a revolution! The record opens with a slow apocalyptic-blues intro - haunting jungle sounds set the mood of the album. Suddenly with furious speed the guitars attack, the rhythm section pounds, and crying out for PEACE, LOVE, and UNITY, HR commands your attention. He wants a CHANGE, he wants it now, and he wants it for you, me, and EVERYONE. The velocity and fury of the BAD BRAINS remains intact, but with this record JOSEPH I shows a new MATURITY and DIRECTION in his MESSAGE and SOUND. There is a polished merging of musical influences - from the delicate soulful vocal and Spanish-tinged guitar stylings of "WHO LOVES YOU" to the razor sharp THRASH of "IT'LL BE ALRIGHT" to the gentle muted reggae of "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY SON". The lyrics are a kaleidoscope of emotions that reflect the pain and anguish JOSEPH I feel in his struggle to reach MT. ZION - the record bears witness to the trials and tribulations of a RASTAMAN in MODERN-DAY BABYLON. But HR also offers HOPE, a chance to FREE OUR MINDS, and shows us that music is the KEY to unlocking the doors of FREEDOM. Open your eyes and ears! Open your soul! JOSEPH I has a beautiful vision - CHECK IT while you can!

These are two press releases I wrote way back in February of 1985 when I was working with HR, Kenny Dread, and Juli Bird, as we tried to get Olive Tree Records, which was originally called Jah Youth Records, off the ground with the first release - HR's "It's About Love". I did a lot of the graphic art for them, I created the HR logo from a design idea HR drew on a napkin for me. I used the same typeface style I created for the "Keep Out Of Reach"/"Power Of The Trinity" 12" single which was used without my permission and uncredited when SST Records released them on compact disc. I love the over-the-top hyper-hyperbolized language that I used back then, reading all those CREEM magazines in the seventies really paid off. Too bad my genuine devotion and respect was for naught when he found out I was gay.

9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC

It is weird what can forever emblazon a memory into your brain, and with this gig, it is a real wild story - the evening started typical enough, my friend Gretchen Fischer and I headed down to the 9:30 Club as we did most nights, but tonight was GIRLSCHOOL from England and they were my favorite all-girl rock band since The Runaways and I was looking forward to seeing them, especially to hear them play "Hit And Run", I loved that song. Plus one of my favorite local bands, Factory, was opening, they are fronted by 9353's bassist/vocalist Vance Bockis who is one of the most entertaining and visual musicians on the scene, and I love their song "Puerto Rican Street Fight" and they perform a fantastic version of The Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers". The show was great fun and I rocked out, but afterward Gretchen was being all flirty with some silly metal boys and it seemed like it was getting ready to rain. I got fed up with her shenanigans and tried to catch a cab home to 17th and U Streets, but the streets were empty, so I just started walking and when I reached 14th Street, which was full of pimps, whores, and thugs back then, it started raining when I heard a voice yell out, "Need a cab?". The cab pulled up and I jumped in, and right away I knew something was off, I said, "Please take me to 2001 17th Street.", but the cabdriver didn't say a word and wouldn't even look at me in the rear-view mirror. There was some guy sitting upfront with the driver and he just talked and talked and told me he was going to 1435 R Street and the cabbie would take me on home. We reached the address and stopped and suddenly a rifle barrel appeared over the seat and he put right on my face under my nose and said, "Give me all your money." I almost wet my pants as I told him that I only had cab fare on me because I spent the rest of my money at the club, so he demanded that I give him my brand new leather coat, what was odd was he let me empty the pockets of my stuff and remove my band buttons, he then told me to get out of the car and not to turn around, which I did. I ran the rest of the way home where I vomited several times and cried. Life is scary and strange sometimes and you just got to roll with it. The next day I read in the Washington Post that a cabbie was found shot dead in his car in Southeast, and I always wondered if it was the terrified man that was driving the cab I got robbed in that dreary night after the Girlschool show.

4.22.1985 - OUTRAGE and SIRIUS
The Kitchen - 59 Wooster St. - New York, NY

I had been working with Outrage for a while now, and their music was starting to catch the ears of record label people and my poster art was getting them quite a bit of notice, and Kenny Dread had scored a prestigious gig at hip see and be seen club, The Kitchen. So our whole crew trekked up to NYC and Gretchen Fischer and I ended up crashing at Susan Hudson's gay junkie buddies, Rick and Ritchie's squat in Alphabet City on 8th Avenue between Avenues B and C, a few steps from ultra-hip club 8 BC. The next day after the gig, we were at the squat killing time waiting for our bus to DC the next day, Gretchen had began her period and was cranky so I decided to go see the movie "Liquid Sky" at the St. Marks Cinema. The movie was great, the New York crowd really got into acting out the movie in front of the screen, there were so many Jimmy/Margaret characters living out their fantasy. Back then the Lower East Side was a dangerous hellhole in fact 8th Avenue looked like a war zone, as I hurriedly walked back to the squat, I could hear two sets of footfalls following behind me. The little voice in my head told me to go to 8 BC, but I thought I could get in the front door of the squat before whoever was following me caught up with me, but the lock was tricky and you had to jiggle the key to get it to open. Before I could blink, a hand reached around and but a large piece of jagged glass to my neck and demanded my money or get sliced, what was funny was that I had all kinds of crap on me in my pockets that had value, but they only took the cash and all my change that I heard dropping on the pavement as they fled after they smashed me on the neck and I fell to the ground. I remember laying there thinking 'not again' and 'is hanging out with Gretchen bad luck', after a few minutes I got up and thanked God that I was only badly shaken and not badly injured as I finally got into the building and yelled for Gretchen to help me. A typical New York City night in the eighties!


The other day I heard a rumor that The Bad Brains broke up once again. The person who told me acted like it was the worst thing to happen since Adam ate the apple and was banished from the Garden of Eden. All I got to say is big deal; I hope they stay broken up. So now, I am sure a bunch of you are shrieking, but I don't care! I appreciate the music they made, but I don't appreciate some of the members' attitudes. What Paul Hudson a.k.a. Joseph I a.k.a. HR says in his lyrics is sometimes opposite of how he lives his life. I know, I was involved in it for a period of time. One cannot expect equality and the end of racism and hate if one practices inequality and hatred in one's own attitudes towards women, gays, and other people he disagrees with for one reason or the other is disgusting and a contradiction of the ideals expressed in his lyrics. Until he sees the light so to speak, I hope they just fade away. For which is the greater sin, the oppression of the oppressor, or the oppression amongst the oppressed. From my heart with all sincerity - Mock - Shock - Rock!


BURNING SPEAR at the Kilimanjaro Club was a musical event that showed the true beauty of roots reggae rock. Playing two sets of forceful, yet controlled riddim, BURNING SPEAR shined on their musical offerings to Jah. I felt enriched by the experience, emotionally and spiritually, it was positive vibes all the way. The musicians were very humble in their stage presence, and they didn't flirt with the women in the audience, which is typical of many other reggae performers at this club. All in all it was irae.

SPACE HOUSE - 2001 17th St., NW - Washington, DC
Interview with JOSEPH I

On May 23, 1985, I interviewed Joseph I in an attempt to answer questions that I, and presumably many others, have been seeking answers to concerning him and his musical aspirations. It is a typical night at my house, OUTRAGE rehearsing downstairs, people running in and out, hectic as usual. Joseph I calmly rolled a spliff as I prepared to interview him.

Jimijam: "Greetings Joseph I. A lot has happened since The Bad Brains broke up; you have two new bands, HR and Ziontrain. How do you feel you have progressed musically?"
Joseph I: "My reason for playing has changed since I was playing music with The Bad Brains."
Jimijam: "You have a new album with HR coming out soon, when is it due?"
Joseph I: "Tomorrow"

This answer was delivered almost sarcastically; however, Juli Bird of Olive Tree Records informed me the record should be out by the end of June.

Jimijam: "What do you think of it?"
Joseph I: "It's a piece of shit."

This answer boggled me. He declined to elaborate. I like the album. I think "Happy Birthday My Son" is the most brilliant song he has written so far.

Jimijam: "When I was planning this interview, a tour was underway that would have taken you all the way to California. It got canceled. Why?"
Joseph I: "Because I was a fugitive prisoner."

A year ago Joseph I was arrested on marijuana distribution charges and was incarcerated for several months and released and placed on parole until October 1985. His parole officer said he could not leave the area to go on tour.

Jimijam: "Are any gigs planned otherwise?"
Joseph I: "I'm gonna concentrate on saving my soul and forget about everything else. If a gig comes up - it comes: if it doesn't - it doesn't."
Jimijam: "There always seems to be controversy surrounding you. How do you feel about this?"
Joseph I: "Fabulous"
Jimijam: "Many rumours have been circulated about you since your BAD BRAINS days; I would like to ask you about a few of them. One story I have heard a lot is about an incident with M.D.C. (Millions Of Dead Cops), stories ranging from egg-throwing to beating up the singer and trashing their equipment. What is the real story?"
Joseph I: "I wasn't there, I heard about it."
Jimijam: "A more recent story, I heard, involved grave openings by punks in Atlanta. Evidently, at a show you went off on the kids for this alleged behavior and then everybody left the club. What's your version?"
Joseph I: "I was under attack by the devil's advocates, but I abstained myself from their heresy."

While I am on the subject of rumors, a hot one has been The Bad Brains reunion; I forgot to ask Joseph I about this. After the interview took place I was informed that promoter Robert Singerman inked a contract with Joseph I for a new Bad Brains album and a tour to follow.

Jimijam: "Now I am going to ask you a few personal questions, delving into your personal life and how it reflects on your public persona. It has been said that you have a 'woman barefoot in the kitchen making babies' attitude."
Joseph I: "I say that every woman belongs to Jah and they are soldiers. They must take their place on the battlefield alongside the mon, so that doesn't involve the kitchen."
Jimijam: "It has been rumoured that you and your band members have exerted physical violence towards your women. Any comments?"
Joseph I: "When a woman is disobedient to her man, and is consistent in her disobedience, it is the mon's responsibility to administer justice to protect her from herself."
Jimijam: "You have been known to be quite virulently vocal in anti-homosexual rhetoric. What is your reasoning for this?"
Joseph I: "Faggots can't have babies."
Jimijam: "But doesn't say in the Bible "Judge not lest ye be judged", and the Golden Rule."
Joseph I: "But it also says, "Blessed are those who execute the judgment before his namesake"."
Jimijam: "Where is that?"
Joseph I: "Everywhere."
Jimijam: "I mean in the Bible."
Joseph I: "Psalms."
Jimijam: "Where?"
Joseph I: "If I tell you it would only take the fun out of it."

The supposed verse that Joseph I quoted is not actually in the Bible, it is based on a verse from a sacred book of the Hindus.

Jimijam: "Moving have your Rastafarian beliefs affected you and your attitude towards 'punk rock' and the music scene?"
Joseph I: "Rasta has shown me that I am a dead punk. Rasta has shown me that I love punk and punk rockers. Rasta has taught me that to everything there is a time. If it wasn't for Rasta, I wouldn't play hardcore music. I would probably have sold out by now and started playing disco or funk or something like that."
Jimijam: "Tell us about Zion Train and what it represents."
Joseph I: "Zion Train is the mystery band. Zion Train is prophecy fulfilled. Zion Train is my mission. Zion Train is for everyone, but not everyone in the world, everyone in Jah Jah's plan."
Jimijam: "Any plans for an album?"
Joseph I: "Zion Train makes no plans. We take it one day at a time. We have a record, we hope will soon be out, Jah willing, sometime in the future."
Jimijam: "What are your future plans?"
Joseph I: "My future plans are to make no future plans, but to never ever be disloyal to the underprivileged or God."
Jimijam: "What is in store for us?"
Joseph I: "All I can tell you is that there are no boundaries in music, it is limitless and we cannot expect anything. We can only continue to work and pray for the ultimate objective of the unification of all people within the fantastic structure of Rastafari."
Jimijam: "Last words?"
Joseph I: "At this moment I would like to express my appreciation to Kenny Dread, David Byers, Juli Bird, and you."
Jimijam: "Do you want anything else known to the readers of this fanzine?"
Joseph I: "Yeah! I would like them to be receptive. All those who know - just know. All those who don't..."

Once this interview was published in WDC Period #10 in July of 1985, I could not believe what a shit storm it caused on the local and national music scene; the magazine was deluged with angry letters from both sides. I received death threats from Rastas who accused me of mocking them and Rastafari, and I received letters praising me for exposing HR and his hypocrisy. I was trying to clear up how I felt about HR and his music and his philosophies and how they related to me as a gay person and a human being in general. After the brouhaha quieted down, HR and our friendship were pretty much kaput, and I think I have spoken to him twice since then and it is May 2011 right now. Supposedly there is a movie about HR's rather complicated life coming out soon, and The Bad Brains are still together and touring in Europe this summer, on June 18th they are playing HELLFEST in Clisson, France, headlining the Terrorizer Stage, which I find utterly and completely ironic as hell. LOL! Rock on HR!

DC SPACE - 7th & E Sts., NW - Washington, DC

The house was packed and the freaks were ready to hop - THE ONTARIO GROOVE BAND opened the show with their brand of solid-packed rhythms - go-go style - street beat of the youth - intensity builds in swaying motions as the rhythm pounds on and on into your body and out through your mind - starting from a basic drum set and weaving its way through upside-down plastic buckets moonlighting as drums - the rhythm grows and expands and wiggles its way into a body to a tambourine - shake uhhuh shake - monophonic notes jump out a tiny Casio into your feet - the next youth told you about life on the street in the city - say what - crucial music - but I wish there was a better voice in the singer - then it's FREEDOM ROCK time - OUTRAGE turn on the electricity - and it's GO-GO TIME ROCKER STYLE - David Byers was hitting hard, his sharpness of notes is getting more and more cutting each gig - Kenny Dread was popping that bass, it seems his recent excursion on guitar with REVELATION and HR have helped his bass playing - Boogie and Lunchbox flowed in percussive rhythm and Roland's synths danced and hopped in and out of the bass and git lines - Doc Night's sax and voice told you the truth in shades of electric blue - dancing in the BOP GROOVE waiting for us to tell them we were ready - OUTRAGE gets slicker and cleaner each outing - time to go international - check them out in the August FACE and at their next gig.

THE ROCK HOTEL - New York City, NY

The "exclusive" reunion of THE BAD BRAINS - how exciting - it was hot as hell - thousands of kids - it was bigger than the DK'S W.U.S.T. Hall show - the biggest "punk rock" gig I ever saw - I was really blown away - well anyway on with the show - I missed P.M.S. but several people told me I missed nothing - next up were THE CRO-MAGS - the skinhead crew top band - plus a lot of metal - heads were getting into them - on the way in the show I happened to notice some graffiti on the wall that said HARLEY IS A NAZI CONFORMIST - well anyway social and political views aside their drummer Mackie was great - his incorporation of go-go style drumming made the Cro-Mags' sound surge - the skins evidently liked it - thrash away - THE BAD BRAINS - Dr. Know, Earl, Darryl, and HR take the stage - tensions jump - the crowd pushes forward - the electricity turns on - Dr. Know fires up the fret board - ROCK FOR LIGHT - show begins in a frenzied pace - Earl's powerhouse drumming as always was impressive - his stick control and speed are technical masterpieces - Darryl held the bottom up with his full-throttle bass lines however he didn't seem to be quite in the spirit of things - Dr. Know could be the new rock guitar hero if he wanted to be - his fretwork sparkled as his hands flew like lightening - he made his guitar squeal and scream as if it was a whip driving a herd of thunder - he vaguely reminded me of Randy Rhoads - HR was his usual self jumping here, flipping over there, moaning, yelping, yelling, screaming, singing, dancing, words twisted and turned out of his mouth and head somehow beautiful - they played about a hour and twenty minutes - lots of old stuff - introduced new stuff which was slower and the lyrics more vague - overall an intense show but somehow lacking the spirit of the old days - are they mellowing out or what!?!

The one thing I forgot to mention in my review was that Earl's wife Susan Hudson got me into the sound booth to watch the show and Andy Warhol and some of his entourage showed up and he took a liking to me and somehow I became his makeshift waiter and got him and his pals beers for most of the night and he even took a few Polaroids of me and told me to keep writing and send some of my work to him at Interview Magazine because he could tell I had an unique voice and to "make it happen" because that was the only way that dreams come true. A few days later I sent some of my writings to him but I never heard from him.


The mother of punk is doing a big show at a big venue but with a sixteen-dollar ticket price. I never saw so many geeks, fake freaks, arty poseurs, and suburban teen queens. Homeboys TROUBLE FUNK opened the show with their brand of drum-heavy go-go music, the first twenty minutes were good to go, but they began to get very repetitive as the guitarist tried to lead the crowd in a call and response chant; however white people just don't get into it. Trouble Funk have seemed to lost some soul somewhere on their way up. NINA HAGEN and band were hot, they somehow blend rock, punk, metal, techno, and opera into some kind of beautiful ear-engulfing sound. Her voice was like ten rolled into one, squeals, screeches, rumbles, growls, and operatic wails. She changed outfits constantly, day-glo wigs, bondage wear, minis, maxis, and metal breastplates with lights on the points. They performed very hot versions of "Smack Jack", "UFO", The Tubes' "White Punks On Dope", The Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz", and a super freaked-out version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way". I do wish the guitarist played a little sharper, other than that it was a fantastic show.


Shows sure cost a lot here at the Warner, I paid thirty-four dollars for a pair of tickets - the security guards were total assholes - A CERTAIN RATIO opened, they were very complex, poly-rhythms dancing all over my ears - they made very effective use of the oboe and trumpet to accentuate the rhythm - the bass player was tremendous, very reminiscent of JACO PASTORIA - on the last song of their set, they just played percussion and synthesizer - each of the five members jumping around and switching instruments - drums to bongos to cowbells to handclaps on top of an undercurrent of synth rhythms - however the band seemed to lack focus - they were a little short on lyrics - not very visceral - a nice show though - NEW ORDER appeared bathed in cool blue lights - opening with ELEGY from their fantastic new album LOWLIFE - layers and layers of synth rhythms, tape loops, and drum tracks filled the theatre - guitars slashed and slashed - monotonous vocal delivery intoned about a grey life in a grey world in a sardonic way - this show was a million times better than their last DC appearance - the sound was a lot cleaner and polished - they played their instruments a lot better, the guitars were stronger and yet didn't overpower the synthesizers and vice versus - they gave several older songs a new bite particularly on BLUE MONDAY and THE BEACH - they improved their stage presence, the singer BERNARD SUMNER was quite engaging in his delivery and style - PETER HOOK's bass playing was very solid and driving - they have finally stepped out from IAN CURTIS' gloomy shadow to a brighter sound that was funk and dance influenced and tinged with hope - overall it was a very pleasing show.

The Pier at 46th St. & 12th Ave. - New York City, NY

I have always had a good time when I went to NYC to see a show; Blondie, The Ramones, Run-DMC, Marilyn Manson, KISS, The Eurhythmics, The Pet Shop Boys, Kraftwerk, Guster, Nina Hagen, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, David Bowie, and Lady Gaga are some of my favorites, but seeing Miles Davis at The Pier remains at the top of my list. It was a hot summer day in the Big Apple, when my long-departed friend poet Joe Downton and I arrived on Amtrak to catch the King of Cool Miles Davis play live at The Pier; I have always adored the "Some Kind Of Blue" and the "Bitches Brew" albums. To get in the mood, the two of us each dropped a half a tab of LSD to heighten the experience, at the time I supposedly bore a striking similarity to John Lennon but I always thought it was just the Lennon-esque glasses I favored at the time. As we were walking to our seats, I overheard some guy say to his friend, "I told you he is alive." Joe and I laughed and laughed, and tried to eat some ice cream to cool off but it just melted. Up and coming hot-shot guitarist Stanley Jordan opened the show with his now famous two-handed picking technique, and he blew my mind as the LSD made me see the notes floating off his guitar like multi-coloured bubbles, and his version of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" was out of this world. It sounded like he was playing two guitars as his hands flew other the guitar with amazing speed and dexterity, it was incredibly beautiful. After what seemed like forever or maybe it was the acid, Miles Davis and his band took the stage and proceeded to blow me away. Looking like The Lord Of The Rings' Golum with a trumpet, Miles prowled the stage like a grumpy old man as he played his horn gloriously, I remember "One Phone Call", "Something On Your Mind", "Code MD", "Time After Time", "Jean Pierre", and a jazz re-working of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" that was utterly fantastic and made MJ seem relevant. That man could take the worst music and make it beautiful, I am so glad I got to see him perform before he died. After the show and our acid started wearing off, we decided to go dancing at the legendary Monster in Greenwich Village and dance our asses off which seemed to be the perfect way to end the day after seeing Miles Davis.

9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC

I thought I might go out and check the "punk rock" show down at the club - I put on some black clothes and some shades and got high and then some friends came over and we went downtown - the usual gang of idiots were hanging out, the "if we're not on the guest list, we don't pay to get in" types - the rude doorman needs to get over it - DAS DAMEN started playing - I really liked their intertwining lead guitars weaving notes all over my eardrums - kind of country-ish but played loud - I liked them, but like a lot of bands lately they reminded me of LYNYRD SKYNYRD - I hung out and drank and talked to doorman Fred Freak - eventually the so-called top of the heap hardcore punk band from LA took the stage - T.S.O.L. - (T)otally (S)tupid (O)verly (L)oud music for high-schoolers - punk is like cool you know - their first two albums really crank - but the new album comes with attitude - we're punk rock stars now - we do what we want - well too bad, I thought they were playing the RATT songbook - I expected to hear "Round and Round" any minute - I was bummed - oh well, THE CIRCLE JERKS are next week - I hope they don't sound like MOTLEY CRUE.

9:30 CLUB on F Street - Washington, DC

I have already reviewed THE SCREAMING BLUE MESSIAHS so I won't say much but they got a new drummer and they were cool but not as great as last time - but opener ONE LAST WISH really blew me away - I didn't realize they were ex-RITES OF SPRING at first - but they were like a giant psychedelic whirlwind that zapped my eardrums and viewpoint - sounding like a very loud GRATEFUL DEAD and at one point one of their songs had a drumbeat that was very reminiscent of "White Rabbit" by the JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - the intensity of this band on this night was unrivaled - I was riveted by their performance - it was driving, pulsing, thinking, living music that came like a sonic orgasm in my ear - this was my favorite and best performance by a local band since I saw the BAD BRAINS at The Bayou - hope the band really busts out.


The DEL FUEGOS were a Yankee-fied TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS with some BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and AEROSMITH mixed in, they were not very original at all. They played competently, but they really didn't have a spark to their sound. It was the kind of music that the average college kid listens to nowadays, a half-assed attempt to play rootsy rock and roll. GOD help us! I guess they explained why there was a bunch of very conservative looking kids at an X concert, because when X came on I saw several people leave and say what is this shit! X were great, better than the last time I saw them when they played at The Ontario Theatre in Adams-Morgan. They had a beautiful backdrop with some beautiful psychedelic art. X opened with "Love Shack" and Exene was looking so good, all slimmed down and wearing a slinky black dress and a tiara. Billy Zoom was low-key as he usually is but his fretwork sparkled as he picked, riffed, buzz-sawed, and hammered his way through their set. John Doe held the bottom tightly with his bass as he and Exene sang, moaned, screamed, and talked nonchalantly about life and the inner-workings of human emotions. They didn't care what you thought because it wasn't any of your "goddamn business". J.D. Bonebraker pounded on his traps until I thought my head was going to cave in. It was great. The new songs were more mainstream but still had that punk edge and bordering on metal. They raced through their set frenetically doing a lot of their older songs. They performed a great rave-up of "Wild Thing" and an incredible "Johnny Hit And Run Pauline". I was bummed they didn't play "True Love Pt. 2" or "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts", however it was a great show. The security guys were assholes as usual because some kids tried to stage-dive and WHFS's Milo was up on stage being a jerk grabbing kids who were trying to dive. I was hoping someone would pull him off-stage when they back into the audience. Billy Zoom spent time after the set shaking hands. I thought this was beautiful. REAL ROCK AND ROLL!

A response letter published in the WDC Period #13 Jan./Feb. 1986

Dear W.D.C. Period,
I just wanted to make a quick mention about Jimi's comments on Milo at the 'X' concert. Milo was following the band's direction that if anyone was stage-diving to keep them off the stage without being rough or abusive. I thought Milo did that perfectly. If Jimi thought before he wrote, he'd realize that Milo would be the last person to be a jerk towards punks because he helped create the whole D.C. scene. Anyway I wanted to set the record straight.
Joey Pea


My buddy and me went down to the Convention Center to check out YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and AC/DC. We didn't have any tickets yet, they were $14.50 each, but there were scalpers everywhere wanting $20, $25, and $30 apiece. We finally scored two tickets for $22, thankfully I can get lucky sometimes. There were "stump jumpers" everywhere (rednecks to y'all city folks) the neighborhood crews were freaking. Yngwie didn't quite live up to his hype, I thought he was too much noise and not enough guitar-playing, and he had a smirky bad attitude towards the audience. He wasn't GOD like the metal heads call him, oh well. The Convention Center was only about sixty percent full; I thought this weird since the tour had been selling out everywhere else. I don't think it was properly advertised, plus it was the first rock concert at the Convention Center. I wasn't really expecting AC/DC to be hot as they were, but they played some powerhouse, nitty-gritty, raw and dirty rock and roll. The focus was on old songs, they only performed two songs from their new album "Fly On The Wall", but they played all their classics that I loved when I was in high school. "The Jack", "T.N.T.", "Hell's Bells", "Back In Black", "Sin City", "Whole Lotta Rosie", and "Highway To Hell" - I was head-banging away, and I got a bit carried away too, I lost my glasses but someone returned them to me. The crowd wasn't exactly energetic or loud, not like the old days when the Capital Centre used to rock back in the seventies. Angus Young was great, he is totally under-rated as a guitarist. Oh well, life in the rock and roll world, anyway MOTORHEAD is coming to town soon.

THE BAYOU in Georgetown - Washington, DC

A friend of mine called me at work and asked if I would like to go to a show with him and his girlfriend - some trash rock - THE FACTORY - and it was at the Bayou!?! - but I figured what the hell - I dig Vance Bockis as a bassist and vocalist - I like his style, and the way he drives the freaky girls wild but...anyway we drive to Georgetown after watching some horrible network television and we find a parking place - after being ID'ed by some sub-humanoids at the door, we arrived and I was still bitching about network TV hell - welcome to the Bayou - some all-female heavy metal band called Diamond or something was on stage - the singer was David Lee Roth with tits - mumble mumble scream - you know the type - and the guitar playing - there is more to life than E chords - the drummer was lost in the noise somewhere - however the bassist could rock, I'd steal her for my band - the rednecks seemed to enjoy it and what a bland bunch they were, no one to even make fun of - well anyway THE FACTORY came on and man was I let down - usually they rock but Vance must have gotten a bad batch of something because he wasn't on this night - the guitarist was hittin' but by the end of the set I couldn't tell the difference between the covers and the originals - Vance was twisting my nerves with his "I'm gonna be Mick Jagger tonight" persona - but oh well, it was at the Bayou - maybe next time - oh yeah I wish they would do more originals and more obscure covers.

DC SPACE - Washington, DC

Full house tonight and I have been waiting for this for a while, the debut of PRESS MOB. This new band features David Jordan on guitar, William Banks on bass, Spyche at the microphone, and Greg Miller filling in on drums for the absent Fat Vice. They rocked like a motherfucker and they crunched my eardrums. David Jordan is the best guitarist in Washington, DC, a touch of Hendrix and something all his own. Billy Banks is the most under-rated musician in the area (probably the world, no shit), his bass playing just soars. Spyche has a compelling style and a wonderful voice. I wish I could understand the lyrics but DC Space isn't built for powerhouse rock. I am looking forward to their next gig. I hadn't seen HR in a while so I was kind of excited to see them, and it was worth the wait. They toned down the volume and they put forth a crisp, clear, and sharp sound, they played with an intensity that I haven't heard since their first couple of gigs at the Newton Theater in Northeast DC. David Byers' picking was dancing on the edge of brilliance, I was in awe because I have seen his playing range from shitty to mediocre to like this night. Kenny Dread and Earl Hudson are a hard rhythm section, Kenny with his walloping bass lines and Earl's fast and tight staccato rat-a-tat-tat drumming and then sometimes dropping the beat into a gentle lope; they were hitting at this show. HR was in full form, wailing and moaning, singing and dancing, sometimes to the point of frenzy. His range of delivery from a gentle coo to an almost demonic wail enhanced the beauty of his lyrics. The light was shining at this gig. People pray to Jah to bless Joseph I and Earl during their incarceration in Babylon system at Lorton prison in Virginia.

9:30 CLUB on F Street - Washington, DC

Well, well, 9353 is going for the big time with a headline gig at the 9:30 Club. Talk about exciting, plus they were profiled in Tuesday's Washington Post's Style section, and they got a good record review in Wednesday's Washington Post. Billboard must be next! My buddy Benny bought me a ticket, so I decided to go, me pay to see 9353 - you got to be kidding. The club was packed and I could barely move anywhere. Thank God I didn't have to pee because I would have never made it downstairs. There were four groups of people there; the 9353 crowd, the Vance Bockis groupies (must be nice), the 'locals' (musicians, artists, freaks) putting in an appearance, and the 'Posties' (those who read the Post reviews and figured 9353 must be cool), just guess which category I belong (haha). Well anyway, I missed SILENT RADIO but heard them described as suitable for MTV. 9353 came on and well, they were 9353. The antagonism between the four was, to say the least, quite noticeable, but somehow it enhanced their performance. I hope they never show up in any of my nightmares. Vance Bockis was pumping his bass; he is a really good bassist with a full sound. I consider Jason Carmer a competent guitarist, but he doesn't have an identifiable style like OUTRAGE's David Byers or DOVE's Stuart Casson. Drummer Dan Joseph was his usual self; he has a good rhythm and a nice sense of timing. Bruce Merkle was weird as ever, but some of his singing voices can grate on my nerves. None of the new songs really grabbed me. The front of the stage crowd was having a good time as the band played. My favorite song by them, "Ten Witches", kind of summed up the show for me - "Don't worry honey, it's alright, it's not loaded, I'm a good driver..."

GWU's SMITH CENTER - Washington, DC

First up was Australia's entry into the neo-psychedelic guitar band sweepstakes, THE CHURCH, and they sounded way too much like THE SISTERS OF MERCY being played through a bad television speaker. I think the sound-man must be paid to make the opening band sound shitty. THE CHURCH was like, "wow, man, let's do some LSD and have a seance". They went in one ear and out the other. I guess everybody was here to see ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN because the crowd went crazy when they took the stage. They are this season's New Wave Superstars. I really hate big concerts nowadays, the band and the music are very detached from the audience and the sound is usually terrible. The sound tonight was okay but the room kept swallowing the bass and the vocals were mostly murky. Their song selection was cool, something from every album and the flow was nice, a slow acoustic into a mid-tempo into a fast psychedelic number. They covered The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" and The Doors' "Soul Kitchen". It was an hour and a half set, which I guess made it worth fifteen dollars. The crowd was kind of weird though, and shows really bug me lately.


Like wow man - psychedelic madness two nights in a row can u dig it - the kids today have been lobotomized by MTV, some of the kiddies need help bad - first up were THE DIVINYLS from Australia, they say they are a rock and roll band - to me it was just indistinguishable guitars, gobbly-gook mush-mouth singing, and easily played four-count drumming - only the bassist was respectable in playing - don't recall much else about the set - well, guitar bands that play rock and roll are back in vogue again and the hippies are back - I thought it was 1986 not 1966 - the lights went down - a pompous intro piece played - rays of light splayed the stage - the latest top of the indie charts, pseudo-death rock, neo-psychedelic hippie punk band comes out wailing - they performed most of their latest album, "Love", and a fantastic version of "Rain", plus several of their brilliant early eighties singles were well done, especially "Spiritwalker" - what surprised me was that they played a song from their Southern Death Cult days - however they played very tight which made them almost predictable - it was a well done show but it lacked surprise which to me is part of the spirit of rock and roll - plus I am getting tired of people in all-black clothes - things ain't that bad.

THE BAYOU in Georgetown - Washington, DC

SPEED METAL RULES OK! Dudes and dudettes - I hate the Bayou in Georgetown but sometimes it is the only place to see a half-way decent pseudo-mainstream show but I must say one thing - they still are FUCKING RACIST PIGS - a crew of us from my house bopped on down to the club but the doorman decides our friend BILLY BANKS can't get in because he does not have a proper ID - FUCK THAT SHIT - the man is 30 years old and definitely doesn't look like some under-aged moron trying to get in the show - after hassling and trying to bribe the doorman he still says no way - I have this nagging suspicion it was because Banks was black and had dreads - the lame opener SIK RIKKI sucked shit - 'nuff said - then smoke rolled out on the stage - strobe lights flashing - the drums pounding like thunder - the guitars screaming - long hair flying - all the way from NYC - ANTHRAX hit the stage and they are spreading the disease - SPEED METAL MANIACS RULE - song after song rattled the room - I was thrashing and banging - FASTER - FASTER - FASTER - their set ended all too quickly but I was off to the 9:30 Club to catch DREAM SYNDICATE.

Capital Centre - 1 Harry Truman Dr. - Largo, MD

This was one of the most torturous shows I have ever been to, the day of the show my friend Joel Sklar begged me to go to the show with him, even though I have never really been a big fan of ELP, their version of progressive rock was always a bit to overblown and bombastic for me, I consented to going with him anyway. He had heard the show was sold-out, so we bought tickets from a scalper on the side of the road for the third row, but when we arrived at the Capital Centre it was just a small crowd waiting for the show. We found our seats and Joel was just loving being so close, but when ELP began their set, the volume was so loud from the bass bins that were practically in our faces that we felt like we were pinned in our seats by the music. It was agonizing and ELP songs are very long and I began to feel actually physical pain, when they finally finished the first part of their set, we got up ran as fast as we could to the back of the half empty arena to watch the rest of their set. I never did get why Keith Emerson would attack his piano with knives, it was just plain weird, and ever since then I cannot stand to listen to ELP.


My friend poet Joe Downton had moved to Miami Beach's Coconut Grove and invited me to escape the horrible Washington, DC winter by visiting him in Florida and he said it was okay to bring a friend, so I invited my friend Joel Sklar to come along with me. At the time I used to wear camisoles just to freak people out and because they were comfortable, the day we left DC I wore one under all the layers of clothes I was wearing unbeknownst to Joel. As the plane flew south and it began to get warmer, I began to shed clothes, and when we reached Florida I took the last layer off and revealed my camisole. Joel practically crawled under his seat, the snotty gay steward shopped a tray full of drinks, several parents shielded their children's eyes, it was so funny and so punk rock, at least to me, and no one dared to approach me. My friend Joe worked as a concierge at one of the seaside boutique hotels, and one day we went to meet him for lunch at the same time as Ziggy Marley's entourage was arriving to check in, and as we waited for Joe I became friendly with a woman who was Ziggy's personal masseuse and she offered to put us on the guest list to Ziggy's show at the Cameo Theatre down the street, which was his first concert in the United States. We were quite excited, that night we rolled up to the Cameo Theatre and told the box office person that we were on the guest list, but the person said our names were not on the list. We looked dejected as we said oh well and walked away but the angels must have been smiling on us because they ran after us and said its okay and please go on in. We went up to the balcony where all the Rastas were lurking and puffing on spliffs, because I wanted some for myself, I had some hashish myself to trade with to get some sweet Jamaican collie weed and it didn't take long to acquire a bag. SUDDEN IMPACT opened the show with a lively but bland mélange of reggae styles, but from I was sitting they were soon obscured by the billows of smoke filling the air in the balcony. ZIGGY MARLEY AND THE MELODY MAKERS took the stage with aplomb and soon had the whole place jammin' and skankin' to the riddim, and the band was quite marvelous and even played some lovely versions of a few of his father Bob Marley's songs. But the best thing was when we were leaving the theatre, and I noticed this blue envelope on the ground so I picked it up and looked in it and to my great surprise there were tickets to the next night's show with The Dead Boys and next week's show with The Descendents. I was thrilled because I had just seen The Dead Boys at the 9:30 Club and I could not believe my luck that I was going to see them again, their album "Young, Loud, and Snotty" is still one of my all-time favorite punk rock album to this day. The next night I went to the Cameo by myself, Joel wasn't a big punk rock fan, and I just gave away the extra tickets, which blew the minds of several people and caused one person to exclaim, "Man I know you ain't from here, they stuck-up in Miami!" The Dead Boys tore it up, the crowd was pretty wild and aggro so once again I hid in the balcony, I remember Stiv Bators being completely insane and practically attacking the audience as he spit out, "Sonic Reducer", "Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth", "Ain't Nothing To Do", and a vicious "Hey Little Girl", that had Cheetah Chrome writhing on the floor practically raping his guitar. It was brilliant! I came back for The Descendents and the scene was a different story, they were lots of cops harassing all the kids, and the theater security were throwing people out left and right and the sound was terrible and I left after out half through The Descendents set because some asshole vomited on my shoes and that made me sick so I got the hell out of there because I was flying back to Washington in the morning and I did not want to be late for my plane.

9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC

Running late as usual, I missed ALBERT STRANGE and THE FACTORY, I heard they both played hot sets. We arrived just in time to see REDD KROSS take the stage. Their new album on Bigtime Records - "NEUROTICA" - is one of my fave albums this week. The power chords boomed out of their amps as they launched into their set. Long hair was flying and the guitars were weaving in and out of each other at a frenzied bump and grind pace. The drums however, were a bit too hollow and some of the songs had this really irritating staccato sound in them. REDD KROSS came across as one big joke, the kind of band that would come from the land of X-Ray Specs that one ordered from the back of comic books from when I was a little kid. They poke fun at everything; Hollywood, the new hippies, rockstar-ism, The Bad Brains, pop music, and retro-gression. They made me laugh a few times. They performed great cover versions of The Eurhythmics' "When The Rain Comes Down" and The Beatles' "I'm Down". REDD KROSS have really changed since I saw them four years ago, but to me it was a change for the better, even though a friend of mine said, "They're hippies now!" So what, they still make great music - so GET OFF MY PLANET!

9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC

This gig was quite memorable to me; it was a "Red Letter Day" in my life, first it was my 26th birthday, secondly I was going to get to see the legendary Nona Hendryx of Labelle fame perform and I really loved her new album "Female Trouble" and I was playing it every day before I went to work, and thirdly and on a sad note, it was the day that my best friend Mark Dixon told me he had AIDS, so I felt good that I was giving him a fantastic concert experience because he loved Nona Hendryx as much as I did, because I knew things were going to get worse and he died less than two months later and to add to the drama he was my first close friend to die of AIDS. But anyway the show rocked, Nona and her red-hot band tore through a killer set featuring "Busting Out", "B-Boys", "Keep It Confidential", "Transformation", "Dummy Up", "I Sweat (Going Through The Motions)", "To The Bone", "The Heat", "Female Trouble", and the song that set the crowd off, "Why Should I Cry For You", which Nona pulled Mark and me on stage to sing with her. We had scored the perfect viewing position in the corner behind the monitor board, and I was wearing my infamous camisole and we danced our asses off and Nona keep referencing us to the crowd. After her set, she took us in the dressing room and gave us beers and hugs which made Mark's night and mine, I will never forget it, rest in peace buddy. On a odd side note, years later when drummer T.C. Tolliver introduced me to Angela Bofill at Lincoln Theater at a Bootsy Collins show that I was taking them to, the show promoter took us back stage to meet Bootsy, I was given what was supposed to be Nona Hendryx's pass.

FRANK ZAPPA AND HIS BAND - February 9 and 10, 1988
Warner Theatre - Washington, DC

Like wow - some people really think Zappa is an asshole - Tipper Gore, Ed Meese, Pat Buchanan, some dudes who played with him in the seventies, and his neighbors in Cuhoyga Park in 1968 - but he was like awesome in concert - for some unknown reasons I dig gigs at the Warner - a very, very eclectic came to indulge their god - the cool thing was that there was DC and Maryland voter registration booths - Virginia wouldn't allow it because they thought Zappa was an un-American asshole - the first night was like the rock out show - Zappa delivered a searing "State of The Union" mini-opus ("GOP 88", "Dickie's Such An Asshole", "Green Hotel"), and then songs flew like darts ("Crew Slut", "Stinkfoot", "Joe's Garage", "Broken Hearts Are For Assholes") - the band could not have been tighter - eleven pieces of musical madness - the five piece horn section was all the way live - the drummer was this dude Chad Wackerman and a few weeks ago I saw him drumming on a Barbara Streisand HBO special - an one-off gig as her stand against bombs, hunger, and hate - the next night was like the classical jazz show - they repeated the mini-opus and then played "Sinister Footwear" and "The March Of Eugene Borghia" - the encores were a great surprise - The Allman Brothers' "Tied To The Whipping Post", The Beatles' "I Am The Walrus", and the most impeccably sensational version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" where the horn section played the lead guitar parts - all in all a fantastic musical experience - I guess Zappa's point was everybody is an asshole in the end - MOCK*SHOCK*ROCK*MR. JIMIJAM

9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC

"Yo bro, like the G.I.'s are playing a "we're going to Europe again, dudes" gig at the 9:30 and like all the old farts will be there and other visual entertainment, y'know what I mean, don't you!" - "Yeah like I guess I will go. They got a new CD out, which makes them 'special'. See you out front at 9:40" - it's the same old same old at 9:30 F Street, but somehow I got in free - so that was way cool - so like this band called FRED were disturbing instruments on stage, one of those lovely suburban retrogressive bands - FRED - DREAD - BAD BRAINS - Why do some bands insist on imitating other bands. But luckily the only thing they had right was the lead singer's hair and the chord changes. They just didn't sound like a creatively inspired group effort but there is always room for improvement, I suppose. Well like I heard good words on IGNITION, so maybe there is hope. The guitar grunge reached a 6 on the jam-meter. They reminded me of a cross between Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep. The singer kind of looked like Jim Morrison and Henry Rollins rolled together and he sang garglily making words into sounds. Sometimes the guitar would get off nice, but they should add a rhythm guitar player. I would like to see them again. Suddenly little skate-boys crawled up to the stage, and the vibes began to cook - Stabb, Tom, and crew blopped on stage - guitars cranked on Government Issue, the pit started popping - time to take a joyride and they're doing it for you - and on CD, too - they were tight and fierce and had great crowd interaction - they are kinda the BON JOVI of hardcore - but I remember the time they played the Newton Theatre with NEGATIVE APPROACH and HUSKER DU, that was fucking way awesome - I hope they bust out big time this summer. Free Love, Dudes. MOCK*SHOCK*ROCK*MR. JIMIJAM

This review prompted a letter of rebuttal from Rick Cardone that was published in The W.D.C. Period Vol. II, #11 May 1988 plus this letter dubbed me Mr. Jimijam, so I kept it.

Mr. Jimijam,
You got FRED all wrong in your April 88 review. First off they sound nothing like The Bad Brains. Secondly it does not matter that they come from the suburbs as most of the greatest bands have come from the suburbs. And you shouldn't talk about the lovely suburbs writing in DC which is perhaps the biggest suburb of them all. Thirdly I thought they were pretty original for a band that is just starting out. They have a lot of energy on stage and a better sense of humor than you ever displayed in your writing. Why not find out a little bit of info on a band before you drag them to the dirt. You should stop playing Ann Landers and start writing more responsible reviews. ------Rick Cardone (wash dc)
p.s. - don't complain about lack of originality from a band that is just starting out. They haven't had enough time to find their uniqueness as songwriters. That's why they're the opening band. How is FRED supposed to run if you lambast them before they have learned to walk?

While I must admit that I agreed with most of what you are saying Rick, I also feel I should point out that: 1) opinions are like assholes, and 2) getting bad reviews are a part of life when playing out in public. While I don't think that bad reviews are always necessary or constructive, they are part of the process that you termed learning to walk - gordon gordon

This letter prompted a letter of rebuttal from irresponsible me that was published in The W.D.C. Period Vol. II, #12 June 1988 and in retrospection the idiot read way too much into my three sentences I wrote about that awful band FRED who never learned to walk and are now long gone

Mr. Rick Cardone,
So I read your letter - me being of BAD ATTITUDE, I wanted to dis you hard, but I concluded that would not be, as you termed it, "responsible reviewing" - but hey!!!
FUCK THAT NOISE - what about "responsible musicianship"? I didn't get FRED wrong, I didn't like what I heard and saw for the same reason I don't like JOURNEY or TIFFANY. I have been involved with music for the past ten years in all aspects - writing, playing, performing, promotion, recording, production, and all that bullshit. I know what I am talking about, I knew all about FRED before I went to the show, and who they were and their sound. So don't make blind assumptions about my writing, and myself - I wrote exactly what FRED made me feel as they played. I wasn't being humorous in my review, just honest about my feelings of the gig.
About the Bad Brains comparison, two of FRED's songs were able to cause me to sing "Rock For Light" and "She's Calling You" because the melodies had the same chord changes in each of their respective bands' songs. But hey - the BAD BRAINS "borrowed" other peoples' music themselves for some of their songs, but that's a different story.
And the "suburbs" comment, there is a big difference between city-bred bands and suburban-bred bands; I have seen enough bands. And YO! - Come down to the ghetto sometime - boy - it ain't no lovely suburb!---------Mr. Jimijam
P.S. If a band hasn't found "their uniqueness as songwriters" by the time they are playing gigs at clubs in front of an audience who are paying and are going to hold an opinion about them, they ain't never going to find it.
P.P.S. Who is Ann Landers?

(This letter is in response to another letter from last ish, if you haven't figured that out already. Ok? - g2)


I decided that I really HAD to see Robert Plant on this tour, the pavilion was sold-out; so I wished really hard for good tickets. My friends and I drove to Columbia just planning to buy lawn tickets, if that's what it came to for us to get in the place. Right before the entrance, we saw some toady looking guy flashing four tickets, we bought them, and I sat in the sixth row. It was eleven years ago exactly when I saw LED ZEPPELIN and times sure have changed. The crowd was all these weenie wenches and vacant MTV-oids; the rockers who tore up the Capital Centre up eleven years ago, were sparse and appeared to be tripping out on how they felt. However, they, and me were highly appreciative of the exuberant performance we experienced that night. Robert Plant is considered by many to be the epitome of the hard-rock vocalist, and he proved it at this show. His voice shimmered, moaned, screamed, sighed, laughed, and cajoled the crowd - I'm In The Mood For A Melody. The band was young, tight, and smokin', the guitarist Doug Boyle had his axe crunching, screaming, crying, howling, and sometimes gently cooing notes. The bassist was popping these wicked riffs all over the place - funky but chunky. Chris Blackwell's drumming bubbled and throbbed like a panting puppy, kicking out the steady beat. The keyboardist Phil Johnstone sprinkled little raindrop notes all over the songs making them sparkle and glisten. They played a variety of songs from Plant's solo career, and in a collage of styles - Rock, Blues, Reggae, Country - "Tall Cool One", "Heaven Knows", "Ship Of Fools", "Slow Dancer". Plant reflected on his history with four Led Zeppelin songs: a stompin' acoustic "Black Country Woman", a tired "In The Evening", a bumpin' fresh "Trampled Underfoot", and a sensually exquisite "Misty Mountain Hop". But still, they lacked something without Page, Jones, and Bonham. Two surprises were an unrehearsed version of The Beatles' "Back In The U.S.S.R." and a thrash-like cover of John Lee Hooker's "Dimples". For the most part I don't listen to many Robert Plant solo albums, but this was a great concert experience that made me smile! ROCK - SHOCK - MOCK - MR. JIMIJAM

DC SPACE - Washington, DC

I have been digging on this band's demo tape for some time now - WHITE MIDDLE CLASS YOUTH DISILLUSIONED - a bubbling cauldron of eighties' adolescent angst trying to make the best out of an inherited anxiety-ridden social climate - hate, love, fear, anger, pain - what is and what isn't - I have been trying to catch this band live for a couple of months - I am glad I finally coerced myself to go down to the 'space' - I hate getting the "you're on drugs" attitude from the seemingly always tweaked doormen - THE VILE CHERUBS are worth the trauma - a sonic burst of ANGST - TOTAL TEENAGE MASTURBATION MUSIK NOIZ - swirling screaming guitars weaving in and out of my ears and erogenous zones - got me shaking my bones - BEN WIDES the drummer kicks it - a fierce beat RATATAT RATATATA which was very reminiscent of The Bad Brains' Earl Hudson - it gave the band's set a powerful chug-a-lug drive - SETH LORENSZI and TIM GREENE play well together, they probably rehearse a whole lot - the singer JESSE QUITSLUND was wearing gold-colored elbow-length gloves and had magenta-tinged hair as he stood at the edge of the stage singing his words almost afraid to face the audience - their songs pounded forth screeching booming zooming faster and faster as Jesse writhed and moaned - one could almost feel the pain in his soul - I hope The Vile Cherubs release an album soon - the girlies will love them - they are my fave local band this month plus they are the cutest, too! MOCK*SHOCK*ROCK*MR. JIMIJAM

TRUE TRASH - W.D.C. PERIOD, Volume II, #12
OH NO...CAT BUTT!? - JUNE 1988

YO PEOPLES! So like it be spring here in Babylon, the nation's capital, the flowers are blooming and the grass is growing, the freaks are looking for the hashish, the homeboys be shooting, junior gangsters roaming the streets looking for that money to buy that FAT GOLD CHAIN, WOL 1450AM rocking go-go nation with the latest in fresh and def go-go and hip-hop rap beats, everybody doin' THE BUTT by E.U., pumping it up from their boxes and wheels, the kane be all over the place and everyday some youth is wasting another youth over nothing, the black radio stations urging ya to get in your MERCEDES BOY and ROCK IT TO YOU in FISHNET AND BLACK PANTYHOSE down at the 55 DOLLAR MOTEL in the WILD, WILD WEST, but on the streets the children are dying. The tourists are back with their soul-sucking eyes - WHO WHO WHAT WHAT HOW HOW WHERE WHERE WHERE!?? Do they really care what THEIR representatives in the government are doing? That is whom I tell them to ask for questions. The BOSS was just in town telling everybody to get in the TUNNEL OF LOVE and to spend $60 per person to see a show on his tour. LED ZEP/AEROSMITH retrogression - revisionary imagination stagnation decay is polluting the minds of the white youth - WHITESNAKE, KINGDOM COME, GUNS'N'ROSES bogus boiz noiz, and Ritalin courses its way through their minds, poisoning them worse than PCP, the Monsters Of Rock tour with VAN HALEN, THE SCORPIONS, DOKKEN, and METALLICA is the talk of the skate board circuit. "Metallica rule, dudes!!!" MEGADETH played the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum for $19! Who are they fooling - "overpriced tickets sell, and fools are buying!" I thought they were for the people and not the system of rock star (whore)dom, the children are dying and the beat plays on. THE GRATEFUL DEAD are touring on the East Coast, and the tickets are tight but if the price is right...unscrupulous ticket sales practices have made it hard for the "average" deadhead (3-4 shows) to go to a show. Marijuana prices have reached beyond ridiculous, $50 a quarter ounce, yet you can't walk down the street without tripping over a fucking coke dealer or a junkie, and they want to know why everybody is OD-ing. GIVE US OUR MARIJUANA BACK!!! The government should legalize drugs and put the cartels and gangsters out of business. Thanks - George Bush - everybody's favorite coke dealer. This ELECTION year shit gets on my nerves, especially here in the midst of it. Jesse Jackson sure has the powers-that-be tripping out over his mass appeal. Speaking of tripping out - HR played a show in Richmond recently and Joseph I a.k.a. HR a.k.a. Paul Hudson took the money, didn't play the band, and met some woman and split, and left the band stranded and foodless. I got this straight from the horse's mouth, for you HR deifiers. The ironic thing is the album that the tour is promoting is called HUMAN RIGHTS - some human rights! Would you play for a man who did this and paid you in marijuana most of the time? Where is this "Black" album of Prince's that I have been hearing about? What is Warner Brothers Records afraid of? What is Mr. D'Arby wishing for in his WISHING WELL? Shit, I can't wait for Patti Smith's new songs!!!! MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

This column prompted a letter of rebuttal from Kenny Dread on the HR item, it was published in The W.D.C. Period Vol. II, #14 August 1988

Dear Jimijam,
I am a member of the HR band and could well be one of your sources for all the trash you've been printing about HR, as far as I can see, all that really comes out of a horse's mouth is regurgitation. You seemed to have mastered the sources of tabloid journalism: rumours and out-of-context references. The HR tour, like any, had its ups and downs and logistical mishaps - the Global booking who set it up was ultimately fired - but at no point was the real unity of the band threatened and NOBODY was left in Chicago and had to spend their own cash to fly out west. What's your problem with HR anyway Jimijam? He's at a crucial point in his career and needs to be dealt with cleanly by the press, if not praised for his new direction like recent articles in The Village Voice and Reggae Beat. He's already survived a massive onslaught of negative press during his holy days with THE BAD BRAINS. So why the dissin'? Who are you anyway JIMIJAM, some kind of mock pop executioner? Perpetrator? Imposter? Informer? You don't happen to bear any relation to the JIMIGRAPHIX credited on HR's "Its About Luv" LP? If you're not some kind of disaffected flunky then stop acting like one. K.D. (Kenny Dread)

When I first received this letter I went through a range of emotions - anger, rage, contempt, and laughter - but then I found solace in the words of George Clinton - "If you don't like the effects, then don't produce the cause". As for my source for the information in my column, it was HR's late, great guitarist David Byers who would call me collect late at night and vent about his frustration on the way the tour was going and how he never seemed to get any money for playing well-attended shows. As for my issues with HR, when someone tries to have you killed by one of his associates, Alfredo, because you happen to be gay, you are going to be angry and lash out any way you can, I happened to have a public forum from which I could lash back, plus I gave a lot of my time and effort in helping promote HR's career, and then have my art used by SST Records without credit or financial compensation, it was so disrespectful and wrong. Maybe I should not have wrote the item, and maybe I was a disaffected flunky, but life has gone on and I only wish HR the best, and defying all the odds The Bad Brains are still playing music as of the summer of 2011.

TRUE TRASH - W.D.C. PERIOD, Volume II, #13

YO WORD! It's National ABSOLUTELY FREAK OUT THE TOURISTS Month - so go for it! For the time being, murder is on the chill - but CHUCK BROWN, LITTLE BENNY, SUGAR BEAR be singing out - D.C. - DON'T STAND FOR DODGE CITY. SUMMER SHOWS REPORT: Went to check out the MONSTERS OF ROCK show at RFK Stadium - but due to irresponsible social behavior, I missed fuckin' METALLICA - man...I was twisted - anyway DOKKEN sucked, total L.A. poseur weenie "Oh, I can wear make-up and still be a man, too" glamour rock - THE SCORPIONS weren't given enough volume but they did a great version of "THE ZOO" - VAN HALEN are BOGUS, the very definition of freeze-dried rock and roll - fill stadium with mindless crowd and just add electricity - if I was Eddie Van Halen, I would be greatly embarrassed as a musician - but hey, it's only ROCK AND ROLL - but the crowd...that was where the real show was - I saw my friend VICKI BARON - YO! THE MO'PAGANS rule! - and all the fierce shirt-less bods and then, my God they are selling a lot of beer to these people and hey that kid looks about 14 and he is fucked up and that guy has this brown bottle that looks like a vanilla bottle and he is sticking his cigarette into it, this guy behind me informs me it is called a DIPSTICK and the bottle holds LIQUID PCP, the homeboy crew calls them SHERMANS and it seems the kids from Baltimore come here to buy it by the quart, and soon all these white boys were sitting around dazed out of their minds - VAN HALEN, DUDE! - VAN HAGAR took a while to take the stage, so all these whacked-out kids began to throw their flattened paper cups, shoes, spit, and French fries with mustard on them, by the thousands, at one point it looked like a swarm of locusts flying about the crowd and then VAN HALEN finally came on and so the kids lit their beer cups on fire and built bonfires on the field, the security guards and the fire marshals were flipping out - DON'T THESE HONKY KIDS GOT NO MANNERS - some of today's youth are in sad shape, you got to be on CHEMICALS or HORMONES to tolerate these stadium shows.
The PETA - ANIMAL RIGHTS show sucked - it was too hot and NO NINA HAGEN, GUADACANAL DIARY should be poisoned - but BETTY ruled!
THE PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTION OF THE MONTH: Should one support, listen to, acknowledge a band/musician(s) and their music if one knows HEINOUS things about them, by heinous I mean; playing on stolen equipment, paying the band in marijuana, senseless abuse of: clubs, unpaid long-distance phone-calls, fans, rented or borrowed equipment, and crash pads. Should one scream out about it, or just say, "Oh well, that's rock and roll"?
HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT: Guess which drummer got left behind by his tour van, because the singer thought he was taking too long in the store, and he had to call home to get money to catch up with the rest of the band?
MYSTERY QUIZ: He won't be too KEENE on me telling you, but which supposedly big label local "rock star" is a cocaine-snorting homosexual? Is he afraid to alienate his female fans by being real? He'd probably become a big star if he came out of the closet, you know how all the girlies love ERASURE, MORRISSEY, THE COMMUNARDS, and THE PET SHOP BOYS! SO YO - METAL FAGS - BURN DOWN THE CLOSET!!! As long as there is one, there will be no FREEDOM for anyone regardless of sexual preference!
FAVE REVIEW OF THE MONTH: "FACTORY have the excitement of a doorknob..." - Reuben Radding (ex-DAIN BRAMAGE)
ESSAY CONTEST: In 250 words or less describe why you would like to boil ELIZABETH GREENE (Clubland columnist for The Washington City Paper) in a pot of VANCE BOCKIS' sweat. Respond to Mr. Jimijam c/o WDC PERIOD and I will take the winner to dinner.
MUSIC NOTES: PATTI SMITH's new record is out!!!! ROD STEWART's new album for some perverse reason sounds exactly like a TINA TURNER record. I wonder why!? STRANGE BOUTIQUE IS BACK!!!! Their new tape will blow your mind! FRED E. SMITH is playing mostly acoustic guitars. Can't wait to see them live again!
SO JUST SAY YO! - Cuz here I cum - a hardcore dissin' - there no point I'm missin' - and definitely no ass I'm kissin' - Cuz wall to wall - treetop tall - all the suckers are gonna fall - Cuz if I can verify - I am gonna terrify! - MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

THE BAYOU in Georgetown - Washington, DC
Published in WDC PERIOD #17 Fall 1988 - THE BORN TO DIE Issue

(Laughter and the secret of Jimi Hendrix's UFO)

I read in the music press earlier this year that Nina Hagen had left Los Angeles, California, and moved to the island of Ibiza off the coast of Spain for artistic and spiritual reasons. I have always been fascinated with her. On June 11th of 1988, the PETA/ANIMAL RIGHTS concert occurred at the Sylvan Theater at the base of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, Nina was supposed to be one of the headline acts along with THE B-52'S and LENE LOVICH. On the day of the concert and rally, Nina was a no-show, and various announcers gave various answers to explain her absence. I was bummed; I even thanked her for some unknown reason on the cassette insert in the cassette release of my album "FINAL DAZE" with my band REVELATION which was released by Olive Tree Records in 1986. In July, NINA HAGEN and band did a month-long US tour billed as: "NINA HAGEN FOR PRESIDENT", and it was stopping at The Bayou on July 12th, and I knew I had to be there. I decided to try to interview her and ask her about the PETA incident and thank her for her music. So I asked Gordon Gordon, my editor at THE WDC PERIOD, about it, so he called Bill Kitchen at Cellar Door Productions and then I called Bill and then I called F.B.I. Management and then the road manager for Nina and then I had the interview. It was so easy, I freaked out. I give special thanks to Bill Kitchen and Steve Knouse for being so helpful. Hey Gordon, Bill told me to say to you, "Hey I ain't such a bad guy after all!" My friend James Votel and I breezed down to The Bayou, and breezed into the club, I love guest lists, we went upstairs got our backstage passes and waited for the show. I talked to my friend Jimi Sin who is the guitar player for VACATION. There was a incredible variety of people in attendance: freaks, rockers, college kids, fashion plates, gays, suburban couples, and several bizarre people. BIG BANG THEORY opened but I missed them. Sorry Victoria. The house lights went down and Nina and her band took the stage, behind the band was a giant backdrop that was painted to look like a graffiti-covered wall, and it had the names of the original punk bands on it. They opened with a hurricane fury, blasting out with a cover of THE SEX PISTOLS' "Holidays In The Sun". They kept up the pace with a barrage of songs: a BOB MARLEY cover, JIMI HENDRIX'S "Foxey Lady", THE MONKEES' "I'm A Believer", and THE TUBES' "White Punks On Dope", the last two were both in German, plus her own songs, "Russian Reggae", "New York, New York", and "Smack Jack". She introduced several new songs; one for the Free South Africa movement, one for all the "B-Boys" in NYC which was a totally grooving funky fresh hip-hop style song, , and one for the NAZI FASCISTS in her homeland, and the people at CBS RECORDS, who she constantly referred to as "dirty fucking cunts". The "fucking cunts" who never let her do what she wants, by telling her either who she should associate with, or what she should do on her album to help her career. She talked about how in Ibiza, she was arranging to have a big circus tent set up so artists could have a place to create art twenty-four hours a day. She announced that she was running for President, and then she let the band rip. The band was tight; the musicians were former sidemen for LENE LOVICH. Their chops were on target, and you could tell that they enjoyed being on stage with Nina Hagen. They launched into what seemed to be a spiritually inspired version of "Don't Kill The Animals" which closed the show. My friend and I went back upstairs to wait for my turn to interview Nina. I have not interviewed anyone with the magnitude and fame of Nina Hagen before; so right when it was my turn to talk to with her, I got butterflies in my stomach and all my questions fell out of my head. Iroquois, her husband, was standing near me and suddenly he turned and asked me if I had a 'fag'. His question caught me off-guard and I was looking confused and thinking "Wah!", but luckily my friend knew he meant 'cigarette' and offered him a Marlboro. Nina seemed to be lost in thought when I approached her; I asked if I could ask her some questions. She looked up and said, "What is this? This is crazy. These are too crazy." as she surveyed the crowd in the room and started laughing and the interview began.

JIMIJAM: I found out you dig YMA SUMAC, the female singer from Brazil who was big during the thirties and forties, and consider her one of your main influences?
NINA: Yeah! I like it!
JIMIJAM: Yeah, I was listening to some of her music before the show.
NINA: I hear it in the sixties; I hear it a lot at home.
JIMIJAM: What turned you on to her?
NINA: The record player!!! (laughter)
JIMIJAM: What did you like about her that influenced you?
NINA: It's not describable; you can't describe, um, that…
JIMIJAM: The music and the singing remind me of being in the woods communing with the trees.
NINA: She's unique in what she does.
JIMIJAM: Do you talk to trees?
NINA: Everything, I guess.
JIMIJAM: A lot of rumours have been going around about the circumstances concerning your no-show at the PETA/Animal Rights concert on the Washington, DC Mall on June 11th. What was the real reason?
NINA: Yeah! Because they only sent me one ticket and I never go alone anywhere, either with my friend, or I go with my child or somebody, you know, who helps me and when I go overseas from Germany, I would never go just on my own and they just send me one ticket. Because they thought, you know, they would get me over, and so I don't do it.
JIMIJAM: My experience from the concert was that PETA was kind of bogus.
NINA: You know, I had a bad experience with some people from Germany, the animal liberation people, they make fake actions and just to get the press down there, and they get like, huh, prominent people like celebrities, er, down, to like, er, watch. And they say, "We just rescued these dogs and the press is coming any minute, please come by, so you can also make a statement." So I say, "Yes, of course, I'm coming...", and I get there and I found out it was a fake action and these dogs were already living with people and stuff. It was horrible and this one dog escaped and they had to search for it all over the city. It was a stupid thing. And I thought, you know, "I make this song with Lene (Lovich) two years ago, we went on a double tour and we featured the song and we made lots of video and stuff and also PETA made a video and it had its input and stuff. And I know that, um, you can talk to people and say don't eat, please don't eat meat because it's not good and lala. It don't make sense, no matter what you say, you can't change things by saying them. So I thought why should I go there, Lene can sing the song. She does it since two years, sing the song, I sing the song also since two years by myself, yeah! Because we, er, do, huh, different actions...So why just team up like a fucking 'hit team' or something. She can get the message across! And I'm there in spirit and if the animal people don't believe in my spirit and get mad at me and I don't come because they only sent me one fucking ticket.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yeah, I was backstage at the concert and I was talking to Lene and all the people, and I was asking where you were and they were saying you were delayed and should be here any minute, you know bullshit like that, and Lene did a great job with the song, and it got the B-52's and all the groups on the stage. It got to be very powerful at the end. They kept saying you were coming, you were coming, and they knew you weren't coming because I talked to the heads, the organizers, and...
NINA: Well, as Jesus, I am everywhere, like him, you know. (She says this in a meek questioningly way) It was something for the animals and my spirit is in there too, because I feel for them even if I don’t stand there and wave my arms. Unidentified Woman: Have you always been a vegetarian, totally?
NINA: Nooo! Just since 1983.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you eat fish at all, sushi, anything like that?
NINA: Sure!
NINA: Yes! They live a free life, uh; I thank them for giving their protein for me. I don’t feel guilty. I’m sorry! (Point blankly) Um, they live free and they have a good life. But you know the Indians, they even eat meat but they do it so nicely, like they thank the animal for the surrender (apprehensive about if that was the proper word) and I think that is wonderful. They make the animal live in freedom and then one day they agree with the spirit of the animal that is now going to be going, er, another, er...
SOMEONE INTERRUPTS WITH: But I think that's in certain parts of the country, not all over. (I think he thought she was talking about India instead of the American Indians which she was referring)
NINA: But you know, to make an industry out of it is mean. If you live near the ocean, then you catch fish and you grill it on the beach and make a party. There is nothing wrong with that, what's wrong with something is that they put waste in the ocean and they fuck up our beautiful planet. That's what should be changed.
UNIDENTIFIED: What's wrong is they have factories and take animals and cut them up and just like making records, they wrap them up and send them out.
NINA: Yeah, Babylon will fall very soon. You shall witness very soon, very soon.
JIMJAM: Do you have a new album coming out or anything or are you just touring?
NINA: Yeah! I wrote a book, it is called "Ich Bin Ein Berliner", it comes out in September in Germany. And somebody is translating it into English and will come out on Bantam Books in America. When - I don't know, because he is still translating it. I will have a record coming out, but a record where I decide what will be on it and what not. You know I have my own, what you say - my own team. And when I said today, I wasn't going to make a record, it was more or less for the person who is trying to get me a deal, he was standing next to the stage. (A lot of laughter) I wanted him to know that actually I really don't give a shit if I make another record. I made seven records so far. You know as I said, you can teach to the people about the good things; like God and Jesus and the UFOS and not being cruel to animals, but it doesn't change, it does, well what I flow is gone. It doesn't necessarily change them, you know you might be 'talking talking' or 'singing singing' and nothing is changing. So you always only reach a couple of souls, but that shall be wonderfully enough. Yeah! At least something like that happens.
JIMIJAM: So what are your plans until the fall of Babylon?
NINA: Well as, um, Jesus said, go and fish some more souls for me, please! So that’s what we shall do.
JIMIJAM: I was really amazed by the choice of covers you played in your show. What inspired you to cover Jimi Hendrix’s "Foxey Lady"? It was quite awesome.
NINA: Well, it is because he wanted me to do that. He told me from his UFO you know, he says, "Please, I beg you, do it!" because the song is actually about God, you know, well, it is God in his female expression, yeah! Goddess! And so when he says I want to take you home, we want to go home to her, yeah, the foxey lady. So he said, "You gotta do it!" So I said, "Okay!"
JIMIJAM: So Nina did it. (Everyone giggling)
NINA: (Using a fake voice) If you say so, you got to sing it just like I do, okay! Yeah! (Laughter) I didn’t hear it for a long time so I hear it again, so I do it, really. But we're working on putting more songs in the set.
A GUY ASKS IN GERMAN: When was the last time you were in Berlin?
NINA: Yeah? In Berlin? I speak in English, yeah, or otherwise nobody else can understand anything. (Spoken like a mother correcting a child) There was a big open-air festival, rock marathon; it was one night before Michael Jackson played there. The people started a riot after we were finished, and it was because they turned our sound down in the middle of the last song.
JIMIJAM: Why did they do it?
NINA: Because at ten o'clock we were supposed to be finished, and it was ten o'clock and one minute and we weren’t finish, it was only the second verse, and so they turned it all down and the lights on, and then the people freaked out and they saw we wanted to go on. And of course, it was a good reason to start a riot, and then they burned the grounds.
JIMIJAM: So did Mikey get to do his show?
NINA: Yeah, but it rained.
The club manager announced that everyone must leave the club immediately.
JIMIJAM: Thanks Nina.
NINA: Yeah! Take care!

So my friend and I split the dressing room and The Bayou, Nina and her crew gets on their bus, and my friend and I go our separate ways. I went home happy and began transcribing my interview to paper and looking forward to see it in press.

DATELINE July 14, 1988

So it was time to roll, I was walking down to the ERASURE show and these college girls were sitting at the corner watching the parade of people - "That's a 4, he's an 8, look at that tacky dress, he's mega-negative" - I strolled on by, I was flashing flesh and got those "ooh baby oohs", and "hey girl", SALT'N'PEPA in the house, it was live and I laughed, I walked past all the pretty boys and pretty girls and I laughed, I went to my seat, I flashed my pink toenails, this girlie sitting behind me, she was seventeen, she asked about my rings, I gave her a DC ROX compilation cassette featuring my band REVELATION, this bust her friends, they was greening, I laughed, the house lights went down, and I was nothing. ERASURE went LIVE, and it was incredibly mind-blowing. DJ TOM TERRELL, the show MC tried to warn me. A big black curtain with an ERASURE logo on it shuttered the stage and then a flash of light and the curtain fell open - ANDY BELL pranced out like Peter Pan, girlfriend was working IT, VINCE CLARKE like a solemn schoolboy stood astutely behind a bank of keyboards and other electronic devices, two black female background singers stood to the side shrieking and shimmying. Andy is a compelling and energetic singer, flashing and flexing in a sequined wrestling suit and Darth Vader boots and elbow length gloves and a prim little hat; he roamed the stage, camping it up and giggling, and uttering deft and direct words of wit between songs. His voice is a beautiful full range tenor with great control and well-articulated phrasing, I was impressed. Vince is the quiet one, I was amazed by the complexity and range of the music that he alone played or programmed, crisp and clear sound and the textures of the beats were sensational. Loping reggae, gentle acoustic guitar, HI-NRG dance grooves with hip-hop, funk, R&B, and salsa sprinkled everywhere. The girlies and me were shaking and sweating in the aisle, totally freaking out these oriental TRACKS-types. (*A big dance club at the time) ERASURE performed a lot of the songs off their new album "THE INNOCENTS"; a kicking "Chains Of Love", a raucous "Ship Of Fools", a politically-charged "Hallow Ground", heartfelt versions of "When I Needed You" and "A Little Respect", plus a couple of songs from "CIRCUS", and a throbbing version of "Pour L'Amour" from their first album "WONDERLAND". The crowd was roaring, it was great seeing a gay band make making major inroads into the mainstream. ERASURE encored with "River Deep, Mountain High", Andy was howling and shaking, Ike and Tina Turner would be proud. Shona Laing opened the show, she is the latest entry in the WHINING WENCHED SWEEPSTAKES (you know, Natalie Merchant, Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman types). I left the Lisner dripping wet with sweat and in a good mood. DIG IT! MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

DATELINE July 27, 1988
THE ROXY - Washington, DC

I love being on the guest list, especially when I am not expecting a good show. Blonde Bombshell Recording artists Vacation opened with a boom bang boom; since the addition of Jimmi Sin on guitar and Pete Paradise on drums, both formerly of Bark, their sound has expanded and developed into stronger song structures with memorable hooks and melodies. Mike the Bass Machine and Pete pumped out a great stop and go groove on "Love Pirate". Jimmi Sinn ripped with a grungy southern boogie riff on "Cool Yer Jets" that made me want to let out a good ole boy rebel yell. Jamie Holiday the singer and rhythm guitar player is hard to describe; a rather portly gentleman who is kind of a cross between Mae West and Vince Neil, but he is quite an affable and entertaining singer. I enjoyed their set; they made it worthwhile after subjugating myself to the next band for the third and LAST time. Screams Of Pain - Sex Rock - sex with what - rocks!?! If I was a woman I rather be raped by a leper colony. I don't know where to begin, first I will scream - AARRGHHH!!!! The drummer had this beautiful red drum set, lots of money spent, but he should have in my opinion, bought a smaller set of traps and took some drum lessons, lots of them. I thought drummers were supposed to have a sense of rhythm and know how to keep a beat, he was sorely lacking in this department. The bassist was faceless and dull - PLOD - THUD - BOOM - PLOD. The singer, omigod, Ronnie James Dio school of misogynistic yelping and hip-twitching, someone please rip out his vocal chords, I am tired of screaming singers. I think the guitarist can be saved from "Musician Hell", but he kept cranking out these Ramones meets Metallica riffs in four mix and match chord progressions. Anyone knowing anyone who fornicated with the aforementioned "humans" - please put them out of their misery. GOD PLEASE HELP US, where is a lightning bolt when you need one. I had to leave mid-set, Screams Of Pain are pure wretchedness. MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

BORN TO DIE Issue - Fall 1988


Well, it has been a while since the last WDC PERIOD, so some of this is slightly stale trash, so I tried to update it somewhat.

HEY, HEY, HEY - I was getting live in L.A. for a while this summer. It is way whack out there; to truly understand the West Coast one must know the mindset and what got them there, you have to understand the powder culture; everybody is on CRYSTAL METH, running around completely out of their minds. I wanted some herb to smoke so I went hunting, well the Californian homegrown sensei bud is fucking $40 a fucking eighth! All these 'scenesters' thought I was crazy for just wanting to smoke pot, "you mean you don't want any crack, howsabout some crystal meth, just put some in your drink, you don't want any, well fuck you, we're gonna go bang a speedball." Stupid heroin divas! I wish some of them would just drop dead from the shit they feed into their arms and noses. There is a strange air of racial animosity on the streets, shoot-outs between L.A. gangs was on the news every night. The Mexicans act like they are going to kill every "gringo" in sight. I had this lovely experience on one of the lovely L.A. TRANSIT SYSTEM buses. I was trying to chill and enjoy the low humidity and check the clubs. One day I waking up early and I realized that on TV, the weatherman was saying, "It's going to be a killer today folks, 77 degrees with 2% humidity, we are lucky, it is 107 degrees in Washington, DC." The clubs I got to check out were totally way bumping and fresh. SISTER DOUBLE HAPPINESS fucking kick ass! I got to check them out at The Anti-Club in Hollywood and they were incredible PURE ROCK AND ROLL dripping with real honesty and genuine soul. I went to the LOS ANGELES CSW PRIDE CELEBRATION, and it was INTENSE, try to imagine 390,000+ homosexuals and their friends in one place. For some of you, it would be your worst nightmare; but hey, some of them lesbian womyn would have kicked Tyson's and Spink's asses without batting a eyelid or sweating a drop. I saw this great band called BACHELORS' ANONYMOUS, they were a mixture of SOFT CELL/SUICIDE/THE EURHYTHMICS, pulsing electronic trance/dance beats with sordid and dubious biting lyrics, they were grooving. THE SHE-DEVILS also played and they struck me as a lesbian THE CURE with a lot happier lyrics. The general consensus in LA is THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS and REDD KROSS rule the scene. Both bands are playing to crowds of 10,000+ people in Hollywood, Anaheim, and the San Fernando Valley. The hot rumour around town was that the death of DIVINE wasn't all that natural and she had some unwanted help. Wonder what JOHN WATERS have to say about that! I want to stay in LA this winter, fuck that cold shit that is going to be coming to DC.
Yo homeboy, the word is U be illin' andzasum the people want U2B chillin' - This friend of mine asked me - like man why do you write this stuff, you know some of them people are fucked up and they might come and fuck you up, and not just physically either, you could ruin your career, don't you want to be a rock star, man! FUCK THAT NOIZ - yeah, I want to be a rock star, who doesn't, I hate my job and riding the metro. I have received a few letters about items in my column, and my response is I and I stand by everything in my column, and those who write me - DON'T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH. If something I write provokes you, I am glad! Since my entry into the music business, I have become appalled at the LACK OF INTEGRITY AND SENSE OF CRAFTMANSHIP amongst the people who purport to be musicians, artists, writers, and most particularly, management people, both locally and nationally. I go to check: gigs, people who run independent and major labels, writers of various 'zines, and other music types, and you know what - 85% percent of them are very BOGUS individuals perping a serious FRAUD. They have NO RESPECT for the people they are foisting their crap on, they are giving us half-assed garbage and expect to get PAID'N'FULL. It is time to make a BIG NOIZ and demand some ARTISTIC INTEGRITY from these fools. Am I asking too much or am I just a disaffected flunky?
Speaking of artistic integrity, LYNYRD SKYNYRD is on the road again with Johnny Van Zant singing for the late, great Ronnie Van Zant, it wouldn't be so bad if they were progressing musically and writing and performing new songs, but are like some cheap revival band playing and singing Ronnie's words as if they were brand new. Why don't they just dig up his grave and put his bones on stage - FUCKING VULTURES! I hear LITTLE FEAT is doing the same thing, enough to make you want to cry. Here's an update to this story, in a recent Rolling Stone, I saw an article about the estates of Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, led by Melody Van Zant Grondin, filed a petition against the present Lynyrd Skynyrd to stop them from using said name. A judge ruled that the band had to set aside $450,000 to pay for court expenses. The band members state Mrs. Grondin should mind her own business. We need money.
Elvis, ELVIS, ELVIS!?! Have you seen Elvis Presley at your favorite hangout? WKHY in Nashville, Tennessee is offering 1 MILLION dollars to the person who brings Elvis in for an one-hour exclusive interview. Maybe he can bring JIM MORRISON with him.
Some friends of mine said to me - you ain't got ill on any band lately, well here I go - SCREAMS OF PAIN - AARGH! The most aptly named band in DC, you will have screams of pain when you hear their demo, and when you see them live as they sodomize their instruments, and screams of pain is what you would like to hear from them.
The winner of last month's contest is Susan Aldrich. See the LETTERS COLUMN for her lovely winning essay. This month's contest is in 250 words or less which DOORMAN (the one that has really WORKED your nerves) and why, and that you would like to make listen to a PYCHODRAMA tape over and over, forever. Winner gets album or cassette of choice. Send your essay to MR. JIMIJAM c/o WDC PERIOD.
THE MO'PAGANS live anywhere, anytime.
STRANGE BOUTIQUE are total aural pleasure, catch them live soon, if you can.
Look out here cum CHUCKY SLUGGO featuring DAVID BYERS and TOM MARTIN of HR fame. Music to break your house to bits and pieces.
LUXURIA - UNANSWERABLE LUST - Howard Devoto and Noko - music to take a bath in.
ICE-T - I'M YOUR PUSHER - the deffest rap on wax about life in the urban frontier.
BATMAN - THE CULT PT. 1-4 - an incredible social parable.
THE KILLING JOKE - the story of the JOKER, for those who understand and live INSANITY.
TRUMAN CAPOTE - A BIOGRAPHY - the true trash master.
I ain't no fag in drag - so come jack me up - I'll wring you out like a dirty dishrag - the truth of the matter is that BOGUS ATTITUDES - I want to splatter across your brain so that a stain will remain - as I flush your bullshit down the drain - MOCK-SHOCK-ROCK-MR. JIMIJAM

Hello Mr. Jimijam,
As you can see I am hard up for stationary for your essay contest.
I would like very much to boil Elizabeth Greene in a pot of anybody's sweat. But since so much ruckus-fuckus has been about her criticism/reviewing/whatever about Vance Bockis, his sweat would be the best and hurt her the most. (You know what they say about salt and tender, runny, open wounds, like BURNS from being BOILED) Personally I have never seen or heard THE FACTORY, but what Elizabeth G. said about them is just as pretentious as anything she ever writes, that why I want to boil her; she's pretentious and refuses to cut it out. Example: Take her article about SCREAM ("SCREAM DATE", City Paper, Nov. 20, 1987), when she's talking to Pete Stahl: "The two of us were sitting at the kitchen table in my Dupont Circle apartment, Pete facing my queen-sized bed." Studio apartment - queen-sized bed - who gives a shit? Or check out another paragraph on going to Santa Cruz to meet SCREAM: "I pack my bags; throw on black tights, a mini-skirt. Some eyeliner and blush, and I'm out the door." Jeeeeezis! I ask you again: Who gives a shit? In an interview-type thing like that, people don't care what the writer says about his/herself. They care about what the band says. At least I do. At least people I talk with about interviews do. Just about anybody you ask does. So there! City Paper should find someone who can write and knows when to cut the bullshit. Just read any "Clubland" column and you'll see. On to the pot, sweat away Vance.
And there you have it in 250 words or less, I think less. Does The Factory really have "the excitement of a doorknob"? You know, some doorknobs can be exciting. It depends on your mood, maybe. (Get anything out of that that you want to.)

Yours falsely, Susan Aldrich

TRUE TRASH #5 - 1988 In Review

Mr. Jimijam that opinionated son of a bitch presents his absolutely unparalleled and undeniable perfect lists of the top of the heap rhythms'n'things that soothed my brain in 1988.

01. JANE'S ADDICTION - "Nothing's Shocking" (Warner Brothers Records)
02. LIVING COLOUR - "Vivid" (Epic Records)
03. FUGAZI - "Debut EP" (Dischord Records)
04. PRINCE - "The Black Album" (Bootleg)
05. BOOTSY COLLINS - "What's Bootsy Doing?" (Warner Brothers Records)
06. ERASURE - "The Innocents" (Sire Records)
07. GRANDMASTER FLASH & THE FURIOU FIVE - "On The Strength" (Sugarhill Records)
08. GUNS'N'ROSES - "Appetite For Destruction" (Geffen Records)
09. MARC ALMOND - "The Stars We Are" (Capitol Records)
10. ANTHRAX - "State Of Euphoria" (Metal Blade Records)

01. PRINCE @ Capital Centre - 1 Harry Truman Dr. - Largo, MD - 10/11/88
02. THE CRAMPS, THE BUTTHOLE SURFERS, THE DEAD MILKMEN @ The Warner Theatre - 513 13th St., NW - Washington, DC - 12/30/88
03. ERASURE @ GWU's Lisner Auditorium - 730 21th St., NW - Washington, DC - 7/14/88
04. NINA HAGEN @ The Bayou - 3135 St., NW, Georgetown - Washington, DC - 7/12/88
05. FRANK ZAPPA @ The Warner Theatre - 513 13th St., NW - Washington, DC - 2/9-10/88
06. WAS (NOT WAS) @ 9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC - 12/10/88
07. SISTER DOUBLE HAPPINESS @ The Anti-Club - Los Angeles, CA - 6/19/88
08. FUGAZI & HONOR ROLE @ 9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC - 10/6/88
09. PARASITE & THE MO'PAGANS @ DC Space - 7th & E Sts., NW - Washington, DC - 2/20/88
10. STRANGE BOUTIQUE @ DC Space - 7th & E Sts., NW - Washington, DC - 12/29/88

02. THE MO'PAGANS - "Pedestrian's Nightmare" 8-song tape
03. STRANGE BOUTIQUE 4-song promo tape
04. CHUCKY SLUGGO 5-song tape
05. HOMEMADE SIN - "Greatest Distance" 5-song tape
06. THE VILE CHERUBS - "Middle Class Youth Disillusioned" 6-song promo tape
07. FUGAZI - "Fugazi" 4-song promo tape
08. BAZOOKA JOE - "Pastor Of Puppets" 9-song promo tape

01. E.U. - "The Butt"
02. SALT'N'PEPA with E.U. - "Shake Your Thang"
03. DEPECHE MODE - "Strangelove" (Pain Remix)
06. JOHNNY KEMP - "Just Got Paid"
07. WAS (NOT WAS) - "Walk The Dinosaur"
08. NEW ORDER - "True Faith"
09. THOMAS DOLBY - "Airhead"
10. BOBBY BROWN - "My Prerogative"

01. M.A.R.R.S. - "Pump Up The Volume" 12"single
02. Terminal Zone Magazine
03. "The Joker - The Greatest Jokes Ever Told" comic
04. SPIN Magazine
05. "DC ROX" compilation album/cassette (Olive Tree/Wet Spot Records)
06. MARRIED WITH CHILDREN television show
07. THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW television show
08. ELVIS HITLER joke band
09. J.D. Magazine
10. John Waters' "HAIRSPRAY" movie

01. SCREAMS OF PAIN band from hell
02. The KING FACE album
03. Nazi skinheads that are alive
05. SONIC YOUTH @ 9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC - 12/11/88
06. Demise of the free WDC PERIOD
07. CANDYBAR - the band that should melt
08. Goons'n'Poses clones
09. PUBLIC ENEMY - "Don't Believe The Hype"
10. President George W.H. Bush

Washington, DC Scene Report

Hello, my name is Mr. Jimijam and this is a rundown of what's going on in Washington, DC, so let's get busy, the BUSH REIGN has begun, it is so cold and the killings continue, the crack attack is way whack, the gold chain suckas pulling .357s and 9MMs to get paid, fascists skinheads on the late night prowl in Georgetown and Dupont Circle busting on gays and college students, one incident involved baseball bats! Some serious shit going down on the streets, but the beats is jammin'...lots of bands taking the stages of Washington, DC and getting' live....

PARASITE - powerful, intelligent thunder music featuring SPYCHE, formerly of PRESS MOB on bass and vocals, VICTOR plays guitar and sings lead in a variety of voices like a mad cross of JAMES HETFIELD and GEDDY LEE!?! JOHNNY X plays rhythm guitar and RODNEY DANCY gives them their edge with his stompin' slice'n'dice drum style. A demo should be circulating shortly. PARASITE says SMILE!

THE MO'PAGANS - their unrelenting maniac attack is the coolest and funnest gig to catch lately, by fun I mean, hanging out talking to cool people and thrashing around a bit, because going to some gigs in this town is like being sent to the Spanish Inquisition. They are a dark satiric look at life while riding a possessed moped. METAL VIIX has got some tasty little guitar licks which are pumped up by DR. DETH's willy-nilly bass lines as he flings words at you, while drummer VEIN STAIN drives the beat along. Their 8-song cassette "PEDESTRIAN'S NIGHTMARE" is some serious thrash metal noiz is available now.

STRANGE BOUTIQUE - they keep expanding and changing and re-arranging and getting tighter. Their gigs are aural gorgeousness. FRED E. SMITH of BEEFEATER has incorporated acoustic guitar into his playing and DANNY INGRAM's chopchopchachakick drumming style is invigorating in comparison to some of our other hometown drummers. I like MONICA RICHARDS' voice, lots of people diss her by saying she is a SIOUXSIE SIOUX clone, but she isn't, MONICA has an earthy ethereal shimmery voice. Their new album "EASTER ISLAND" should be available now.

There are lots of clubs and venues to play at right now, which is really cool cuz you don't have to stare at the same old people all the time. Here's a recent list of places if you wish to play in DC: Wilson Center, The Safari Club, BBQ Iguana, DC Space, 9:30 Club, The Bayou, The Roxy.


BANNED IN DC is available now, it is a kind of cool collection of photos, flyers, and anecdotes of the "punk rock" scene from 1979-1985, but there are too many photos of some people and lots of other people are overlooked (to me it seems intentional) and hopefully there will be another edition with updates.

THE WDC PERIOD #17 is out now, it contains fantastic NINA HAGEN and BUTTHOLE SURFERS interviews, some great info on comix, fanzines, tapes, and records, my favorite part is JOHN STABB of GOVERNMENT ISSUE "Goes To The Movies" column, and some rather sick stories. WDC PERIOD #18 is available on April 1.

THE NO SCENE 'ZINE has been putting shows on at the SAFARI CLUB.

The freshest sounds are abounding everywhere around town:

THE OLD FARTS Department:
GOVERNMENT ISSUE (new album "Crash" and new ep "Strange Wine"), SCREAM (two new albums, a live import, and "No More Censorship" compilation, but bassist Skeeter Thompson has quit!), KING FACE (new drummer), IGNITION (new album "Machination"), FUGAZI (recording again, the first ep rules), HR (playing reggae, and now on tour in Europe with drummer Earl Hudson (BAD BRAINS), Kenny Dread (OUTRAGE, REVELATION, I.N.I.C.U.), ENGLISHMAN, and JAH RITCHIE (from Atlanta's ZIONSTEPPERS), and DAGNASTY (have broken up again, hopefully finally).



THE "IT'S JUST ROCK, MAN" Department:

THE JAH LOVE Department:

THE GOONS'N'POSES Department (thanx V.B.):
(You know those guys that listen to thrash and speed metal and play a watered down version, just kiddin', hehehe) CANDYBAR, VACATION, STAPLE GUN, MACH 5, CRYSTAL PISTOL, SKELETON (killer speed metal), KROOK (the bassist is the best in the bunch), JIMI SIN (features Jimi Darn on guitar and he has got some nice riffs)

DATELINE January 25, 1989
The 9:30 Club on F Street, NW - Washington, DC
WDC PERIOD #18 - Spring 1989
LIVING COLOUR: A Few Moments With Corey Glover

LIVING COLOUR is one of my favorite new groups of 1988 and their album "VIVID" is some serious real life rock and roll. The band consists of Vernon Reid on lead guitar, Muzz Skillings on bass and Will Calhoun on drums, and vocalist Corey Glover. They come from a variety of musical backgrounds of great diversity. Their album says a lot to me, so I decided to interview them, and once again my editor Gordon Gordon hooked me up. The interview was set up for five o'clock at the 9:30 Club. I got there and waited to do my thing, the crew was setting up the stage, and Vernon Reid was doing a sound check. He was awesome on his guitar, doing arpeggios, glisses, and riffs that were blowing my mind. Some of the riffs sounded like jets whizzing around the club, the sounds this man made on the guitar were astounding. I felt really privileged to witnessing this. Their tour manager grabbed the singer Corey Glover and said I could talk to him for a few minutes. We introduced ourselves and small-talked about my AIWA Walkman and went downstairs to the dressing room. He is very personable and down to earth, which is always refreshing when one is doing an interview with a musician.

JIMIJAM: So tell me, how did ya'll get together?
COREY GLOVER: We all met separately. First, Vernon and I met a few years ago at this birthday party; we were singing Happy Birthday to somebody. We got together and we exchanged numbers and stuff like that. Vernon met Will at someone else's gig called BUSH ROCK and we hooked up a couple of years later. We met Muzz at a BLACK ROCK COALITION meeting; he was a mutual friend of a person in the coalition that suggested that he come back and check out the band to see what we can do. We have been together that long.
Jimijam: When is album number two due?
Corey Glover: That is very difficult to say because right now the first record is doing so well, that we're going to try to work this record first and then set our sights on the next album when we have a clear-cut vision of what's happening and what's going on with this record.
Jimijam: What do you think of FISHBONE and THE BAD BRAINS and all them type of bands?
Corey Glover: Oh, they're really good, they are really good friends of ours. Both bands are, ah, just like P-FUNK and those other bands. They're really good friends of ours, we love their music and what they do.
Jimijam: Yeah, I've known THE BAD BRAINS for a long time. I know a lot of people around town, because of my involvement in the DC scene. I know some of the players from the HR band and THE BAD BRAINS and stuff, and they and some other people, have a kind of resentment towards ya'll because they feel THE BAD BRAINS paved the way And then ya'll just swooped in and got all the media attention and they got left on the way side.
Corey Glover: I don' really like to see all those bands do something, you know THE BAD BRAINS...
Jimijam: I think it is just pure jealousy.
Corey Glover: I don't know, it may be. But what I think it is frustration. A lot of people in this business never get the chance. We were fortunate and blessed to get this chance and all I can say is as if I had the way to do something...I always talk about THE BAD BRAINS. We even do a BAD BRAINS cover.
Jimijam: What's up with the BLACK ROCK COALITION now?
Corey Glover: The BLACK ROCK COALTION is still going on very vibrantly. They just did a show in NEW YORK CITY a couple of weeks ago at the LONE STAR ROADHOUSE; which was really good, and we're still doing their thing as it were. We just played with the BRC band in Boston as matter of fact, with the MICHAEL HILL BLUES BAND. Which is really good, they like to call it "culture rock" there. It was really good; the audience was really receptive to it. So the theories that are at play are working.
Jimijam: What are some of the other black rock bands that you have come across or your organization that are worth mentioning that people should check out?
Corey Glover: Obviously DEFUNKT. There's a band out of Chapel Hill, NC, called THE VELDT. These two twins, they are a really good band. HARVEY out of San Francisco, a heavy metal trio. Um, there are so many, too numerous to mention.
Jimijam: Yeah, I just wanted a few names to turn people on to, I turned a lot of people on to you. That's my thing!
Corey Glover: Really? Cool!
Jimijam: What was it like working with THE GODFATHERS on the MTV tour? I saw you at the University of Maryland gig, where you were freezing.
Corey Glover: Yeah, it was cold, man. It was ridiculous.
Jimijam: Believe me, I knew it too.
Corey Glover: It was great. THE GODFATHERS are really nice, when you first meet them, they are kind of aloof, and very British...cockney...cocky. Once you get to know them, they are your average normal kind of guys, they're nice guys.
Jimijam: Did that tour help your record a lot?
Corey Glover: Yeah, I think it did. I think it really did cause we got to a lot of colleges and a lot of folks who normally wouldn't hear about us got a chance to hear us.
Jimijam: Yeah, I saw some kids in the audience really tripping out on ya'll, it was pretty wild. What are the sales like on your album now, has it broken 100,000 yet?
Corey Glover: Yeah, right now about 400,000 sold.
Jimijam: Has the airplay improved?
Corey Glover: It has improved greatly, right now on the charts, we're number 13 as far as radio adds are concerned. That means the record that is added most to the radio formats is ours and it is moving up and doing better and better as we move along.
Jimijam: What was it like working with MICK JAGGER, because to me, ya'll are the only worthwhile thing he has done in the eighties.
Corey Glover: Well, uh, I mean, to think that Mick Jagger has never really produced anyone except, uh, I think it was JIMMY CLIFF, the only other person he produced a record for.
Jimijam: He helped with PETER TOSH's "Bush Doctor" record.
Corey Glover: Yeah, that's right. PETER TOSH was the person that he did, that was it. So you kind of feel fortunate to think that this is a person that really doesn’t, and does it and did it well. I mean it is very gratifying I guess, I mean, to think that, to think that this is the man who personified rock and roll for at least twenty-five years. This is a person that...that epitomized what rock and roll was as a rock and roll front man, this was it, it was MICK JAGGER and there he is in the control room dancing, doing his Mick Jagger dance as you are laying down tracks. It is pretty impressive.
Jimijam: What kind of experiences have you had with racism on the road, the ones that made you LIVID?
Corey Glover: Ignorance basically makes me LIVID, just plain ole out right stupidity makes me feel like…makes me very angry because people like...that's not just from white folks, this is everybody, people are so ignorant to the fact that they don't...(a) either they don’t know their heritage or they don't know their history, they don't know where it comes from or what it is doing, why it's doing it, because some folks are under the contention we are the first and only black rock band and that's not true or there are those who thought they never heard of a black rock and roll band. So they discount HENDRIX.
Jimijam: Yeah, I know some white people who say, "He should have been white, man!"
Corey Glover: Yeah, I totally discount a music with an ethnic identity, its own ethnic identity, like SANTANA had his own ethnic identity. Just like we have our own ethnic identity to our music but it's under the auspices of rock and roll. People just, still can't comprehend that, and in order to make it palatable to them, they all call it funk, and that's ignorance, because that's not what it is.
Jimijam: What was it like working with CHUCK D. and FLAVOR FLAV of PUBLIC ENEMY?
Corey Glover: Chuck and Flav are nice guys, really nice guys. They came in and did their job. I wasn't there man, when they did it but I talked to them later on. They are just really nice guys with something to say.
Jimijam: You listen to their stuff?
Corey Glover: I listen to their stuff all the time; I'm in love with their stuff.
Jimijam: Yeah, I do too, even though I find some of their opinions upsetting. Particularly what PROFESSOR GRIFF says.
Corey Glover: A lot of opinions are reactionary in that they are doing that for a reason, they are trying to incite some kind of emotion out of you. I see no problem with that.
Jimijam: Neither do I sometimes but some things they say work me. What are your future plans, besides getting off the road, maybe?
Corey Glover: I think for the next couple of months, it's going to be more of the same. We are going to continue to do what we do; we are going to try to expand upon what we do. Maybe write some new stuff and try to work out some new things for the next album. One of the sure things is when you see us; we are going to make sure you don't see a half-assed show.
Jimijam: Yeah, I've seen you five times.
Corey Glover: So you don't get like...complacent with what we know maybe it the same set you see...saw five times in a row but it's not going to be exactly the same.
Jimijam: They weren't, when I saw you at THE RITZ in NYC, you kicked ass. You got any statements you like to make to the readers of this stuff?
Corey Glover: Just that, you have a responsibility to yourself and your world and don't louse it up. And the only way you can help yourself and this world is to take yourself out of ignorance and use your mind, you know, because that why it's there. Use your head, that's your thing. That's your existence on this world is to order to have to think. You see with your eyes, you listen with your ears. You do these things, that's what the gray matter's for.
Jimijam: I was wondering, on your cassette insert: it says - VIRGINIA, PLAY IT LOUD, YOUR NEIGHBORS WILL LOVE IT. Who is Virginia?
Corey Glover: I don't know, Virginia is a whole lot of people, no one in particular.
Jimijam: Kind of like, yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. I really like the songs, "The Glamour Boys" and "The Cult Of Personality". What inspired these songs?
Corey Glover: It was written for all those people you never...Vernon says it all the's for people that you never see what they do in the daytime. It's basically about those folks that you always see in a nightclub or always like off somewhere doing something and you up and think - "what do they do, what is the purpose of their existence, is it just to party, what is it that they do?" - And to some people to be into that nightlife and into that whole scene is a political statement to them. That's basically what it is all about. "Cult Of Personality" is basically about the rise and fall and the observation of how a person, one particular person, who has his or her own political and analytical ideas on something, can encompass a whole cross-section of a community and rally them behind his or her own beliefs under the auspices of helping the people when in fact it's not for the people but him or her selves and their own self-preservation or self-grandiosity.
Jimijam: Do you like working with Epic?
Corey Glover: Yeah, Epic has been very good to us, I know that sounds kind of trite, a pat answer, but they have been very nice to us. Very supportive and they did all the things they said they would.
Jimijam: Well, time is up and I don't like long interviews anyway. It was nice talking to you.
Corey Glover: The same to you, take care.

I was supposed to be on the guest list for the first show but I wasn't because the show was sold out. So I ended up going to the show on the second night. They were rocking. They raved through all of the songs on the album and a picture-perfect version of THE BAD BRAINS' "Sailin' On" and a get up and dance cover of THE CLASH's "Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?" I am looking forward to their next gig when they come back to DC.

Fifth Column - 911 F St., NW - Washington, DC

It was Wednesday, March 15th, the Ides of March, and I decided to go check out KAREN FINLEY at the Fifth Column. The City Paper listed all her best-known performance pieces in an article about the show. I remember being at an NEW ORDER concert once and hearing "Lick It" before their show and everybody was squirming in their seats as Karen ranted to a hip-hop beat "Come on boy, lick my clit, suck my tit, lick it!" I strolled on down to the club, and oh god, how I despise trendiness. The dance music(k) that the DJ played was one continuous monotonous beat as I stood and stood around and waited. Finally Karen appeared clad in a green dress and hat; she handed out green AstroTurf, green sweaters, green candy, and green books. She started her performance off talking about Bush and what an idiot he is. She segued into how her life was nothing but shit and then she stripped and began spreading chocolate all over her body and next she smashed Hostess Suzie Qs' on her breasts. She poured jellybeans all over herself and then she stuck fake Easter grass on her body. She recited her piece "Love Letters", which says that society has so twisted love that love has become hate and hate love - anger - pain - we are all sad children - she raved on. She performed a newly written piece called "I Am A Veal Calf", in which she compared being a woman in a white male-dominated society to the plight of the real veal calf. Who at birth has its legs chained, given laced antibiotics, left in a dark box, drowns in its own diarrhea, and served at the finest restaurants. Someone heckled her and she screamed, "If you don't like it, leave!" She closed with "Black Sheep", a piece about death, dying, the plague, life, living, family, relationships, and how the purpose of a black sheep is to die and to bring people together. She was heavy, severe, harsh, brutal, insane, brilliant, and the truth. I was devastated by her art, and she left the stage, I left the club. There were too many poseur assholes who missed her point and that is the damned truth.


It's been a longtime between issues so this is the special motherfucker getting'n'the ill effect super bust out on anything that gets on my nerves edition. DJ spin that wax, I'll get the ax.....

I decided it might enhance my music career if I made my presence available at the CMJ Music Marathon, which was held at the very venerable institution known as The Vista International hotel in the World Trade Center. Should have called it Assholes Anonymous, all these wannabe hip'n'cool music(k) industry types (and they were snorting detergent and taking turns plooking each other) [Thanx F.Z.] trying to sell their music with no respect towards the fans or the musicians. If you want to be in the music(k) biz always, ALWAYS KEEP COMPLETE CONTROL over everything that is yours or pertains to you, remember this! SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES and GEFFEN Records were giving a big press conference; it looked like they were auditioning for the next Holiday Spa commercial. I saw G.G. ALLIN in the Lower East Side (total insanity and strangeness), and JANE'S ADDICTION and IGGY POP at the Beacon Theatre, and GOD at some party (a local NYC band that rules, they got a new 7"single). I went to this really cool store called SEE HEAR that specializes in music-related books and the most diverse and incredible selection of fanzines. The next time you are in NYC, check it out, the shop is at 59 E. 7th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues. But New York bums me out after about three days so I had to leave and return to DC.

(Special Report From JACKSON, MICHIGAN in the heartland of America)
First off, DON'T DRINK THE WATER FROM THE TAP, it has the sulfur (rotten egg) smell to it and you will gag. There are some weird people there, they like their sports: Basketball, Hunting, Wife beating, Highway Sniping, and Rest Area Sex. The kids are into Satanism (100 people were arrested at one black mass raid) and beating up the kids from the one Oriental family in the county. Anybody with half a brain moves to Ann Arbor or leaves the state. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor was the safe haven in the wilderness; campus radio WCBN 88.3 FM was cool. Trendyola musick tours pass through town; The Dead Milkmen (UGH!), Michelle Shocked (comme ci, comme ca) and R.E.M. (They have been stepfordized). Write someone in Jackson, Michigan, a letter, brighten their life. My friends, The Poopies, in whose house I stayed were cool; their mom thought I looked like TED NUGENT, with whom her nephew goes hunting. Ten days was all I could bear, I had to leave and return to DC.

Isms and phobias are taking over the streets, the media hypes on racism, drugs, violence, murders, and guns. It seems like reverse psychology is in full effect, promoting what they are supposed to be objectively reporting. No on listens anymore, we assume. We assume: Only white people are racist - All gays will get AIDS - All skinheads are Nazis - All metal kidz do drugs - All young black men sell drugs - All foreigners are here to rip us off - All Muslims are terrorists. We assume and fuck the world up! It's time to get over it! Another thing I have noticed; is that white people (other non-blacks also) will get up and scream for a black athlete, gamble large sums of money over it, they buy Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Prince albums, but you will never see them with black friends or allow a "negro" in THEIR home, unless of course, they own their contract. I recently read an article about the Howard Beach racial incident, wherein the writer had been walking around Howard Beach and he noticed that the local record store's window display was all black artists. On the other hand, there is Public Enemy espousing Black Nationalism, Louis Farrakhan preaching hatred of Jews, and how white people fuck monkeys, and black gays are as detrimental to the black community as drug dealers. YO! DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE! YO CHUCK D. - What's up? Hatred is such a bad feeling. YO PEOPLE - everybody is somebody else's asshole. We got to stop worrying about being white or black or yellow or brown or straight or gay or punk or metal or rap or rich or poor, we just got to start being human beings and getting along. What is so fucking hard about that!?!

On the national level ZAKK WYLDE, guitarist for OZZY OSBOURNE's "NO REST FOR THE WICKED" bullshit, deserves a swift kick in the teeth for babbling about foreigners and gays in a explicit graphic stereotyping manner at a New Year's Eve gig in Long Beach, California, urging the kids "to bash their fucking heads in the ground". After a local rock station raised a protest, Zakk apologized for the remarks and hoped that "he didn't bum anyone out". Fuck you Zakk, I hope YOU have a plane wreck. Burn your OZZY records! Here in Washington, DC, IMMORAL DISCIPLINE's singer Shawn Garard was quoted in a recent Washington Post article on skinheads and Nazism about how disgusting he found the gays in Dupont Circle and that justified the violence some skins recently committed against several people in the Dupont area. I was informed that the Post misquoted him, yes, he was disturbed by gays, but he DID NOT ADVOCATE violence towards them and he was trying to discourage any more violence from happening. Gee, thanks! Hey! I get disturbed by people with really short hair. How can they think with all their hair trapped inside their heads choking their brains? I always found that the most homophobic guys turned out to be the biggest FAGS of them all, who in turn traumatize other gays because of self-hatred.

I guess people were afraid to any doormen for my last contest. I received no entries. So this month's contest is to pick the A.S.S. (Acquired Star Syndrome) poster child. A.S.S. is running rampant in the city. Its symptoms are odd hair-dos, excessive jewelry, hairspray, and drug use, and making inane and exaggerated public statements. In 250 words or less, write who and why you would like to see become the A.S.S. poster child. Winner gets the record of tape of their choice. Respond to P.O. Box 9303, Washington, DC, 20005.

Audios - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS - "Tender Prey" (music to de-tox off heroin), FEARLESS IRANIANS FROM HELL debut album (music to pretend to be patriotic by), SHUDDER TO THINK - "Curses, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses" (music for sanity maintenance), 1000 HOMO DJS - "Apathy" 12"single (industrial disease dance music noiz) Visuals - TERMINAL ZONE Magazine (contains the definitive George Clinton interview), LITERARY OUTLAW by Ted Morgan (a biography of William S. Burroughs), DALI (a retrospective available at the National Gallery)

I like to rock - I like to shock - If you're a sucka I will mock - Everything has a time and place - Bullshit cannot be erased - Cause I never forget a sucka's face!

THE BAYOU in Georgetown, NW - Washington, DC

Wow! The TOM TOM CLUB's tour hits Washington, DC, for a four-night stint with two of the shows billed as all-ages. So I took my friend Kelly, who is flawless by the way, and we hung out with my friends, Rosa and Jeff, who are my way cool peoples. We got a sort of decent table above the right side of the stage in the balcony, but right by the P.A. speaker though. The walls and columns of the club were decorated with dancing creatures and fish and palm trees and neon reflective paper, it was cool, it really changed the ambiance of the club. We scoped the scenery for a while and wondered who these weirdos walking around were and why beer cost so much and why was this couple groin-grinding in the corner. THE FEAR OF MAN opened the show and they gave us "Fear Of The Band", they were illin', the singer and the guitarist looked like "law students", and I hate lawyers, the most useless people on the face of the earth. However I must admit they were competent musicians. The bassist and the drummer, who were cute which was their only bonus point, laid down the solid groove, but they were so insanely derivative. It was like how to be in a cover band without actually doing anyone else's songs. They did the "U2 Unforgettable Fire" experience plus some faux INXS, NEW ORDER, and UB40 songs. The singer was fronting on the serious self-importance head trip and beseeching these wenches to dance and shriek. They were playing some song and I swear the chorus sounded like "weeny white man" but Rosa said she thought they were saying "queeny". They were soul-less and we were so glad when they finally left the stage. The houselights went down once again and the TOM TOM CLUB took the stage and opened their set with "Little Eva", a coy dark song disguised in the style of an upbeat early sixties pop song. TINA WEYMOUTH was way spectacular on her fretless bass, popping and slapping the serious groove. CHRIS FRANTZ was kicking way back with an almost sly, child-like happy smirk on his face, as he pounded out his whack versions of Afro-Caribbean beats and rhythms. Guitarist MARK ROULE calmly coaxed gritty riffs out of his axe, occasionally soaring into space with some sonic booms as he tried to reproduce ADRIAN BELEW's licks on their older songs. They played most of their new songs from their "Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom" album - "Suboceana" (Tina doing the BOOTSY COLLINS bass lines), "Wa Wa Dance", and "Don't Say No". Of their older stuff, "Wordyrappinghood" glistened like a polished 500-carat diamond, Chris laid down the rock steady groove and while playfully shouting out "James Brown", and after the line "We took cocaine and went insane", he shouted out "The Tom Tom Club don't do cocaine anymore", and he acknowledged PUBLIC ENEMY with assorted "Yeah Boy-ees" and "Don't Believe The Hypes", as Tina and the background singers Kristin Flatte and Trish Ipaletto added the "Ooh Wa Ooh Wa E E E" choruses. I was shaking my booty. They also performed "Genius Of Love" and "As Above, So Below" with great aplomb. My friend Jeff had went down on the floor to the front of the stage and he said all the guys were looking up one of the background singer's very short dress because her vagina lips were oozing out of her panties. Getting serious again, they were rocking. Tina was pure awesomeness as she chucked it on her bass. I don't understand why all bands cannot sound as good as they did live. The sound was perfect, you could understand all the lyrics, differentiate all the drum sounds, and feel the bass, guitar, and keyboards splashing on you like water without drowning you in a loud thud. The crowd was rocking and roaring for more. They left the stage and re-emerged and encored with a sweet and sensual "Under The Boardwalk", and an almost out of place cover of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND's "Femme Fatale", and then the killer surprise of them performing "Psycho Killer" from their TALKING HEADS repertoire. It was a great show and if you missed them, TOO FUCKING BAD! THE TOM TOM CLUB is a glorious celebration of rock and roll's Afro-Caribbean and American Blues roots.


Yo boiz and gurlz - Mr. Jimijam the superstar DJ is here - checking out the scene and getting in your ears with the bands to hear...

Behind door number one is VACATION - a grooving outfit that recently re-vamped with JIMI SIN (Jimi Darn) on the axe and PETE PARADISE on the traps, both ex-BARK, band leader JAMIE HOLIDAY cracks me up, check'em out, sort of a pseudo-glamour punk boogie and, hot songs are "Cool Yer Jets" and "Love Pirate".

Behind door number two is THE MO'PAGANS - don't fuck with them man, chopping and grinding, bang your head, shake and laugh, the funniest band I have seen since REDD KROSS, VIIX rules, move over LITA FORD. They do the coolest version of "La Bamba" that will make you die laughing!

Behind door number three is the band that you have been waiting for and they safe as milk, remember that poisonous milk that Nestle's sent to Africa, the worst band ever, SCREAMS OF PAIN. Everybody scream for mercy, do not pay money to see this band and if you have to be at a gig where they are playing - get on the guest list - DO NOT PAY - their nauseating singer works at Childe Harold's in Dupont Circle, ask for his section, do not tip - SCREAM at him, he asked for them! SCREAMS OF PAIN is the kind of band you would wish upon ED MEESE - Arrggghhhhyehayehayehahaye... hahahaarrrgggghhhhhyehahayeyehahaha...........

The future of rock and roll is METALLICA! Their new album "...And Justice For All" is sixty-five minutes of soul-driven guitar mayhem with JAMES HETFIELD screaming, "There are no rules!" The Killer Kuts are "Leper Messiah" and "Death, Inc.".

And lastly a lovely bedtime story - a friend of mine, former THE ENZYMES/OUTRAGE/HR guitarist DAVID BYERS, dropped by my pad one night and asked if some dudes could crash there for the night and I said 'cool runnings', because they were part of his new band CHUCKY SLUGGO that he was forming, one of the dudes was JOHN JACKSON, the heavily tattooed former singer of THE CRO-MAGS was supposed to become the singer for CHUCKY SLUGGO, and so he was in my apartment at 1305 Q Street in Northwest Washington, DC, and his and my vibes just did not click - a total bloodclot vibe, seen - maybe it was the gay thing - it was very interesting meeting him, a self-professed Hare Krishna, he kept rapidly pacing the length of my apartment flaunting and flexing his muscular body and giving me the piercing looks and muttering "yo batty boy, bumbaclot, yeah rasta" as he huffed up the bong hits out of my brand new TokeMaster. The serious evil chill was in effect, I decided it was better to go out before I got bashed. I returned home to my apartment and they were gone so I went to bed, the next morning I decided I wanted to hear some music and so I went to my cassette rack to pick something to play. I suddenly realized all my Metallica tapes were missing, and my PUBLIC ENEMY tape of "It Takes A Nation Of Millions", and THE BAD BRAINS' "I Against I", and then it hit me that the skank junkie bitch that was with JOHN JACKSON must have stole them because she had asked to peruse my cassette rack earlier that day when I first met them. JOHN JACKSON is perping the serious fraud, fronting on being irie and righteous, his eyes are blind and he making a mockery of God and love. BOYCOTT this man and his artistic efforts and guard your gates. Honest music begins with honest musicians. What goes around comes around, thief. I will pray for your soul JOHN JACKSON. Word!

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 1

Strange Boutique, longtime stalwarts of the Washington, DC, music scene, is at the verge of breaking out into the national level. DC is a scene that has yet to produce a rock-oriented band of superstar caliber; however, Strange Boutique may be just the band to do it. The current, and more than likely permanent, line-up consists of; Monica Richards as lyricist and singer, Danny Ingram on drums, Fred E. Smith, Jr. on electric and acoustic guitars, and the newest member Steve Willette on bass. All four are from the Washington, DC area. Monica and Danny have been around the local music scene since the beginning of the DC Punk/Hardcore explosion in 1980. Monica first sang with a side project of the members of NO TREND, who wanted a female singer who sounded like a guy. She became the singer for HATE FROM IGNORANCE, one of the more well-known local hardcore bands. Danny drummed in a variety of local punk bands; THE UNTOUCHABLES, YOUTH BRIGADE (who released a 7"ep on Dischord Records), PEER PRESSURE, SOCIAL SUICIDE, and BLACK WATCH, where he met Norman Van Der Sluys who was to become the first guitarist of the soon-to-be MADHOUSE. Fred was the guitarist for BEEFEATER, a politically-orientated outfit, who became quite popular in the US and Europe. Fred abruptly quit that band in the fall of 1986 and joined MADHOUSE within a week of leaving BEEFEATER. Steve joined the band after they had become STRANGE BOUTIQUE in the spring of 1988. He has been playing bass for ten years; he was the original bassist for EUBIE HAYVE and one of several for AFRAID OF CLOWNS.
Danny and Monica, the core of the group, went through several stages to get to where they are today. Together, they formed MADHOUSE in 1983 with Norman Van Der Sluys on guitar and Brad Crandall on bass. They gigged out and developed a following and EUGENE BOGAN, from Monica's days in HATE FROM IGNORANCE, replaced Brad on bass. They released an album "Madhouse" and a 7"single "Mecca" on the Fountain of Youth label. Franz Kellner replaced Eugene in early 1986. Fred joined in the fall, and PRINCE released his first MADHOUSE album. They filed suit in January of 1987 against PRN Music, Inc. for the copyright infringement on their name. Prince's name was never really brought up and they settled out of court. The monies they received allowed them to buy a van and to get out of debt. They dumped the name MADHOUSE and their set and became STRANGE BOUTIQUE. Franz quit the band in December of 1987 and for the next six months they were without a bassist, so they hibernated until Steve Willette joined and helped write new songs. One of their new songs, "Step Softly", was chosen for the first WAMA DC compilation cd that was released in June of 1988. This helped to rejuvenate STRANGE BOUTIQUE and airplay of "Step Softly" was heavy, so it was back to the studio to record two more demo tracks and back to performing on stage for many well-received gigs.
In 1989, the ball started really rolling; STRANGE BOUTIQUE was nominated and won for "Best Alternative Rock Band" at the 4th Annual Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) awards show that was held on May 7th, 1989 at The Bayou in Georgetown. Monica was also nominated, for the fourth time, for "Best Female Vocalist". They opened for KILLING JOKE on their spring tour in Pittsburgh, PA, Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC, and they were invited to come to the U.K. to open for them on two dates. On May 16th they played in Manchester before 1000 people and on May 18th they played to 3000 people in London, where they were quite well-received by the audience. Strange Boutique was warned by a roadie "NOT TO TELL THE AUDIENCE THEY WERE AMERICANS", because American bands were booed off the stage. After they played their set they told the audience anyhow, but the crowd was still quite receptive. Killing Joke quite enjoyed Strange Boutique and their music. Jaz Coleman the singer said they "raised their eyebrows" and Geordie Walker the guitarist (one of Fred's heroes) said Fred was a "very good guitarist". Strange Boutique returned to the states, and notorious Svengali producer Kim Fowley (THE RUNAWAYS) schmoozed and dined them at Anna Maria's Italian restaurant in Dupont Circle. He called them "a platinum band" and said they "would look good on MTV", however he also told Monica she would have to provide sexual favors to help the band's career. He proffered them a forty-page contract, in which he said; he would record them and within six months, he would get them either a contract on a major label, or an independent label with major distribution, or chart them on CMJ (College Music Journal). He would do all of this in exchange for 100% publishing rights of their music. Their lawyer Bobby Keene, brother of TOMMY KEENE, advised them to look elsewhere, so they are.
STRANGE BOUTIQUE has just released a four-song ep on Bedazzled Records called "Easter Island". It is a beautiful collection of dark, gothic, melodic songs with soaring guitars, ethereal vocals, and a sturdy danceable bottom. It is worth adding to your collection. It is available in local record stores and is being distributed nationally by Caroline Records. Monica feels that with this record she has found her own distinctive voice and the band has found their own unique groove. Strange Boutique doesn't want to be remembered for anything but being Strange Boutique. "Everything we've done in the past, we've put behind us for good". So in closing, check out STRANGE BOUTIQUE and buy their music.

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 1
DC ROX Column #1

Hello, I am Mr. Jimijam and I am the new ROX Magazine correspondent. DC has been happening lately with lots of bands playing out. Since it is summer, there are lots of free shows at FORT RENO and DUPONT CIRCLE. So far on June 4th there was a benefit for the homeless at Dupont Circle featuring JIMI SIN, LIVE WIRE, and FEAST OF ANGELS. Keep your ears open as more are planned.
The WAMMIES were held at The Bayou on May 7th. It was pretty tired as most awards shows tend to be, but several bands put on superb performances. In the Alternative Rock categories; STRANGE BOUTIQUE won for Best Band, Ian MacKaye of FUGAZI won for Best Male Vocalist, Alice Despard of HYAA! for Best Female Vocalist, and "Mystery" by EUBIE HAYVE for Best Recording.
The WAMA CROSSTOWN JAM was held on June 19th and 20th at twenty-four local clubs and involved bands from the entire musical spectrum. The money raised will go to SO OTHERS MIGHT EAT, SASHA BRUCE HOUSE, CITYSCAPE THEATRE, and PYRAMID COMMUNICATIONS' minority job program.

Featured this month is DISCHORD RECORDS; they have been releasing records in Washington, DC for nine years. They started out releasing 7"singles of the local punk bands like GOVERNMENT ISSUE, YOUTH BRIGADE, MINOR THREAT, and SCREAM. As the music and scene evolved, they did also and now have become one of the premier independent labels with over thirty-five releases in its catalogue. They are against the rock star head-trip, and most of their releases involve some sort of social concern and awareness. Two of their latest releases are: THE VILE CHERUBS' "Post-Humorous Relief" album, a melange of post-teenage angst delivered in a beautiful garage-y fury, and the "State Of The Union" benefit compilation album featuring some of DC's best local bands like SCREAM, FUGAZI, KING FACE, FIRE PARTY, SHUDDER TO THINK, MARGINAL MAN, and ten more bands. Royalties from the sale of this album will go to the ACLU to help defend our right to free speech and to the Community For Creative Non-Violence for their work for the homeless. For more information and a copy of their catalogue write to Dischord Records, 3819 Beecher St., NW, Washington, DC, 20007.

One could deaf and broke trying to catch all the bands playing around town right now. But here's the rundown of what's going on...GOVERNMENT ISSUE, one of DC's most prolific bands, has called it quits after nine years, they played their last gig at the 9:30 Club on June 1st, it is the end of an era and they will be missed...Another sad note is that FOOD FOR THOUGHT in Dupont Circle will be closing at the end of the summer. The longtime eatery and meeting place for the local music scene is becoming a victim of high rent. GRAY MATTER will play a special farewell reunion gig, so stay tuned...The original gods of "punk rock", THE BAD BRAINS, have dropped their new singer and drummer and HR and his brother Earl Hudson have re-joined the band for the millionth time. Their new album "Put Your Foot On The Rock" will be released on Caroline Records in July...PARASITE are on the road touring in California with their new drummer Mark, Rodney Dancy has quit and formed new band UNION STRIKE...RAINCROW have released a second pressing of their three-song 7"ep and are recording more music now...KING FACE have a new drummer and are playing out again...SCREAM have replaced Skeeter Thompson on the bass...JIMI SIN are getting a lot of hype lately. They headlined at The Bayou on June 12th after THE GODFATHERS canceled out. Currently they are going into the SoundFactory Studios to record a demo...Beware, it is in the air, the PRESS MOB are reforming with a re-vamped line-up, and personally I can't wait...ILL HUMOR are in the studio and you can catch them live at the DC Space on July 17th...My favorite new local band is SADDLETRAMP, they feature ex-VACATION frontman/guitarist Jamie Holiday, bassist Mike Crossen, St. Chad on keyboards, and Argentinean Tavo Conti on drums, they have recorded a twelve-song album and are now working on a 4-song 7"ep. They play a driving glammish rock in the Ziggy Stardust/Ian Hunter vein; you can catch them live at the Safari Club on July 6th and at the BBQ Iguana on July 12th. Well, I guess that is enough for this month, until next time be safe and MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 2
INDESTROY - "Senseless Theories Destroyed"

INDESTROY are the perfectly sensible choice as an antidote to the senseless bands cluttering the airwaves and club stages. INDESTROY play powerhouse thrash metal the way it is supposed to be, loud and driven, articulate and musically varied. INDESTROY consists of: guitarist Danny Kenyon, bassist Jeff Parsons, Cougin on drums, and Mark Strassberg as vocalist and also on rhythm guitar. They have just released their second album, a six-song ep, "Senseless Theories" on their new label Colossal/Enigma, who picked them up from New Renaissance Records. It should be in your favorite record store now, go buy it. It has sold out of its first European pressing on the New Renaissance label. "Senseless Theories" is a flawless slab of crazed metal music without any stupid satanic overtones in the lyrics or the band's imagery. Funky, pounding drums without the right amount of groove, twin guitars slash and soar together in perfect harmony, and the bass throbs and rolls over you like a steamroller, the words have a positive outlook that makes you laugh at and think about all the stupidity and senseless theories that people trap themselves and their minds in. "Terminal Choice" (a song about AIDS), "Tortured By Fire" (a song about Vietnam), and the masterpiece title track "Senseless Theories" (a song about the haphazard ways of society, and the confused state that we the society are existing in) are the best tracks on the album.
At the beckoning of Sue Hodges, our fearless editor, I took the metro up to Rockville and rode around with Cougin the drummer and discussed INDESTROY. All the tall buildings, traffic, stores, fast food joints, smog, and noise that I saw on our ride around the booming metropolises of Rockville and Silver Spring, Maryland, suddenly made sense as I began to see the world through the eyes of INDESTROY, and I understood the concept of SENSELESS THEORIES. INDESTROY according to Cougin is about, "social awareness and concern for the earth, what you see in life." They want to come across as different from the other bands, by creating new music with fresh techniques yet still in touch with the standard styles. All the members are from the Washington metropolitan area, Jeff and Mark grew up together and decided to form INDESTROY in 1983. The line-up has changed guitarists and drummers a few times, Gus Basilika, Drew Adrian, Rob Brannigan, and Shawn Williams to name a few. Rob and Shawn played on INDESTROY's self-titled debut album on the New Renaissance label, and it has sold over ten thousand copies worldwide and has received a lot of airplay. In 1987 Cougin joined on drums, Danny, as newest and youngest member, replaced Shawn on guitar shortly after the recording of "Senseless Theories". As for influences, the band claims Metallica, Trouble, Death, D.B.C., and VoiVod, whom Cougin says he is addicted to their music. Cougin says he has no real outside influences, just his own style, which is what makes the album stand out from the rest of the pack. A black friend turned him onto the funk groove, he loved it, and so he took drum lessons to get out of class in high school. Mark and Jeff hung around The Obsessed, who ruled the DC metal scene in the early eighties; in fact their name comes from their favorite song by The Obsessed. Danny and Cougin now write most of the music, Mark writes all of the lyrics and a third of the music. INDESTROY don't want you to take them too seriously, just serious enough to be real and still maintain an almost dark sarcastic sense of humor.
INDESTROY have opened for DARK ANGEL, RANCID, and label mates IRON CHRIST. They toured the Midwest with KILLJOY, and found the experience enjoyable and the audiences receptive. Cougin noticed that "Midwestern audience preferred raw, heavy power, straight up, no frills, metal music rather than bands who concentrated on their technical prowess." At the present moment there are no plans to play any gigs; Mark is in California taking care of some business dealings with the record label. Future plans include Enigma giving them a "bunch of money" to record a new full-length album. It will be along the same lines of the previous two albums, but they plan to incorporate many styles of music and meld them into their own distinct INDESTROY sound. They will be recording their new songs at the Music Grinder Studios in LA or at Alex Perry Alice Studios in New York City. INDESTROY just want to create good music and have fun doing it. They will not turn down success but they won't chase it down either. So look in yourself and destroy all the senseless theories that you keep in your mind, and then all you moshing maniacs out there in the suburban wastelands run to your local record store and buy their album "Senseless Theories" now.

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 1
DC ROX Column #2

Well, it is Washington, DC, it is hot, it is sticky, I hate my job, I despise the tourists, but it is rocking to the maximum effect. I saw the fireworks, they were flawless, but the cops were lawless. THE BUTTHOLE SURFERS headlined the annual ROCK AGAINST RACISM concert and rally at the Washington Monument, several people were arrested and a few were injured. A few days earlier on June 20th I saw STRANGE BOUTIQUE give a gorgeous performance before a full house at the DC Space. PARASITE, back in town from their tour, headlined a show at the DC Space with OBLIVION (Anthrax-style mosh), TOMAS SQUIP (ex-BEEFEATER and FIDELITY JONES) and some other local musicians performed percussion pieces between band sets, and new band UNION STRIKE played two songs at the end of the night. ILL HUMOR headlined a show also at the DC Space with FATES (sounded like devilish drool to me), and GUTWRENCH (the name says it) played very compelling angry power rock, and ALLIED SINE WAVES (imagine two hippy guys on keyboards and a ton of effects doing their version of Kraftwerk). Headliner ILL HUMOR played some frenetic brooding gloom metal rock that I quite liked. Monica from STRANGE BOUTIQUE joined them on stage and sang a song "Sangarita" quite somberly sensuous. On July 15th I saw PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. and NEW ORDER out at Merriweather Post Pavilion, it was the next to last gig on the tour and they seemed burned out.

Featured this month is D.S.I. Records, the label was formed in 1983 by John Fox and Lee West in order to release bands no local label would touch. Their first release was UNITED MUTATIONS' "Fugitive Family" ep and it was a split release with Dischord Records. Their catalogue consists of 15 eps and 4 full-length albums, covering a variety of musical expressions ranging from punk, hard rock, thrash, hardcore, industrial, to progressive rock. Bands that have been released so far have been; UNITED MUTATIONS, MALEFICE, URUKU, MFD, THE THORNS, THE SLICKEE BOYS, IMAGES from Annapolis, IMMORAL DISCIPLINE, DAIT BAIT, FOUNDATION, and the "Odd Man Out" compilation ep featuring GOVERNMENT ISSUE, BLACK MARKET BABY, SHUDDER TO THINK, THE FUN JUNKIES, and MFD. D.S.I.'s summer and fall plans include the release of IMAGES' "Fall From Grace" album, an 7"ep from DAIT BAIT (featuring Kim Kane formerly of THE SLICKEE BOYS), MFD's "Storm" 7"ep, and re-issuing both earlier UNITED MUTATIONS 7"eps and the MALEFICE "Overboard" 7"ep with extra tracks. They also help several small European labels with distribution and they are working on a international compilation album. So open your ears and contact D.S.I. Records at P.O. Box 346, Dunn Loring, VA 22027, to get more info and buy records.

Things are rockin'...VANCE BOCKIS has reformed THE FACTORY with the original line-up and so far they have played one gig at The Chamber...RODNEY DANCY has quit UNION STRIKE and started TAU CROSS, they should be gigging by the end of August...FUGAZI have a great new six-song ep "Margin Walker" on Dischord Records, check it out, music to believe in...THE BAD BRAINS are playing at the 9:30 Club on August 1st and 2nd, bring your oxygen tank, the 9:30 is oxygen-free in the summer, no word on their new album on Caroline Records yet...STRANGE BOUTIQUE are opening for KILLING JOKE in Baltimore...KING FACE are breaking up and are playing a final gig with original drummer Larry...It seems SADDLETRAMP worked nerves at the Dulaney Inn in Maryland, but the story has gotten twisted and spread around and blown out of proportion, DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE, they played a great set at the Safari Club on July 6th, go check them out...OBLIVION from Camp Springs, Maryland, are shredding, they have a five-song album out on New Renaissance Records...JIMI SIN are busy lately, on July 25th they were featured on DC101's "Local Licks" program, on July 28th they are playing at the Safari Club and on August 6th at the BBQ Iguana, their demo tape should be available soon...I listened to the THIRD PARTY demo tape, it had clean production and competent playing, I listened it several times and for the life of me I can't recall a single melody or phrase from it, they might be better live...until next month...BE SAFE AND SMILE - MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 3
DC ROX Column #3

"Ain't no cure for the summertime blues..."

BLUE CHEER's classic psychedelic blues album "Vincebus Eruptum" erupted out of my stereo speakers, as I laid on the floor in front of the fan trying to keep cool and remember why I liked Washington, DC...oh yeah, the music, the music...Plenty of bands taking the stage, on July 28th METALLICA and THE CULT shredded at the Cap Centre, one really gets a weird rush when the joint is rumbling and everybody is screaming DIE! DIE! DIE!...earlier on July 27th METALLICA's James, Lars, and Jason with Billy and Ian of THE CULT were hanging out at The Bayou in Georgetown for a WAMA CD Listening Party featuring local bands OHO, TRAIN OF THOUGHT, and ZEN PARADE who are starting to make a name for themselves - crisp, driven, melodic rock is my description of their music. METALLICA bassist Jason Newstad was running around the club and bugging people out by going "Blaahhh!" in their faces. It was funny to watch how people reacted...on August 17th at D.A.R. Constitution Hall, THE B-52'S beamed down from Planet Claire to make Washington, DC dance, the joint was bopping as they laid down the mutant boogie with "Rock Lobster", "Hot Lava", and "Channel Z", and more, it was joyous...on August 3rd I caught JULIAN LENNON at The Bayou and he and his band were quite entertaining. They were performing a cover of CHUCK BERRY's "Johnny B. Goode" and in the middle of it, they broke into two verses of THE BEATLES' "Helter Skelter", it was intense...once again I went to see STRANGE BOUTIQUE at the DC Space on August 5th, they were flawless as ever, they are going to slow down on the Washington, DC area gigs and concentrate on out-of-town gigs. So go check them out on August 31st at the 9:30 Club with MANIFESTO.

Featured this month is SAMMICH RECORDS, founded in 1985, its original purpose was to release a 7"ep featuring LUNCHMEAT and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, in an effort for the bands to thank their supporters. The band members were going off to various colleges and they wanted to give something back to their fans. Since then Amanda MacKaye who runs Sammich has released six records, including one each from SOULSIDE and SWIZ and two from SHUDDER TO THINK. The average pressing run is between 1000 and 2500 copies of each album, the SHUDDER TO THINK and SWIZ albums have gone into a second pressing. In September the label is releasing an album by AFTER WORDS from Atlanta, Georgia, Amanda describes it as melodic hardcore. She also said the label plans to release more albums as long as needed and more importantly, if it stays FUN. You can contact them for information and a catalogue at: Sammich Records, P.O. Box 32292, Washington, DC 20007.

Lots of comings and goings this month...BOB DETOLO has quit the JACKHAMMER ORCHESTRA over musical differences...KING FACE played their farewell show on August 19th at the 9:30 Club with CARNIVAL OF SOULS...GRAY MATTER played a reunion show on August 21st at the DC Space...THE SLICKEE BOYS signed a five-album deal with Giant Records, they have been around for a longtime, maybe something big will happen for them finally, catch them at The Roxy with SADDLETRAMP...ELVIS FAUNTLEROY has left JIMI SIN, they are currently auditioning...Some other hot bands to catch around town right now are: EVOLUTION REVOLUTION, SALO, DAIT BAIT featuring former Slickee Boy Kim Kane have been putting on the wild shows, THE NOW throw down the serious skankin' riddim playing great ska-roots-rock-reggae, SKELETON play great thrash but talk about their penises too much, and CIRCUS MIND, TOO VACANT, TRASH'N'DRAG, NEVEDA BEACH FRONT, UNDERTOW, NOT EVEN, UNDER THE SUN, and BIG BANG THEORY...THE ROMANS are coming back, call Ralph...One of my favorite local musicians is BERNIE WADDELL, he has played with GUILT COMBO and RAINCROW, recently he told me he is writing a lot of music, played a benefit for WCPR, a local progressive music cable show, and on September 25th, he is staging the final installation of THREE BERNIES with FREE COFFEE at the DC Space, it is the culmination of the many facets of his musical styles, check it out...I got a couple of new demo tapes; first a good one, BELTRE, a two-song demo of clean almost gothic progressive rock and features former PHLEGM bassist DAN KNOWLES, BELTRE can be reached through their manger Suzanne the bad one, a four-song demo from ART FRONTIER, some badly-produced Jefferson Airplane-style folk-rock music, avoid it like drunken sex without a condom...One final musical tidbit before I sign-off, if you are trying to get your band ahead or you just want to help the scene progress then join the WASHINGTON AREA MUSIC ASSOCIATION, for more info write or call: WAMA, 1625 I St., NW, Suite 1009, Washington, DC, 20006...Until next month...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"I want to thank you for letting me be myself!"

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 4
DC ROX Column #4

"Hey now, what's that sound, everybody look, what's going down..."

Yo, I'll tell you what's going down - bands, bands, and more bands. I saw twenty-two bands this month; I must be getting old or something because I started wearing earplugs during several bands' performance. But they do help, I seem to comprehend the music more; particularly at the 9:30 Club where at several shows, the volume just muddled the mix, it made vocals incomprehensible, and it rearranged my bone marrow. If you are interested in preserving your hearing write to: America Musical Supply, 235 Franklin Ave., Ridgewood, NJ, 07450, and ask for their catalogue. Going deaf or getting tinnitus (a continuous ringing in the ears), which has derailed several musicians' careers, is dreadful, so protect those ears.
I got to check out several out-of-town bands: August 22nd - THE CURE played at the Cap Centre for two-and-half hours of their raging gothic rock, critics and so-called "hip people" are screaming "Sell-out!", and I admit the new album sucks but their concert was flawless and mesmerizing, September 5th - I saw REDD KROSS, DAS DAMEN, and this absolutely demented power chord crazed all-female band from NYC, THE LUNACHICKS, all three bands rocked the 9:30 Club, September 13th - POP WILL EAT ITSELF from the U.K. threw down the manic electro-metal rap along with the absolutely insane GREGORY'S FUNHOUSE from NYC, they had me shaking and dancing all night. On the local level, DC Space ended their "Summer Of Noise" with a "Pre-Moon Syndrome Post-Summer Of Noise Celebration" week from September 11th - 16th. It featured LUNGFISH, BIG JESUS TRASHCAN, UNREST (who are attracting a lot of attention in Europe), THE HOLY ROLLERS, BUTTERGLOVE (featuring ex-members of Richmond's HONOR ROLE), DAIT BAIT (a band that has to be seen to be believed, featuring former Slickee Boy Kim Kane, they delivered a frenzied and wild and crazy show of pseudo-rockabilly B-Grade movie soundtrack music that really gets you moving, so check'em out), and closing out the week was NYC's Lower East Side heroes, THE REVERB MOTHERFUCKERS, who churned out their instant insanity soundtrack to full house, it was rocking. The gig of the month was August 28th - FUGAZI and SOULSIDE played to the largest crowd ever at Fort Reno Park, 1200-plus people, the sound was sort of bad but they turned it out. FUGAZI seem to be on the verge of busting out big time, charting in ROCKPOLL in the U.S. and the U.K., they are in the top ten on the Indies chart. I wish them the best. This was SOULSIDE's back-to-school farewell gig, plus they just released a three-song 7"ep "Bass #103" on Dischord Records, it is powerful music with something to say.

No Local Label Report this month because TOP RECORDS didn't get back to me in time. They are the home of FRONTIER THEORY and BIG BANG THEORY. I will have the facts next month.

Once again, busy, busy, busy, the electricity was flowing...the super scoop is SKEETER THOMPSON has re-joined SCREAM and a new album is forthcoming...on September 4th at the DC Space, PARASITE played what they describe as their WAKE, they play their FINAL GIG on September 29th at the BBQ Iguana with FIDELITY JONES and new band JAWBOX (mistakenly spelled as JAWBONE when this column was published). Good-bye PARASITE, send $3.00 to P.O. Box 70058, Washington, DC, 20024, for their demo while it is still around, intense melodic metal, I will miss them...STRANGE BOUTIQUE are starting to get the BIG attention, they are opening for PUBLIC IMAGE, LTD. on October 3rd at GWU's Lisner Auditorium...on a sad note, POSEURS', DC's original progressive new wave dance rock club closed their doors on September 4th due to the fact the owners are selling the building, damn, another club bites the if you are bored, check out THE CHAMBER down by Union Station, they have gigs on Thursdays and a Gothic Dance Party on Fridays...THE NEW POTATOE CABOOSE played their 5th Anniversary Celebration gig on September 15th at The Warner Theatre...the Warner is closing at the end of September for extensive renovations, LITTLE FEAT is closing the place with a six-night run, rumor has it that there were will no more rock concerts when they re-open...a lot of people have been wondering "where has the WDC PERIOD been?", GORDON GORDON the editor said the Period is in hiatus until November when it will return with a more local slant. The Chow Chow Hotline is still operating for the latest up-to-date show info...DC's joke metal band CANDYBAR is opening for GWAR soon...WAMA is hosting a "CD Listening Party" at The Bayou on September 22nd featuring local upstarts TOO VACANT, KRANK KALL, and two others, WAMA is accepting demo tapes for their next CD compilation...until next month...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"There's nothing left to do, but smile, smile, smile..."

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 5, November 1989

Well, well, "Never Mind The Bullocks" goes Gold ten years later, and it's never mind Johnny Lydon. But don't call him "Johnny Rotten", he gets a tad bit upset! My, my, should be "Johnny Spoiled". I read recently in "Q", a British music and fashion magazine, that he didn't want a hit record because he didn't want to change his tax bracket. So anyways, when The Sex Pistols happened, it changed my life; I was rescued from "Free Bird Forever" hell. I was going to see them play at the Alexandria Roller Rink but the show was canceled, so I had to hitchhike to Philadelphia to see them. It was like seeing GOD, and it was intense. They broke up, Sid Vicious died, and P.I.L. happened. Several albums, line-ups, and some really great songs, "Anna Lisa", "This Is Not A Love Song", "FFF", "Rise", later; Johnny became what he hated, a pompous old fart. Yo, getting sidetracked, this is supposed to be a show review, but it fits together. I was supposed to meet Sue, but she got overdue, and I missed seeing her in a new 'do. STRANGE BOUTIQUE, local Wammie winning faves, opened the show, and it is nice to see a local band get a big gig. Monica Richards sounded really nice, her voice is starting to stretch out and flow. Local 'hit' "Step Softly" was beautifully executed and as was a splendid cover of MAGAZINE's "From Under The Floorboards". Technical difficulties occurred several times, but they managed to do a pretty decent set anyway. I have seen P.I.L. several times and they have become...I don't is hard to pinpoint, but I saw them earlier this past summer with NEW ORDER and THE SUGARCUBES where their performance left a lot to be desired, and I blamed it on being second-billed at Merriweather Post Pavilion where bands have to rush their show to beat the 10:45 pm curfew. So I figured I'd give them a second chance. Johnny's got a great band; John McGeoch from Magazine, Allan Dias, who has played with James Blood Ulmer and Bryan Ferry, on bass, and Bruce Smith who played for Terence Trent D'Arby on drums. Everything was well-executed, even some of Johnny's famous "up yours" attitude was there, but the show lacked soul, substance, and vitality. They played "Love Song", "Rise", "Public Image", "Body", and they closed with a void version of "Time Zone", that just didn't cut it without Afrika Bambaata. They had a nice stage set and cool video graphics, but their tour t-shirts cost $20 and $22, can you believe it. I left the Lisner feeling old and like his "college-radio hit" says, "Disappointed". Thank God for friends, I got to talk to Jamie Holiday from SADDLETRAMP and Fred Smith from STRANGE BOUTIQUE, who amused Jamie and I with a story about how he stole some chicken wings from the P.I.L.'s dressing room but while he was playing on stage, he had to vomit a few times behind his amp, and so I didn't get depressed. Truly this is the great rock and roll swindle.

MIND Press Release

As the decade draws to a close, one wonders for what musical significances the eighties will be remembered: loud metal bands posing in big hairdos espousing the glory of stupidity, ego-tripping rappers with tongue-twisting tall tales of gold chains, guns, and girls, or video clone drone bands with fake drums, fake leads, fake horns, and fake reeds backing nonsensical apocalyptical vocals. Throughout this decade of hype, record companies peddling tripe, and thousands lost to the pipe, one must wonder if there is a light at the end of the tunnel. George Clinton once said, "Free your MIND and your ASS will follow." Is that so hard to swallow? It is time we freed the music so it can achieve its original purpose of informing, inspiring, and uplifting the human race. It is time we take the music back from the moneychangers who are prostituting music to sell the latest useless product that the corporate monster is trying to foist on the consumer population. Every now and then up from the underground comes music with such raw beauty, it is blinding. MIND produces just that; musicians who feel what they are singing and playing and not programming computers to make tracks to make money. MIND is Kelly Jamison writing and singing the lyrics that rattle the soul and Mark Shellhaas on the instruments. Kelly has a powerful voice that is guaranteed to stir one's soul to its very depth. Inspired by Diamanda Galas' desire to use her voice as a gift/weapon but not trapped by idiosyncrasies that have kept Diamanda floundering in empty and pointless self-flagellation. Mark is no stranger to the music industry, playing previously in Baltimore's PRO TEM and DC's BEEFEATER, both powerful, evocative, thought-provoking outfits that had strong followings. An accomplished musician on drums, guitars, keyboards, bass, and violin; he has finally produced music that is focused, controlled, and poised for maximum effect. Enclosed is a three-song cassette of their eleven-song album that is in the process of being recorded. MIND is reminiscent of THE COCTEAU TWINS and ZYMOX but lacking the coldness and detachment from reality that the aforementioned bands seem to exude. The songs "More Than Dust", "Pillar Of Salt", and "Breathe", pulse with the warmth that comes from real people playing real instruments rather than programming computer-generated tracks. MIND wish to be on a label that cares about the music, not just the profits generated by the sale of the music. MIND would like to release a twelve-inch of "More Than Dust" b/w "Greenland" (single version) and obtain the necessary funding to complete the recording and production of the full album. Once the album is completed, attention will go to auditioning and hiring a live ensemble composed of an upright bassist, a drummer, a keyboardist/percussionist, a keyboardist/guitarist, and a live sound mixer to go on tour.
MIND beckons you to open your mind to MIND and your ears will follow. Then you will wonder why you put up with musical dreck for the past decade.

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 5
DC ROX Column #5

"I want to rock and roll all night and party everyday..."

Hey ya'll, how ya doing? Doing okay, I hope! I celebrated my twenty-eighth birthday and my plan was to go to a show every night in October, didn't quite make it but I got close, twenty shows rocked me. First off, I have two corrections to make; in my last column I wrote JAWBONE was opening the FIDELITY JONES/PARASITE show at the BBQ Iguana on September 29th, but their name is JAWBOX. They are a trio that plays fast and melodic songs in the vein of HUSKER DU and GANG OF FOUR. Check them out! Also at that show PARASITE played their farewell performance, they were great as they played the best of their repertoire: "Someone To Hold", "Dial 1-800-MADNESS", "Viper", and a really whack version of KISS's "Beth". I wish them the best of luck in getting new projects together. I left before FIDELITY JONES played; I find their music dark and unsettling. The other correction is that the WDC PERIOD/CHOW CHOW TIMES concert hotline is down for a few weeks until Gordon Gordon reorganizes. At The Bayou on October 1st, KING'S X cranked out their conceptual metal; they are one of the most powerful trios I have ever seen. October 2nd, I went down to Constitution Hall to check out LOVE & ROCKETS and THE PIXIES, trendy college music for dweebs, I kept seeing dancing skulls in their light show and they almost made me sick. The next night on the 3rd at Lisner Auditorium, STRANGE BOUTIQUE opened for PUBLIC IMAGE LTD., Strange Boutique did alright, but P.I.L.'s Johnny Lydon needs to get a life, see my review elsewhere in ROX. On October 7th, I went to the BBQ Iguana and checked out KRANK and THEE EVOLUTION REVOLUTION, young local guys cranking out Iggy and The Stooges-type garage grunge rock, loose and loud. KRANK who during one song in their set got all these guys to join them on stage banging assorted pieces of metals and bells, it was rock and roll at its glorious finest. THEE EVOLUTION REVOLUTION features former VILE CHERUBS guitarist Tim Green on drums, they are chaotic driving grunge that clears one's head; they play the DC Space every so often, check'em out. My favorite thrash metal band came to town, opening for BLUE OYSTER CULT at The Bayou on October 10th, POWERMAD from Seattle, go get their new album, imagine ANTHRAX with Motown bass lines, they were devastating. My favorite local show occurred on October 14th at DC Space, SADDLETRAMP and LOUDMOUTH, Saddletramp are quite entertaining, songs with hooks and melodies, not just screams and power chord progressions that a lot of local bands are pushing. The superstar show of the month was ELTON JOHN at the Cap Center on October 17th, no props, no costumes, just music, and man did Elton tear up them keyboards, it was a great stroll down memory lane.

On September 25th in Lafayette Park across from the White House, the organization MUSIC IN ACTION held a RIGHT TO ROCK DEFENSE RALLY to present their anti-censorship petition to the Justice Department. Members of LIVING COLOUR and RUN-DMC, along with JELLO BIAFRA of THE DEAD KENNEDYS fame were there offering their comments and critiques on the culture crackdown occurring in our country and what we should do about it. Contact M.I.A. at 705 President St., Brooklyn, NY, 11215. Get involved now!

There is a whole harvest of new local releases: FIRE PARTY's "New Orleans" lp on Dischord Records, an EDSEL 7"single, RAINCROW now have the second pressing of the "Between Showers" 7"ep in the stores, ALTER EGO (former members of RAVEN and KIK THE DOG) have released their debut album "Fear" on Starship Records, and the DC ROX compilation cassette featuring HR, OUTRAGE, SCYTHIAN, PRESS MOB, I.N.I.C.U., DOVE, and my band REVELATION and originally on Olive Tree Records is now available on vinyl from England's Wet Spot Records...JIMI SIN now have a new bassist, PAUL CLEARY, formerly of BLACK MARKET BABY and SHATTERBOX, catch them October 27th and 28th at the Paragon with TOMMY AND THE LOVE TRIBE and November 22nd at DC Space with TRASH'N'DRAG...AGENT 86 have a 7"single "Vietnam Generation" coming out on New Wave Records in France, they also have a new drummer Billy Ropple and they are playing November 2nd at the BBQ Iguana for a Positive Force benefit with DISSENT and LUNGFISH...POSITIVE FORCE held their annual "Alternatives Festival" at Dupont Circle on October 13th and 14th, lots of bands and speakers for good causes...BIG BANG THEORY are at CUE STUDIOS recording their second album as are SADDLETRAMP who are recording a three-song ep...two new bands to check out are NEVEDA BEACH FRONT, their demo is available at the Record Convergence in McLean, Virginia, and KILL CITY which features local fashion plate DANNY BIONDO on vocals, One-Eye Bruce on bass and Mark on guitar, both formerly of JIMI SIN and PUREVIL, and Kenny Craun formerly of BEEFEATER on drums...for you hardcore kids, there is the FALL BRAWL at W.U.S.T. Hall on November 4th, it starts at 2:30 pm and features ten bands including TOKEN ENTRY, REST IN PIECES, and MAD DOG...Well, I'm off to the CMJ MUSIC MARATHON to have fun in the Big Apple, until next time...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...I know what I like, I got to rock and roll tonight, turn it up, turn it up, turn it up louder than hell..."

9:30 Club on F Street, NW - Washington, DC

The buzz hit the streets last May that Mr. Diggle and Mr. Shelley were on speaking terms again, eight years after their split over irreconcilable musical differences. Some love affairs just don't last, do they! I remember the first time I heard "I Believe", it was like - who is this, where can I get it, the song of my life, one million times better than Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever". I watched the ads in all the 'zines until that day I saw...THE BUZZCOCKS - TWO NIGHTS - 9:30 CLUB. Wishes do come true and I was wishing hard. So like a lot of times lately, I ain't no Mr. Moneybags, so I barter, friends help friends, and so one of my friends at the club put me on their guest list and so I stroll up to the ticket window and state - "I'm either on so'n'so's or so'n'so's list". Being that I was giddy with BUZZCOCKS-mania, I asked if I had a plus one and this doorman, who evidently had a traumatic childhood or something, says ever so snidely, "You're on The Buzzcocks' list and Danny Biondo is your guest." I was puzzled, was that a veiled homophobic remark, who is this cretin in a BUTTHOLE SURFERS t-shirt? I stumbled away confused, what did I ever do to him? I went on in and it was an oven. Does Seth have something against ventilation? I was manic by now, too many questions and weird thoughts, and weird crowd, very diverse, and I hardly knew anybody. I felt like a Buzzcocks song. Locals SHUDDER TO THINK was onstage, they are tight, chunky and funky, but the singer needs to get a new voice. I stood around and waited and waited, there were way too many people in the club, and I couldn't even get to the bar to get a drink. It kept getting hotter and hotter, and finally THE BUZZCOCKS took the stage, said hello, and started playing..."What Do I Get", "Orgasm Addict", "Have You Ever Fallen In Love", "Oh Shit", "I Believe", "Autonomy", "Noise Annoys", and "Harmony In My Head". They were tight and fresh, just like it still was 1979. Time heals all wounds so they say, because Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley, and the rest of the band for that matter, were at ease and smiling, tossing off blazing power chords, thumpa thumpa bass lines, and pulsing tribal drums. Pete's endearing nasal whine of a voice lamented the follies and glories of life with his insightful and incisive lyrics. It was one of those gigs where one can transcend the environment and totally trance out on the beat of the music. Floating and flying, head swimming in the rhythms, I forgot I was sweating to death in a sea of people. It was pure beauty. I was glad I was there, their performance made my decade.

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 6
DC ROX Column #6

"...Keyed up for action and hot for the game. The coming attraction, the drop of a name..."

Ack! Ack! I can feel that winter chill coming in my bones, but lots of hot shows going on to keep me warm. The toast of the West Coast, MARY'S DANISH, played at the 9:30 Club on November 3rd, two female lead singers backed by a sort of LYNYRD SKYNYRD meets THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, wonderful vocals and lyrics and a tight band made it an enjoyable experience. I hope they make it back to the East Coast soon. DEBORAH HARRY strolled into DC for a two-night stint at The Bayou on November 8th and 9th. She was devastating, her band was hot, particularly the drummer who breathed new life into some of the BLONDIE numbers. Guitarist Chris Stein missed a few notes though, and you could see Deborah visibly wince. They played lots of BLONDIE songs: "Heart Of Glass", "The Tide Is High", "One Way Or Another", "Rapture", plus most of the songs from the "Def, Dumb, And Blonde" album, but nothing off of the "Rockbird" album though, and the mega-surprise of the night, a wonderful cover of Lou Reed's "Waiting On The Man". It was better than any of the BLONDIE shows that I saw since I saw them at CBGB'S in New York City in the late seventies. I wish I could say the same about the opening band, EAST IS EAST, a totally lame derivative band playing songs in the mold of THE CURE and BAUHAUS but without a spark of originality. This is too bad because the singer has a nice voice and the keyboardist played beautifully. The best show of the month was the November 12th EURYTHMICS' show at Constitution Hall. It was scintillating, glorious, soul-felt, and beautiful. The two of them were backed by a powerful band featuring Washington, DC's own Joniece Jamison on backing vocals and a solo lead on "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves". The wonderful thing about the show was that instead of having the full band backing them up on some of their bigger hits, Dave Stewart just played electric acoustic guitar and Annie Lennox sang, it gave new depth and meaning to their songs. The reunion show of the month was THE BUZZCOCKS at the 9:30 Club on November 14th, two and an half hours of pulsing power pop with potent lyrics. Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle still can rock. Locals SHUDDER TO THINK opened with their brand of hard pop, good grooves but they need a better singer. I just wish the 9:30 had a ventilation system because the heat was stifling, plus one of the doormen needs to learn some manners. My favorite local show was PARTY AKIMBO at the Grog & Tankard in Georgetown. This band features John White and Rob Gould both formerly of ANIMAL LOGIC, Vernon Hawkins formerly of SEX ON TV, and John Hage who used to be in NEW POTATOE CABOOSE. They remind me of THE TALKING HEADS a little bit, but they are quite original and pump up the serious jams. They are currently recording at INNER EAR STUDIO; I can't wait to hear their tape. EGYPT was also on the bill, they call their sound "power funk", more next month.

Jamie Holiday and Mike Crosson from SADDLETRAMP, their manager Rocky LaLiberte, and I tooled up to Baltimore to catch JIMI SIN who were playing in a Battle of The Bands at The Rage. The first band was GENOCIDE, who played a heavily Metallica-influenced rock, they were decent musicians but they need to develop their own groove. Next up was WIZE KRAK, heinous Poison/Enuff Z'nuff noise fluff, they played cover upon cover and made me ill, and then they WON!!! Which is my bitch, JIMI SIN rocked out playing all originals, but since it was late and a weeknight, most of the people left the club, and I guess because the club was most crowded during WIZE KRAK's set - they won. That seems really bogus to me, QUANTITY OVER QUALITY SUCKS.

Featured this time around is TOP RECORDS, which was founded in 1986 by musicians and friends W. Van Hall, Eric Brace, Ronnie Newmeyer, and Brian McQuire to fill in the gap in the DC scene and release more pop-oriented music. TOP started out as a co-op, but due to the transient nature of bands, they became incorporated and became a 'real' business. So far there have been nine releases; four 12"eps (FRONTIER THEORY's "Atlantic" and "No Waltz In The Meadow", B-TIME's "Taking Trains", and NOT EVEN's "Pants Sale"), THE YOUNG CAUCASIANS' "The Shroud Of Elvis" full-length album, cd/cassette only release "Everything Goes" by THE NEW KEYS, and three available in lp/cassette/cd, "Building 27" by SLEEP OF REASON, THE WOLVES debut album, and their latest release "Flop" by CARNIVAL OF SOULS. They are carried by most national distributors and Semaphore in Europe; they are also getting good reviews of their releases in national magazines. For a catalogue, write: TOP RECORDS, P.O. BOX 6332, WASH., DC, 20015.

First off, on a sad note, local drummer GREG MILLER died on November 14th, he drummed for NO TREND, REVELATION, PUREVIL, and I.N.I.C.U.. RIP Jim Beam, I'll miss you...PAUL CLEARY has joined JIMI SIN on bass...THE WOLVES and LUNGFISH have both broken up...TRASH'N'DRAG have changed their name to SOUL GYPSY...LOUDMOUTH's latest demo got a good review in UK metal mag METAL FORCES, catch them at The Chamber on November 23rd...STRANGE BOUTIQUE have a awesome new demo and are playing at an AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL benefit at Towson State College on December 3rd...two bands to check out are: THE PSYCO GIRLS are one of them strange and wild bands that come along once in a blue moon, guitarist STEVE METZ wrote songs for THE CYCLE SLUTS FROM HELL, a demo is imminent, and last but not least, WICKED SYMPHONY, they have a great demo "The First Movement" which has the way cool song "Cheap Imitation", old school punk with powerful lyrics, check'em out...until next time...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...You don't know what you're missing now. Any little song that you know, everything that's small, has to grow...!"

TRUE TRASH #8 - W.D.C. Period #19
HEY FUCKFACE Issue - Winter 1989/1990

I'm back! I'm back with the hardcore whack attack. I have been in my cage much too long, being a proper journalist for other publications requires I keep my sharp tongue on a short leash. So now it is time to rage. The WDC PERIOD is back and I am so glad because I was ready to crack. So let's get the show on the road.

Lately I have been knowing a lot of dead people, and I can only wish it was of natural causes. I have been watching beautiful, intense, and creative people ruin, destroy, and end their lives all for a rush and a ringing in their ears. Why are they doing this shit, just why the fuck are they doing it? Why are they hitting the pipe or sticking needles in their arms? WHY? I know some of you are saying to yourselves, "What a fucking hypocrite!" You sold drugs, you tripped your brains out, and you smoked tons of pot. So who are you to talk? I say FUCK YOU - I quit and survived and I know what I am talking about, the shit is fucked up. Besides I never knew anyone to OD on pot. Have you ever seen a crack addict on their hands and knees picking through the crumbs on the floor looking for the last piece of rock that they think they might have dropped. It's fucking pathetic. Have you ever seen a junkie on the nod or almost OD-ing and turning blue, eyes rolling, tongue swallowing, and twitching. As my granny would say, it's enough to make a preacher cuss. And worse yet, ever seen someone when the "jones" kick in, a scary sight. So why, why do some of you still do the shit, can any of you tell me fucking why? I can point out people, but I’m sure you know who you are, and I hear people at the 'space' and the 'dirty thirty' talk about their favorite junkie. They're taking bets on when some of you are going to OD and die. It's fucking sick. If you have a friend who is a junkie, and if you are really a friend, help them, take them off the street, tie them down, it works, and in the end they will THANK YOU. I have a friend we did this for, and she is clean and alive and glad we did it. So fuck off and get a life.

Just what is it about Baltimore? I got lots of friends moving there lately and bragging about how cheap it is to live in Baltimore. I have been going clubbing there a lot also, but there is such a strange vibe, it's not a bad vibe just an odd one. That is what must explain EDGAR ALLAN POE, FRANK ZAPPA, JOHN WATERS, and DIVINE, but it doesn't explain the women who work at HAMMERJACKS. If anyone knows, please write and tell me just what it is about Baltimore.

My buddy and I trekked out to MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION this past summer to check out the so-called "MONSTERS OF ALTERNATIVE ROCK" show with THE SUGARCUBES, P.I.L., and NEW ORDER. We had after-show passes, so we watched the show and then when it was over, we waited to be let backstage, where the bands in all their generosity provided us with Dr. Pepper and house music that was booming out of a 'ghetto blaster' that was chained to a fence. Several members of P.I.L. appeared and walked around the "New Order House Party" as it was billed, but sadly everybody ignored them and so they got mad and returned to their tour bus. Mr. Lydon was nowhere to be seen. New Order's Gillian Gilbert and Peter Hooks mingled and chatted with people until this horrible drunk British boy appeared; earlier during the show that stupid boy was sitting two rows in front of us driving everyone around him mad with his drunkenness and babbling about he went to school with Gillian in England, he began harassing Gillian and trying to get her to sing their school song and she was horrified. So in a moment of genius, since I was wearing my ROX Magazine press pass I went over to Gillian and told her that it was time to go do our interview and I used my eyes to communicate to her that I was trying to rescue her and to go with it. We walked to their tour bus away from the stupid Brit boy, and she asked if I was really interviewing her and I told her no and that the stupid drunk had been in front of me during the show and totally got on my nerves. We laughed and she gave me a hug and thanked me and best of all, she asked if I wanted some beer, I said hell yes and she gave me a six-pack of Coors, and so I walked back to my friend with the only beer at the party. We sat down at a picnic table watching parasites posing as people and chugged our beers as we overheard this conversation in which this one wench told her friend, "Well I slept with the bass player, not this tour, but last tour, he was such a good lay.” I want to know who pissed on the soul of rock and roll.

Who is the person(s) responsible for the BOYCOTT SETH stickers (*Seth Hurwitz of 9:30/IMP fame) that have appeared around town? I want to shake their hand(s). When is someone going after JAMES TURNER and the promoter asshole of assholes - KIM FOWLEY?

Why does going to the CMJ MUSIC MARATHON make me wish I would turn into a demented and deranged psychotic and brutally bludgeon to death all rock musicians? Why do all my childhood rock idols turn out to be trifling twits? Why was GEORGE CLINTON so high on cocaine and making a complete mockery of himself and his music during his Keynote speech? Sometimes I want to quit the business and never listen to another piece of music again.

I am either getting old or jaded; I never seem to like any new bands. I was missing going down to the SPACE II ARCADE, THE LANSBURGH BUILDING, MADAM'S ORGAN, THE HARD ART, ONE FLIGHT UP, and THE WILSON CENTER when the wild bands played. Sometimes I wish I could go see these bands play just once more - THE FAITH, OUTRAGE (I will never forget when they blew KURTIS BLOW away at the 9:30 and everybody left right before Kurtis' second set), THE STATIC DISRUPTORS, RED C (rock in peace Toni Young), SPORT TURNED SPECTACLE (anyone know where I can get a tape), YOUTH BRIGADE, TINY DESK UNIT, THE OBSESSED, MICHAEL ENKRUMAH AND THE ISRAELITES, RITES OF SPRING, PRESS MOB, and I really miss 9353. Oh well, time to wake up.

What's with all this hate trippin' that has been clogging up peoples' mind lately, particularly in the music(k) biz. This hype about the GUNS'N'ROSES song "One In A Million" is enough to make me wish I was deaf. But recently in LA at the ROLLING STONES/LIVING COLOUR/GUNS'N'ROSES show, Living Colour's VERNON REID hit the nail on the head when from the stage, he told MR. AXL ROSE - "If you don't have anything against blacks, don't call them niggers, and if you don't have anything against gays, don't call them faggots!" Yo Vernon, WORD, keep rocking bro! Did anyone read THE BAD BRAINS article in the November THRASHER magazine? In reference to his sexist and homophobic lyrics, HR said, "Because we're right. They accuse us, but we're not wrong", GET A FUCKING GRIP. Practice what you preach, JAH LOVE my ass.

I am now accepting nominations for the 1989 JIMIJAMMIES. Send your votes for those who have done something worthwhile for the scene or those who you feel have done nothing but drag the scene down. Winners will be revealed next column.

In 200 words or less, write and tell me who the most insidiously over-rated local band is? The one you would most like to cut their fingers off and hole-punch their tongues so they will shut the fuck up. Winner gets tape of choice.

THE WARHOL DIARIES (life behind the masks)
APARTMENT ZERO (a movie that bleeds life)
POWERMAD - ABSOLUTE POWER album (thrash with soul)
RAGING SLAB - Debut album (art as a hammer)
FUNKADELIC - Import Re-issues (the real funk, pure and uncut)
NYC SCUM ROCK Compilation on ROIR Tapes (real life in the underground)
KITCHENS OF DISTINCTION - LOVE IS HELL album (soundtrack to my life)
SADDLETRAMP live on stage (DC's real rock band)
ROMANOVSKY AND PHILLIPS live on stage (those who know - KNOW)

I'm signing off - so get back jack - I ain't whack - I don't use needles - and I don't smoke crack - I like to rock - I like to shock - if you're a sucker - I'm gonna mock - so get a grip - and get a life - and get off the motherfucking pipe!!! - MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 7
THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS - "Re-Inventing The Magic"

Each decade seems to have a handful of groups or musicians whose sound defines that particular time period. The fifties had Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, the sixties had The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix, and the seventies had David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and The Velvet Underground. As the world, particularly the music world, looks back at the previous decade, which will we decide stood out enough to change the beat we danced to in the eighties. Bands like The Sex Pistols. R.E.M., U2, and Joy Division come to mind, but the band that I feel has left the greatest impression on the direction music will take in the nineties is The Psychedelic Furs. Their first two albums, "The Psychedelic Furs"(1980) and "Talk, Talk, Talk" (1981), kicked off the decade with an anarchic sonic barrage of wailing, throbbing guitars, a pulsing industrial rhythm section, and Richard Butler's rasping vocals lamenting the endless cycle of beauty and sorrow in life. Songs like "Love My Way", "Forever Now", and "President Gas" captured moments of life in all of its raw imperfection. With the release of "Midnight To Midnight" (1986) their career reached a high point in its commercial success with a hit single "Heartbreak Beat", but it seem to be at an artistic low. The production seemed to be rushed and the lyrical content gave the listener a feeling that Richard Butler was lost and unsure what to say. With the recent release of "Book Of Days", things have changed, and in the words of John Ashton, "Everything is back on track." The new album re-unites the original drummer Vince Ely with the present line-up of: Knox Chandler on rhythm guitar, synthesizer player Joe McGinty, and the heart and soul of the Furs, guitarist John Ashton and vocalist Richard Butler. The new album, although it is not as stunning as the first two albums, shows that they have regained their sense of being a band. The previous two records, "Mirror Moves" and "Midnight To Midnight", seem to be producers' vehicles that were being formulated to achieve hit singles and make money for the record company. According to John Ashton, "We lost track of what we originally set out to do. I felt we lost our direction with the "Midnight To Midnight" album. It was hell to the band. It was so different from the way we were used to working, using a drum machine and such. You know, trying to write hit singles. I felt I had to redress the balance and put the fun back in it." "Book Of Dreams" jumps out of the speakers with a cascade of rhythms, odd seemingly offbeat guitar howls and wails, and throbbing almost tribal drums. Richard Butler lyrics have found their edge again, "The air here tastes like poison, the traffic moves on broken roads, the river runs like silver..." A taste of reality that is sometimes bitter to swallow, which is what I have always loved about The Psychedelic Furs. I find this album is great to listen to in the dark at night; it gives me an almost magical feeling of just floating in heaven on a moonbeam. John Ashton once likened The Furs to The Grateful Dead, stating, "There's nothing very English about us except for Richard's vocals - the rest from anywhere. Our influences were American psychedelia...the concept of being psychedelic, I've always been attracted to that and it's reflected in my use of effects." It is the heavily effected guitars and the lyrics that make The Psychedelic Furs unique among their peers. Another thing different about this album was that it was done quick, it was recorded in only ten weeks. The band, as John put it, "...just went in the studio and bashed it out. You get a feel for the music this way, unlike working with a drum machine and a producer trying to tell you what to do. In the early days I was into the riff, you know the sound of it, and then building it up. I re-discovered this; I was willing to try new ideas to find another aspect to the sound. Looking and listening to it in the second and third dimension." On the lyrics, he commented that back during the recording of "Midnight To Midnight", "Rich, he had nothing to say. Because great lyrics come from personal experience, and he's had time to go experience life." The Psychedelic Furs are now getting some more personal experience on the road in America. The album "Book Of Days" has climbed to the Number Two position on the CMJ charts and it is getting plenty of airplay. This tour keeps them busy until January and then they are off on a six-week tour of Europe in February and March. If their recent Washington, DC show on December 30th at GWU's Smith Center with The Church was any indication, it is well worth your effort to go see them play live. They were stunning; the set was beautifully executed, the lights swirled in a mind-boggling wash of color as my aural receptors melted. Ashton is highly under-rated as a guitarist, he created sounds I rarely hear on the guitar - yelps, wails, and squeals weaved themselves through a whirlpool of pulsing rhythms. A cello was used most inventively on two songs; its sound complimented the guitars most wildly. They were truly psychedelic and mind-altering. I watched and listened in a daze. John Ashton was right; they have re-invented the magic that is The Psychedelic Furs.

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 7
DC ROX Column #7

"...And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune. Then the piper will lead us to reason. And a new day will dawn for those who stand long..."

It is the beginning of a new year and a new decade and I ask myself what I accomplished. My hair grew a lot, I suppose. It is freezing outside but my brain is col' getting' busy wit' the magic lyrics swimmin' in my mind. I need a guitar man or woman to play somethin' funky with a metal spine (P.S. - Slightly insane and substance-free individuals preferred), so call me now...So anyways, I was get'n'live slippin'n'slidin' on the streets and the freaks were getting' political without all of them getting' cynical. I caught a couple of shows around town but not as many as usual. I worked the door at "The Party For All Reasons" at the Citadel Soundstage in Adams-Morgan on November 18th, Bill Kitchen of Cellar Door Productions hosted this affair that was a benefit for WAMA (Washington Area Music Association) and raised $10,000 for them. It was the serious throwdown featuring SECOND STEP from NYC and KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS. Second Step play the funky reggae ska rock groove and they will be playing at The Bayou on December 23rd with THE GOOD GUYS from Richmond, VA, and DC's own EGYPT. All the local bigwigs in the music business were there plus a few stars like DEBBIE HARRY. It was fun and they are already planning next year's event. On November 25th I checked out BOOMSLANG at the Grog & Tankard, they play danceable new wavish guitar rock in the vein of R.E.M. and The Psychedelic Furs. Their set was a little cover heavy, but their originals were strong and stood on their own. The original song "Red Hot Blues In Cincinnati" was killer, I hope they record and release it soon. It could become a classic. Go check them out! On December 7th the DC Space hosted SADDLETRAMP and this young band from Richmond, VA called AVAIL. They rocked, combining the best elements of MINOR THREAT, 7 SECONDS, and THE BAD BRAINS and merging them into their own distinct sound. AVAIL had me bopping all around the club. Young, tight, energetic, and great lyrics, this band could become big if they keep it together. SADDLETRAMP put forth their best, particularly during "Pollyanna" which is an awesome song. Go see them soon.

I hope I'm not opening my mouth too loudly but it has been brought to my attention that some local musicians are acting very stupid. Certain musicians would tell members of another band how they really liked them and their music and then they would turn around and slag them to anyone within earshot, and worst of all, they were tearing down other bands' gig posters, which is really and truly bogus. So hey guys - GROW UP and learn how to play guitar better, and practice even more, jealousy will get you nowhere. Actions like these just don't cut it and it will come back to haunt you, besides bringing the whole scene down.

There is a lot of great undiscovered music out there in the wilds of Washington, DC, so go out and experiment and treat your ears to some fantastic sounds.
STRANGE BOUTIQUE has a wonderful new four-song demo. The stand-out cut is "Drown", a swirling wash of gothic sound waves that immerses one's ears in aural heaven. I cannot believe this band has not been signed yet. Catch them at the 9:30 Club on January 19th with ULYSSES and on January 22nd at the Cat Club in New York City, they have a party bus making the trip to NYC so call for more information.
JIMI SIN finally have a demo tape, three smoking songs to jolt the neighbors wide awake with late at night. Punchy production really catches the pounding rhythm section of bassist Paul Cleary and drummer Trigger. The guitars saw back and forth and Scurvey (Mike Darn) lets loose on the microphone. The song "No Sense Cryin'" really rocks on this tape. Dig it and play loud!
PARTY AKIMBO have a new demo tape hot off the press, it is a preview of their upcoming cd album release. They play funky metallic music that reminds one a lot of The Bad Brains. Very tight and crisp production; and the stand-out track is "Dogs Of War".
BROKEN PROMISE has produced my favorite demo of the month. It is fluid and harmonious with solid production, and has great lyrics and melodic vocals. One can bop around and sing-a-long to this alternative music with an edge. Hope they are playing live soon.
Lastly, THE VISIGOTHS sent me a four-song demo tape that is a preview of their forthcoming ep "Arachnid Man". It was eerie, brooding, dark, guitars dripping in sonic murk, and strange vague vocals and lyrics. One song "Foghorn" sticks in my head, but it has that satanic tinge. More on them later after I see them play live.

DISCHORD RECORDS has a string of new releases; 3 - "Dark Days Coming", SOULSIDE - "Hot Bodi-Gram", FIDELITY JONES - "Piltdown Lad", and the first two FUGAZI 12" eps on one cd, plus a new FUGAZI album is imminent...SCREAM are returning to the stage January 4th at the 9:30 Club...EPIC RECORDS European subsidiary NOISE is releasing "Washington Underground" and it features several local bands...ERIC LEGEDAMEO formerly of DOVE has a new band called LIQUID BOY, they have been recording at Cue Studios...ZACK FULLER formerly of SCYTHIAN also has a new band, WAR ON FLOWERS...Wake up! MIND featuring multi-instrumentalist MARK SHELLHAAS and vocalist KELLY JAMISON is coming to your ears soon...finally the new WDC PERIOD is out in all the right keep warm...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...Because they say 2000 Zero Zero Party over! Oops, out of time so tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999...!"

THE BAYOU in Georgetown - Washington, DC
ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 8

When I was a kid in high school in the seventies, I lived for the rock concerts that passed through the area. There was at least three or four shows a month at the Cap Centre, wasn't many all-ages shows back then though. I lived and died for rock and roll: KISS, BLACK SABBATH, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, BAD COMPANY, BLUE OYSTER CULT, NAZARETH, and AC/DC. They made my life real; until of course, I saw THE SEX PISTOLS in Hit Parader magazine and then I went and bought the "God Save The Queen" 7"single at Rainbow Tree in the Manaport Shopping Center in Manassas, Virginia. But that is a different story for another time. I got that old feeling for this show. I arrived at the joint; huge tour buses out front of the club, and kids everywhere looking for tickets. I ran into Cougin of the recently disbanded INDESTROY, he's looking for some players by the way. I saw kids with that know...rock and roll as "raison d'etre"; but they were bumming because you had to be eighteen to get in the venue. I went on in and found the ROX posse and a good angle to watch the bands perform; sight lines always suck at The Bayou. FAITH NO MORE was onstage throwing down that funkified metal thrash. I like the new singer Mike Patton a lot more than the old singer Chuck Moseley. I only caught the last two songs of their set, but they sounded great. They did a raved-up version of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs". I really like their guitar sound; it was new but old school-style at the same time. An article in a recent Billboard referred to these bands as "Nu-Metal", but how many times have we heard that before. SOUNDGARDEN lit up the stage with an intense physical aura - BIG drums, throbbing bass, thundering guitar, and howling vocals. It had that LED ZEP feel, but there was freshness to their sound. The bassist Hiro Yamamoto kept the room full of booming and zooming as Matt Cameron kept time with freight train drums. Chris Cornell howled and screamed and flayed his guitar on some songs. "Power Trip", "Flower", "Get On The Snake", "Hands All Over", "Loud Love", "Big Dumb Love"..."...c'mon touch it...I want to fuck you!" Kim Thayil just absolutely had his guitar smoking with riffs, chords, notes, arpeggios, and hammer-ons. Sometimes just one guitar, sometimes two, screeching and squawking, and my head was spinning as I got carried away in a tidal wave of sound. I loved it! When are they playing again in DC? The stage crew was up on it and there wasn't much waiting around time between bands, just how I like it. I was going to see VOIVOD a while back, but guitarist PIGGY had health problems and the tour was canceled, so I was really looking forward to this gig. Their new album "Nothingface" rules my stereo every morning. A billow of smoke, hushed lights, AWAY starts pounding the skins, BLACKY kick starts the bass, PIGGY fires up his double-neck Liberatore guitar, and SNAKE lets the words flow. Powerhouse thrash, strange jazz-like drumming, nightmare guitar riffs screaming like wind, agonized voice screams..."May I ?...May I ?...Valve plugs pump to erase rictus from my face...lapse of time...synchro freeze...loop rewind...forward speed..." They played songs from every one of their albums, hard and heavy, I was enthralled. VOIVOD really kicked it out on their fantastic version of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine" that utterly blew my mind with their re-working of the song. I am looking forward to their next show at Hammerjacks later this week, if you get a chance, you should also go see them.

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 8
DC ROX Column #8

"...From the cradle to the grave; endless rockin'. Feel it's your duty; to be outrageous and shockin'. The scorn of being normal; completely uniformal. If you don't think for'll be as bad as before..."

I woke up the other day with spring fever and this stupid Milli Vanilli song stuck in my head. I thought I was going to lose the little bit of my mind that I have left. There is actually a word for this phenomenon of having a song repeatedly stuck in one's head - PERSEVERATION. I had to crank Voivod's "Nothingface" to clear my head and put things in perspective. Hey, it was time to rock and roll.
On December 28th, down at the lovely 9:30 Club, I caught a triple bill of 10XBIG, SADDLETRAMP, and THE NOW. 10XBIG were boring and reminded me much too much of Duran Duran. SADDLETRAMP rule, okay! 'Nuff said! THE NOW delivered an energetic blend of ska, rock, and reggae. This was vocalist Gene Hawkins' last gig with them; he is going to devote his full attention to his other band LUCY BROWN. Michael Bland has joined as their new singer, he makes his debut with the band on March 3rd at the 9:30 Club. If you like to skank to da riddim, this band deserves your attention.
January 4th found me at the 9:30 Club again for the long-awaited return of SCREAM. BUTTERGLOVE and OUTCROWD opened the show. I missed the first band, but OUTCROWD were quite enjoyable. They had that post-hardcore Boston sound, sort of like Moving Targets and The Volcano Suns (Thanx Jimi Darn). SCREAM took the stage wailing, hard, tight, and pounding out the big beat. They debuted a bunch of new songs that they recently recorded at Inner Ear Studio for a forthcoming demo. They had a Subpop Records feel to them, but they were SCREAM songs through and through. It was nice to see Skeeter Thompson back on stage with the band again, and he was throwing down the mean bass lines. Franz Stahl was attacking his guitar and frenzied riffs and chords flew everywhere. Pete Stahl was his usual impassioned self, spewing his insightful lyrics into the crowd's ears and even playing guitar on a few songs. Drummer Dave Grohl kept the beat chugging along. Kent Stax their old drummer got behind the traps for a heartfelt "Still Screaming". The set was dedicated to the recently deceased Greg Miller. It was a wonderful night. So someone sign them to your label now, they are what the world needs to hear.
On January 13th, I saw three up-and-coming bands at the BBQ Iguana. First up was CHAINSAW JAZZ, this band features drummer Paul Sears, bassist Mark Smoot, violinist Ed Maguire, and Mark Gilbert on saxophone and clarinet. They have some incredible MUSICAL credits amongst themselves: The Muffins, Fred Firth, Magma, Gladys Knight, The Four Tops, Teresa Gunn Group, Kik The Dog, Jaco Pastorius, and more. They played this intense fusion, sort of like the Mahavishnu Orchestra on speed and it kept making me laugh. BROKEN PROMISE played next, this band consists of John Hubbell on drums, Scott Watson on bass on vocals, and Bill McClench on guitar and vocals. They have been together for two years and describe their music as "rock and roll". They reminded me of The Jam a bit and they did a great cover of Pere Ubu's "Final Solution". Driving music with great melodies and Bill has an entertaining voice and some cool lyrics. Go see them soon, because you will like them. THE STEVE MCWILLIAMS GROUP was last, but they cranked out some rocking tunes, a little cover heavy, but they executed them well. They did a Led Zeppelin cover better than some of the lame metal bands I have been enduring as of late.

First up is "Purple Nurple" from ESMIRELDA, the diva of the toilet bowl throne, it is a searing, almost obscene social commentary of the DC street life accompanied by her almost monotonous acoustic guitar. This is a collection of songs that is definitely not for the closed-minded. The best tracks are "Harvey Was An AIDS Victim" and "Censor Me", they really make you think. Catch her live at the DC Space on February 9th with MONKEYSPANK from Baltimore, and it is an AIDS Benefit for The Whitman-Walker Clinic.
Next into the deck is the ALICE TO THE MOON tape. It was recorded in Los Angeles and the vocalist says she came to the DC area to escape the LA "Pay To Play" syndrome. It is bright, melodic, hard-edged pop metal and singer Tyler Wingreen has an off-beat and intriguing voice. I hope she gets a polished band together to carry off what she has on this tape
Lastly, THE PSYCO GIRLS jolted out of my speakers with an off-the-wall mix of The Cramps shock-a-billy meet The Talking Heads groove. Strange obtuse lyrics delivered in a seemingly tongue-in-cheek manner, but they need to polish their delivery. Check them out February 16th at the DC Space.

Congratulations are in order for STRANGE BOUTIQUE's bassist Steve Willette who recently married...JIM SIN are back from a winter chill-out and are playing the DC Space on February 3rd with Richmond's MUDD HELMUT...DAIT BAIT are brightening the BBQ Iguana on January 26th, they have a 7"single "I'm Outta Here" in local record stores...a hot free show on January 27th at Food For Thought with THE EXCUSES and JESSE X, real folk and roll...A new band to check out is SCOOTERTRASH, they consists of Broken Blanc on guitar, Scrooge on bass, Suicide Murray on vocals, and former UNION STRIKE and PARASITE drummer Tommy "Rodd" Buttinelli, they call it "rock'n'roll with a rough edge", catch them live on March 5th at the DC Space with THE FLYING SHARDS...My old guitarist Kenny Dread was in town recently, we played together in REVELATION and he used to be in OUTRAGE and HR, he is now living in France playing in a pop band of American expatriates called THE IMMIGRANTS, he says Europe is a wild place to be a musician...Coming next month, the benefit for the "Music To Be Killed By" compilation on Neon Reptile Records, FUGAZI, JAWBOX, AVAIL, and more...Think! Think! It's not illegal yet...

"...just when it hit me, someone turned around and said, play that funky music white that funky music right, lay down the boogie and play that funky music all night...!"

ROX MAGAZINE Vol. 2, No. 9
DC ROX Column #9

"...Have you ever been down in the ghetto? Have you ever felt the cold wind blow? If you don't know what I mean, won't you stand up and scream! Cause there's things goin' on, that you don't know..."

Sometimes I really hate winter, just too much hassle, you know. Coats, hats, gloves, going to clubs and dealing with coat checks, sweating whilst dancing to the groovin' good band or the funky fresh hip-house beat and then going outside and maybe catch a cold or worse, I hate it! On a sad note, two people who brightened their respective worlds, died. Guitarist Allen Collins of LYNYRD SKYNYRD died of pneumonia in early February; he was only thirty-seven years old - Fly on Freebird. Mark Holmes, graphic artist, photographer, filmmaker, and musician, died of AIDS-related cancer; he was thirty-four years old. He, Dody DiSanto, Jon Bowers, and Bill Worrell created what is now the 9:30 Club. There will be a tribute on March 18th at the 9:30 Club and at various "Artists Against AIDS" events that are being held around town that week. Lately I know too many people dying - WAKE UP PEOPLE - take care of yourselves!
I only caught a couple of shows this past month. On January 22nd, STRANGE BOUTIQUE and a whole posse of really cool party maniacs and I took a bus up to the Cat Club in NYC for a new music showcase. They delivered a short but polished set of shimmery powerhouse gothic dance rock that they opened and closed with Led Zeppelin covers. Hey Fred Freak, I thought you hated LED ZEPPELIN!!! On March 13th they are heading out on a seven-city tour through the South and end up in Austin, Texas for the "South By Southwest" music conference. You catch them on March 9th at the 9:30 Club with CARNIVAL OF SOULS. Best of luck, guys!
On January 27th at the St. Augustine Church Hall, FUGAZI, FIDELITY JONES, and LUCY BROWN pumped up the jams to a sold-out crowd. It was an Anti-Apartheid benefit sponsored by Positive Force DC, plus there were tables with some information pamphlets and flyers on various important social issues. LUCY BROWN plays that Bad Brains/Red Hot Chili Peppers kind of funky rock that is trendy right now and they covered Black Sabbath's "Sweetleaf". Gene Hawkins has an incredible voice. I heard they were moving to NYC, so go check them out. I don't know what it is about them, but FIDELITY JONES' music just grates on my nerves, but the singer has some cool lyrics though. FUGAZI let loose with some tight and punchy, emotion-packed music. The crowd just loved them, they have a new three-song 7"single and a full-length album called "Repeater". FUGAZI are a mélange of rock, rap, and reggae with hard'n'heavy lyrics, and they are fun to dance to. Definitely check out this band.
And then on January 30th I went to The Bayou and got tortured. Actually THE FRONT, who opened the show, played a decent set of hard-driving rock and roll. The singer seemed to be on a Jim Morrison trip but he had a effective voice. I liked them, particularly the song "Le Motion", it had a great groove. ENUFF Z'NUFF took the stage and began abusing some quite nice equipment. If you squinted your eyes they looked like POISON, and if you squinted your ears they sounded like a bad CHEAP TRICK cover band. My God, where did they find this band? The drummer didn't know rhythm and syncopation from the moon. I guess he was hired for his fancy drumstick twirling. All the songs sounded the same; the guitars were one big ringing in my ears, and the singer should go back to playing minor league baseball. Besides, his lipstick just did not compliment his facial skin tone; he should go for a more bluish color.
I went to the Grog & Tankard in Georgetown on February 7th and saw THE ALL MIGHTY SENATORS from Baltimore who played Grateful Dead-ish world beat funk. They had some really cool lyrics and fresh grooves, but the songs lacked structure. They had no real beginnings or endings, more like improvisational jams, but a few music theory lessons could fix that. Headlining was the FALSE FACE SOCIETY, they were an intriguing blend of Middle Eastern harmonies, world beat rhythms, and funk-inflected melodies. I felt like dancing and losing myself in their grooves. I got a live four-song demo tape that is pleasant to listen to, but sometimes the female lead vocal is not delicate enough for the music.
Lastly on February 18th I saw ERASURE at Bender Arena on the American University campus, it was another sold-out show with a crowd totally digging the band and their uplifting techno-pop delivered with heartfelt emotion. Multi-instrumentalist Vince Clarke, of Depeche Mode and Yaz(oo) fame, writes brilliant pop music for the masses. Vocalist Andy Bell has a great voice and his own unique campy style that had the crowd bugging. This is great music for getting rid of one's depression.

It's been a great month for new local music, and I received some stuff that just blew me away. At the top of the heap is the eleven-song tape from Richmond's AVAIL; tight, intense, and profound, lots of deep lyrics and sophisticated music from such young guys. The Killer Kuts are; "Regulation '89", "Take The Time", and "No Fixed Address". If you like hardcore, you need this tape; it is available at Smash in Georgetown.
Next up is PLATE with their eight-song tape "We're Name Is", hailing from Richmond, VA, they crank out intense, pulsing, multi-faceted music that reminded me a bit of The Butthole Surfers with more melodic guitars. The Killer Kuts are; "Hangedman's Daughter" and "Ahab Beckons". They are playing at the DC Space in March, so keep your eyes open for the date.
The next tape is by RASPUTIN, this band features Tony and Stephen Balthrop on vocals and guitar respectively, Jim Stewartson on bass, and Derrick Decker on drums. Pounding funky post-hardcore wall of sound with hard-hitting vocals that are in your face, and the Killer Kut "Singer In A Band" is my favorite song of the month. Favorite overall tape of the month is from GOLDEN SOUND AXIS, so see my review in Pinhead and Grump.

The CHOWCHOW TIMES Concert Hotline is back in effect at 202.332.3981...If you're playing in DC and you need a PA sound system and a sound-man, call GUSSOUND, he is the best...LOUDMOUTH are making a lot of noise around the East coast, they had a good gig at the Kitten Club in NYC, headlined at The Bayou and Hammerjacks, and they are recording again...SCOOTERTRASH have a new demo and are playing the DC Space on March 5th with THE FLYING SHARDS...Bored and want to do effective things to help improve the world, well call POSITIVE FORCE DC, they put on all-ages shows and stage benefits and demonstrations for various social causes...Next issue I'll have the big story on the "Music To Kill By" compilation, LIQUID BOY, the new UNITED MUTATIONS album, and a JIMI SIN show review...So Stay Fresh...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...And away they soared, climbing through the ivory vibrant cloud. Someone passed some bliss among the crowd. And we walked back to the road unchained..."

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 10
DC ROX Column #10

"... Away from the sellers, the papers said. Your crown was tight and heavy on your head. Still you danced and you sang - all night the telephone rang. Music kept on playing from your pen..."

I am not too fond of February and March; this time of the year gets me confused. I guess I am being impatient for it to stay warm. I hardly went to any shows, I am so sick of the bad sound at some clubs. Lately, a lot of bands that I have been seeing have been blasting their stage monitors so that it distorts the sound in the room, and it is most irritating. So hey, bands don't waste my or your audience's time and ears, I could be catching up on my sleep. And while I am at it, another thing that has been bothering me lately is the hateful attitudes that some members of our music community have been perpetrating. I am not naming anybody in particular, but everybody should take a good look at themselves and their actions and how they affect others. It is disturbing and disconcerting to be at a club and hear musicians; particularly those claiming that they are trying to make a positive social impact with their music, run off at the tongue about "this nigger, that faggot, and that stupid bitch needs to be raped." We have enough problems with the government trying label, rate, and ban our music, so why do we got to label and put down each other. So wake up, get a grip, and get a life! That also goes out to some writers who see fit to print lies and distorted half-truths. Well. I got that off my chest, so on with the show.
On February 23rd at the Wilson Center, MURDER INK, KILL CITY, LIQUID BOY, and LUCY BROWN had a gig but due to a "communication breakdown" there was no P.A. and a sound-man. This was a killer line-up and it should have been a hot gig, St. Chad from SADDLETRAMP rigged up an amp for vocals but the sound was still atrocious so I fled the premises before my eardrums exploded. I hope the promoter gets their act together because it was a great place for a gig.
On February 27th JIMI SIN and SADDLETRAMP played The Bayou in Georgetown. JIMI SIN delivered a smokin' hot, southern-tinged, double-barreled rock and roll assault. Scurvey (Mike Darn) is one of the funniest front men terrorizing audiences in the area. SADDLETRAMP rocked the house with some driving urban guitar bliss; they had a bunch of bodies up and shaking to the beat. My fellow writer Sammy Prestianni of Baltimore Rox fame, brought up some very good points in his last column about supporting the scene and going to a gig once a week. Do it and do it now, help stop MILLI VANILLI, support your local bands. I will be looking for YOU!
On the down side, I hooked up WICKED SYMPHONY from Baltimore with a gig opening for SADDLETRAMP on March 3rd at the DC Space and well... if someone gets you a gig, you better take the stage smokin'; out-of-tune guitars, off-key vocals, and an evident lack of rehearsal just do not cut it. I still like their tape though. The scariest gig award goes to JOHNNY COHEN’S LOVE MACHINE who played the WHFS Local Music Night hosted by Dave Issing at Max's On Broadway in Fell's Point in Baltimore on March 13th. Imagine a simple 4/4-rock beat fronted by a St. Elizabeth's Mental Hospital escapee with strange, quirky lyrics about girl fights, fishing, and food. He has a 7" single coming out soon on Vertical Records. Too strange for me, I must say. I promise to have a bunch of show reviews next month.

NEON REPTILE RECORDS is getting ready to release a nineteen-song compilation cassette/cd of local music called "Music To Kill By". It should be in the stores by June. Donald Kessing from RAINCROW and Phil Duarte from GUILT COMBO conceptualized the project in 1988. It starts off with GUILT COMBO who plays garage-y sounding rock and roll that reminds me of THE SMITHEREENS, and their best track is "Time To Kill". Next, RAINCROW play tight and intense, Velvet Underground-like head music that is deeply textured, flowing, and full of fantastic guitar work, of their tracks, "Icy Stairs" is a beauty of a song. JESSE X sings and plays acoustic guitar for two tracks, deep and insightful lyrics make her stand out, her song "Stained Glass Blues" is the diamond on this compilation. HOUSE features Alec Bourgeois and Eugene Bogan of MADHOUSE fame, they play hardcore-influenced noise that shudders and shakes as it drives along in a 4/4 beat. I wasn't particularly impressed by them and I found them somewhat generic. And finally LISA WALKER AND THE RUNNING DOGS are going to have four songs on this compilation but they were not on my advance copy.

Here's a quick rundown of a few demo tapes that got eartime... MINK RANCH - This tape features Donald Kessing on vocals, Bernie Wandel on bass, Randy Austin on guitar, and Dave Andler on drums. It is kind of jazzy folk music with quite humorous lyrics. Killer Kut is “I Spent My Life Savings (In A Cigarette Machine)"... LEGION - "The Cycle Begins" - This four-song tape is heavy, they describe themselves as "Rush meets Metallica". They are a trio featuring Michael Mohr on guitars and vocals, Mike Weddle on bass, and Rick Mason on drums. The songs are tight and well-constructed, the bass lines are fantastic and very jazzy, the guitar lines have nice fluidity, but the drumming was kind of mediocre. But it was a great tape none the less, the Killer Kuts are "Beast Within" and "Watchers" ... SLY BOOTS - "Da Bootsleg" ep - Hailing from York, PA, this five-piece band crank out generic hard rock that doesn't really stand out ... JIMI SIN - A new demo that rocks out a lot more than their last one. Jimi Sin and Johnny Rebel have an intriguing dual lead style on their guitars. The Killer Kut is "Pain" ... MIND - A demo that offers a change of pace from the crunch and grind of current music, it is gentle but hard with incisive lyrics. It features multi-instrumentalist MARK SHELLHAAS of BEEFEATER and PRO TEM fame, and the exquisite vocals of KELLY JAMISON. I highly recommend this tape.

The 5th Annual Music Business Forum is being held April 28th and 29th at the Vista International Hotel, if you want to make it big, then check it out...THE NOW are releasing a 12" single called "White House Man"... LOUDMOUTH are planning a bus trip to New York City for their Cat Club gig on April 16th, it will cost you $30, give them a call for details... The hot new band to go see is MURDER INK, they feature rock goddess JOYCE LACOVARA on vocals and mouth harp, TIM CLEETON with over twenty years experience on lead guitar, ERIC WALGREN formerly of SCYTHIAN and CANDY BAR on drums, Kevin from THE CHEAP DATES on rhythm guitar, and MARC HINTHER on bass. They are straight-up kickass rock and roll. Catch them on April 9th at The Company in Georgetown... Need a place to hang out, then go to The Company at 3263 M St., NW in Georgetown, it is THE rock and roll hang out... Coming up next month - UNITED MUTATIONS, CIRCUS MIND, and... SO GET LIVE ... MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...Do you remember when the music stood for something? Do you remember when the people cared? Do you remember the love they shared? Well, I do..."

9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC
ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 11

PRONG play music like their name sounds - a musical stab in your ears. PRONG consists of guitarist/vocalizer Tommy Victor, drummer Ted Parsons, and bassist Mike Kirkland. They just released a new album, "Beg To Differ", on Epic Records and so they played a gig at the 9:30 Club, opening for SCREAM, before they went to tour in Europe where they are considered gods. When they took the stage, I noticed that each of their t-shirts reflected their musical contribution to PRONG. Tommy had on a "CBGB'S" t-shirt, he is a sound-man there, and so I could hear a million guitar styles in his playing. It was like he sifted through everything that he heard at the club through his ears and made the best into his own unique style; chopping, slashing, electrifying riffs running up and down the fret board, and buzzing chunks of feedback flying everywhere. His growl of a voice screaming, "You've got the right to nothing. The right to nothingness..." Ted had on a "Bad Brains" t-shirt and his drumming style had Earl Hudson's patented "chop-chop-stop-chop-kick" signature down, but he added his own flourishes that made the beat his own. He used to play in THE SWANS and that probably led to his minimalistic bone-crush drumming style that has become PRONG's forte. Mike had on a shirt from the industrial/hardcore dance label "WaxTrax" out of Chicago. His bass playing had that ominous industrial-esque low-ended bass throb that had a danceable feel to it, but he made the bass attack your head and cause it to bang frenetically to the beat. Together PRONG created a seething, direct, and powerful live performance that challenged my ears to think and feel. They played most of the songs on "Beg To Differ" (Epic) and "Force-Fed" (In-Effect). I thoroughly enjoyed the show and I left feeling inflated with PRONG music pulsing throughout my body. P.S. SCREAM played a fantastic set but I only had to write about PRONG.

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 11
DC ROX Column #11

"...There were fifteen million fingers learning how to play. You could hear them fingers picking and this is what they had to say...Let there be light, let there be sound, let there be ROCK..."

People - what's up! Damn I wish this weather situation would get its act together and stop working my nerves. I am tiring of having all four seasons on a weekly basis. I went to a bunch of shows, several were more esoteric (i.e. arty-farty) and non-rock'n'roll than usual. My favorite rock'n'roll show was March 27th at the 9:30 Club with MARIANNE FAITHFULL and JO CONNER opening for her. Jo Conner was in local favorites VIGIL who have parted ways, but now he has his own project. It consists of Steve Berson of FALSE FACE SOCIETY on bass, Jeff Coulson on guitar, John Suchy who normally plays keyboards but for this gig he played the acoustic guitar, and Taso Katsos who is the drummer, but tonight was an acoustic set only. They played a beautiful set of emotional and soul-stirring songs, brand new ones and acoustic re-workings of VIGIL songs. They really shined on their local hit "Celiba Sea". Jo has a voice that really speaks to one's heart. I was enthralled. They are doing acoustic sets opening for ROBYN HITCHCOCK at The Birchmere on April 22nd and 23rd. The full band will be doing gigs around the area soon, so go see them. MARIANNE FAITHFULL took the almost barren stage like a diva descending from heaven. It was just her, a microphone, a stool, a music stand, a glass of water, a pack of cigarettes, and her longtime acoustic guitar player. My buddy Andi Mueller and I sat on the edge of the stage at her feet and drowned ourselves in her voice and words. She sang "Guilt", John Lennon's "Working Class Hero", "Ballad Of Lucy Jordan", and "Broken English", plus the most sensual "Sister Morphine". Her voice conveys a sense of timelessness as she bares her soul to the audience, all the scars of anguish, hate, love, and joy. I cannot fully describe what you missed, the basic set is being released on Island Records as "Blazing Away", and it should be on sale in stores now.
A band to look out for is RIO, I caught them at The Bayou on April 3rd. RIO is: Ricky Ballard on vocals and guitar, TJ Wolf on bass, Tom Shirk on guitar, and Erik Von Schramm on drums, plus Ruthi and Kathleen doing backing vocals. Not too heavy and not too soft, they consider themselves to be "demented neo-dance surf punk". I enjoyed their set particularly their raved-up version of THE RAMONE' "The KKK Took My Baby Away". May will find them recording and playing at The Paragon on May 4th.
The hottest set that I saw was at the DC Space on April 5th - RASPUTIN, and their demo does not fully convey the intensity of this band. The rhythm section of drummer Derrick Decker and bassist Jim Stewartson pounded out the big beat. Derrick is one funky drummer, and he left the stage exhausted and covered in sweat. Steven Balthrop appears to be a quiet guy, but he had his axe smokin’ and shriekin', the man had some quite innovative riffs that he played. His brother vocalist Tony Balthrop has a stage presence that draws one into the band as he roamed the stage letting his words fly like lightening from his mouth. They did the most fantastic cover of LED ZEPPELIN's "Whole Lotta Love", which gave me a whole new perspective of the song, so it did not seem to be just a cover song. Go and see this band.
Some other bands starting to make their mark that I saw live on stage are: MURDER INK at The Company in Georgetown on April 9th - tight, hard, and catchy riffs, and the vocalist Joyce Lacovara is rather visceral and fun to watch, they performed this song called "Mr. Pollenex" that made my week. Catch them at the DC Space on May 25th with LOUDMOUTH, SCOOTERTRASH at the DC Space on April 10th - very tight and heavy, with a lot of musical styles melded together, and they made me want to thrash around as they played. My ears hurt now, so I am moving on...

D.S.I. Records in cooperation with BLITZCORE Records in Hamburg, Germany, have released a twenty-three-song album by UNITED MUTATIONS. They were DC's premier hardcore band in the early eighties. Most of the songs were recorded at Don Zientara's Inner Ear Studio between the years of 1982 and 1986. UNITED MUTATIONS is Mike Brown on vocals, Jay Fox on bass, and John Fox on guitar, as the core unit, and a trio of drummers, Steve Kirkland, Billy Fox, and Sean Sumner. The music is hard, throbbing, and abrasive, and it is a great "wake you up in the morning" kind of album.

First in the deck: MURDER INK just put out their very well-produced seven-song demo that totally rocks. It is perfect "trapped in rush hour traffic" music when you are stuck in a car. It is full of hard and tight and rhythms that throb and pulse as the guitars screech and swirl, and Joyce Lacovara gets in your head with her unique voice and mouth harp playing. Tim Cleeton is an axe master with some ear-tickling riffs that exploded in my brain. The Killer Kuts are: "Freedom Of Choice", "Wait For The Night", and "Saw You Walk".
UNDERTOW - "Couch Potato Salad Days" - This three-song demo is cleanly produced and nicely packaged, driving beat and mellifluous guitars with a subtle bass, but somewhat generic vocals. The lyrics reflected their unsureness about what is going on in the world and what to do about it. I consider it to be raw pop that is becoming standard college-radio fare these days. The song "Pieces" reminded me of THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS a little bit, but overall I found them to be boring and bland.
FREAKSHOW - "Songs To Stay Awake By" - This four-song demo features Chris Malin on vocals and guitar, Eric Bolen on bass, and Mike Gargiulo on drums. They are supposedly quite popular and draw large crowds when they perform. The tape reminded me of Judas Priest a whole lot, but the guitarist played some cool licks. They had interesting lyrics but I did not like the singer's voice. It is not a bad demo, but it does not thrill me. The Killer Kuts are "Arachnaphobia" and "Key Of Death".
And lastly, CIRCUS MIND - "What's Going To Be" - This eight-song demo is entertaining, kind of like THE GRATEFUL DEAD meets THE FEELIES. Gentle, flowing, a melange of musical styles, with an uplifting message of harmony and unity that makes you want to dance. I found it to be a good housecleaning soundtrack.

BERNIE WANDEL is putting on a performance piece at the D.C.A.C. performance space on May 1st through 4th...The RADIO PIRATE herself, Carolyn Hildebrandt is doing a performance piece titled "Wassserscheide" at the DC Space on May 2nd and 9th at 7:30 pm, the music for the piece was arranged and performed by Golden of GOLDEN SOUND AXIS...Don't believe the hype - JIMI SIN is still rocking, catch them on May 23rd at The Bayou with SKELETON and on May 26th at the DC Space with PARASITE NATION...FUGAZI's "Repeater" album is finally in stores...HEARSAY won the $10,000 1st Place prize and a recording contract in the Mad Dawg Records talent search contest...MANIFESTO just released a 7"single of "Burn" b/w "Longtime" on Skip Groff's YESTERDAY AND TODAY label, which is also releasing several BLACK MARKET BABY singles and a DAIT BAIT single in May...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...Boy Mercury shootin' through every degree. Oooo girl dancin' down those dirty and dusty trails. Take it hip to hip rocket through the wilderness. Around the world the trip begins with a kiss..."

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 12

Some of them seventies dinosaur bands just keep on trucking and RUSH is one of them. They rolled in the Cap Centre for a Saturday night rock and roll show and the diehard fans and the high school kidz were out in full force flashing their favorite old tour t-shirts. With each new album, RUSH adds interesting musical influences that sets them apart from the pack in the "progressive art-rock" field, this time around it seems to be world-beat influences. I walked around the arena for a little bit checking out the scene and seeing what the most popular rock t-shirts the people were wearing. Then MR. BIG took the stage, this trio of old fart band-jumpers, Billy Sheehan on bass and vocals, Paul Gilbert on guitar and vocals, and Pat Torpey on drums, made me want to cut my ears off. A dreadful din they did make; boom boom blah bass, childish pot-banging passed off as drumming, and this guitar work that made me feel like Tippy Hedren in Hitchcock's "The Birds" when she was almost being pecked to death by psychotic birds, and lest I forget the mumbling disguised as vocals. Addicted to the rush, HA, they are addicted to something and it ain't the music. I figured that it was a good time to go pee so I went to stand in the line to the bathroom, I was not pleased. RUSH hit the stage with a flash, they had one of the best lights, video, and laser shows that I have ever seen since BLUE OYSTER CULT in the late seventies. The stage set was very streamlined and Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson seemed quite pleased with themselves and their performance. The crowd loved them. RUSH played a little of everything from their career..."Tom Sawyer", "XYZ", "Subdivisions"...and three new songs stood out, "Show Don't Tell", "Hand Over Fist", and "Superconductor". But I noticed that some song parts seem to be tapes, horn parts and background vocals and such. Overall it was a pleasant gig, and the kidz seemed to have a good time. Dig it!


SADDLETRAMP, you say!?! What is a SADDLETRAMP? A disease? A crime? A sexual innuendo? None of the above, silly. It's a band! Four people and four instruments playing urban guitar bliss. Heavy isn't always metal, you know. The SADDLETRAMP saga has been a tumultuous one, but a humorous one, mind you. Four diverse personalities traveling down the roads of life bump into each other at the crossroads and the roots of SADDLETRAMP are formed.
Bandleader Jamie Holiday began his journey at Exit 11 on the New Jersey Turnpike. He bought The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" album and at eleven years old he decided he was going to be a rock guitarist. At the age of thirteen, his mom gave him a Sears Silvertone guitar that she had hidden in her bedroom closet. He decided to learn how to play it and took weekly lessons for a year. Joined his first band at fourteen, where he played the high school circuit with CRASH LANDING and MERCURY. In 1977 at the age of seventeen, Jamie turned pro when he joined THE WHITE BOYS who were one of the first new wave bands in America. They toured the East Coast and Canada extensively, and released a three-song 7"ep, "Maybe I Do", on Sunrise Music label. It went nowhere, so in 1978 he quit and joined HARLOW and played gigs six and seven times a week in the New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut area.
Tiring of playing covers and the whims of others; Jamie started THE VACATIONS in 1979, and with a constantly changing line-up they toured up and down the East Coast and recorded a few demo tracks. Then came what is considered to be the low point of his career, he and original bassist Joe Mott, hit the West Coast in 1981 thinking the change of scenery would do them good. The gods had other plans, he fled back to New Jersey in 1982 and he proceeded to break his wrist and he could not play guitar for a year. He met this girl who lured him to Washington, DC, where he rehearsed as the lead vocalist for some forgotten band. In mid-1983 he began playing guitar again and he met Adrian Ossea, who drummed with the notorious WHITE BOY and hardcore legends BLACK MARKET BABY, and bassist Mike Crosson. The three of them started jamming together, soon after they dumped Adrian and found another drummer named Dave Isom. They recorded their first song, "Why Not" and two others on a four-track machine at KAZZ's pirate club at 15th and P Streets in Northwest DC.
Mike Crosson began his journey to this crossroad from Route 50 in Fairfax, Virginia. At the age of thirteen he picked up a Sears Hollow Body bass and started learning to play it. His older brother played in a Chicago blues band, so he figured if his brother could do it, he could too. During his early twenties' he played in several cover bands around the DC area and at the age of twenty-five in 1979 he joined his first real band THE PENETRATORS. He met Jamie in 1982 and they became fast friends and in 1983 they formed FASTER PUSSYCAT and they then decided to change it to his old band's name, THE VACATIONS, and we find ourselves back at 15th and P Streets.
After the band recorded those first three songs, they decided to kick vocalist Willie out of the group because of "bad vibes" between him and the rest of the band. THE VACATIONS decided they should continue as a trio and played their first gig at Carmichael's in Dupont Circle on August 5th, 1984, it was Jamie's first time as lead vocalist in a band. This configuration lasted a year until they broke up. Jamie got a job running a bar called Whispers on 18th Street in 1986, and then one day out of the blue he was invited to Mike Crosson's wedding to his longtime girlfriend Kathy, whom he had been trying to contact. At the wedding the two of them talked and decided to give it another shot with the band.
They chose the name VACATION and played out steadily over the next two years with a whole passel of assorted musicians. Fred E. Smith Jr. of STRANGE BOUTIQUE and BEEFEATER fame played guitar for three months, other musicians include David Loop and drummer Dave Isom. VACATION began to get noticed once hotshot guitarist Jimi Darn, now of JIMI SIN and drummer Pete Levine of BARK joined the band. Bad vibes ensued again and the band went into hiatus, but during Christmas of 1988 Jamie went into VMI Music on Connecticut Avenue to buy some new guitar strings and he meets Tavo Conti. Voila, a new drummer! But no one had been in a room with him when he farted yet.
What's a Tavo, you say? Well, he traveled some distance to get to this crossroad in life. He was eleven years old in Canberra, Australia, when his sister gave him a drum set. She has not been forgiven, either. The first thing he learned to play on them was Ringo Starr's drum solo in "Abbey Road", he joined his first band, TRAP, when he was thirteen, they did GENESIS and SANTANA covers. He jumped cover band to cover band until he ended up in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he recorded with the band FINAL doing two demos of all-original material. Then he just abruptly stopped playing drums in 1981 and just traveled the world until 1986 when he landed in Washington, DC, and worked at the music store until he met Jamie Holiday and joined VACATION as their permanent drummer.
VACATION gigged and gigged and became the "Rodney Dangerfield" of the Mid-Atlantic area, this lack of respect accumulated into the trashing of the dressing room at Max's On Broadway in Baltimore, Maryland, after a particularly rough gig. After a few weeks of dormancy, Jamie decided that a name change was the ticket, and it was on February 2nd, 1989 at the first official gig for the newly-christened SADDLETRAMP that Jamie, Mike, and Tavo met St. Chad. They all got drunk together and they decided to ask him to be their roadie and help record their first demo tape. Things were starting to look up for the band, but who was this St. Chad, you ask! St. Chad, or Chad Houseknecht, comes from that formidable hotbed of musicians - Rockville, Maryland. He is called The Saint because he was always there if you needed a helping hand. In fact that is how he met Jamie by offering to help carry his guitars up the stairs at DC Space. St. Chad's musical roots began in the band department at his elementary school, he started on the baritone horn when he was eight, and eventually the acoustic and electric basses, and electric guitar, as he played in various jazz bands and orchestras at his high school. Throughout 1984 and 1985 he played bass in the DC Hardcore band CARPE DIEM with Alex Daniels, who would go on to SWIZ, and Derrick Denckla, who would go on to GEEK. Until that fateful night at the DC Space, he was just hanging out on the scene after CARPE DIEM broke up. In April of 1989, St. Chad was enslaved by Jamie to play the keyboards in the band and that is how things have been since. So there you have it, SADDLETRAMP in a nuthouse, sorry, I mean nutshell. SADDLETRAMP has been gigging constantly since, five to eight gigs a month. They are getting bigger and better as a devout following begins to make their voices heard - WE WANT SADDLETRAMP! Submit - because HEAVY isn't always METAL. Look for SADDLETRAMP in your area during the Spring and Summer of 1990 as they continue their quest for more money than they know what to do with and TOP TEN DOMINATION; and most importantly, that elusive prized status of ROCK GODS in Albania.

WOW! As I re-read this band bio that I wrote for SADDLETRAMP twenty-one years later, it just makes me laughed at hard I was trying to be a music industry professional by writing such elaborate and detailed press releases for Blonde Bombshell Productions that represented the band at the time. I worked non-stop back then trying to get rich and famous as a rock star and making other people rock stars, I never became a rock star myself, but I sure had fun trying. I would not trade it for anything.

ROX Magazine Vol. 2, No. 12
DC ROX Column #12

"...We could jam in Joe's Garage, his mama was screaming. His dad was mad. We was playing the same old song all day. In the afternoon'n'sometimes we would play it all night long..."

Yo! Yo! One year I have been writing this column, and it's been really groovy. First off, and most importantly, I would like to thank all the bands who have sent me their demo tapes and promo stuff and put my name on the guest list to get into their shows. THANK YOU ALL. Special thanks to SUE HODGES and the ROX staff for enduring my "by the skin of my teeth" copy arrivals, and whoever else deserves it. Hope I pump out twelve more columns, but now it is time to rock and roll.
Sometimes I love going to shows, especially when the joint is packed, and everybody is groovin' to the max and the music just feels/fills your soul and everybody is movin' and swayin' and yellin' and screamin' and the band is smokin' up their equipment, that just rings my bell if you know what I mean...WAMA held their big CROSSTOWN CHARITY JAM to raise money for various important causes from April 23rd to the 28th. Monday the 23rd was the big kick-off party at The Hard Rock Cafe, and it was very "interesting". The food was fabulous, but they had this "band" - THE BOBBY FRISS BAND from hell or somewhere, and they played "el lame-o douche bag ZZ TOP rip-off" music, and this Bobby Friss picked a girl from out of the audience and sat her in a chair onstage, he picked up his guitar and held it sideways and placed a beer bottle on the neck and using it as a slide, he let the beer travel down the neck until it reached her hand - thrill me please - next MICHAEL FATH got on stage and played some scales really fast on his guitar, I don't get the big deal about him. I personally know at least fifty better guitarists, the rhythm player in THE BOBBY FRISS BAND was better than him...On Friday the 27th I worked the door for WAMA at the DC Space where TOO VACANT and ROGUES' CHOIR performed. ROGUES' CHOIR features TOMMY CARR from BLACK MARKET BABY and they delivered a tight crisp set of THE CULT-tinged guitar rock, and I found them entertaining. TOO VACANT were beer-drenched frat rock, all the songs sounded the same and played way too loud. I was bored. An odd thing occurred at the top of their set, VANCE BOCKIS (9353, THE FACTORY) walked onstage and grabbed the microphone and started to sing their song, then some wench in the audience elbowed him and threw her beer in his face, they glared at each other for a few seconds and then he just walked away - very, very odd indeed...My favorite gig of the month was on May 3rd at the DC Space and featured THUD, THE STEMS from Richmond, Virginia, and WAR OF FLOWERS. THUD opened the show with a set of industrial metal sludge!?! THUD features Bob Detolo on guitar, Bruce A. on drums, John Riggs on vocals, and Brian Reardon, the awe-inspiring DR. DETH (THE MO'PAGANS) on bass. I have been told that he is departing the band shortly. They played a really cool song called "Lowdown". THE STEMS were dreadful guitar masturbation. The headliner WAR OF FLOWERS rule! The band consists of: Zack Fuller formerly of SCYTHIAN on vocals, he is also involved in several aspects of performance art with film, experimental theatre, and dance; Fritz Michaud of JACKHAMMER ORCHESTRA on bass, and Phil Stevenson and Chad Jones of CARNIVAL OF SOULS on guitar and drums respectively. Zack describes the music as "dark severe rock" with metal influences. I found their set to be quite engaging. The Killer Kuts were "Born To Die" and "Flowers From The Silent", a demo is forthcoming so look for it.

First into the deck this month is from LIQUID BOY, this band features former GOVERNMENT ISSUE drummer Peter Moffett, his longtime cohort Robert Bowers on bass, guitarist Kevin Blake who played with THE U.K. SUBS and COWCRASH, second guitarist Pat Bopst of KING FACE fame, and local DC "rock star" Eric Legedameo providing vocals and lyrics. This three-song demo was recorded at Cue Studios; it has a very full sound, hard rock with punk tinges. "The Touch" is the Killer Kut with its ear-melting dual guitar leads, I was rocking out...Number two tape is the three-song demo from KILL CITY, and these guys have been on the scene a long time in various bands. I was not particularly impressed, none of the songs stuck in my head. Marc and Sean played some really nice guitar work but the rhythm section doesn't carry them, and Danny cannot sing. I liked the song "Son With The Gun" but it could use a remix..Next up is the eight-song cassette "Free Tibet (With Fries And a Shake)" from THE BURNT ERNIES on Import Records. The band centers around Joanne Kundrat on keyboards and vocals, with Gene Roland on guitar and vocals, and currently Mike Rat is playing bass, but their drummer status is unknown to me. The songs have really cool lyrics but the execution and mix are very murky and cluttered. I found the tape to be hard to listen to because it reminded me way too much of R.E.M. meets THE SMITHEREENS, neither one are not on the top of my listening pile. The cool tracks were "Distractions" and "Not Listening"...Next in was the Suburban Records release "Television" by ANTHONY FUENTES. This six-song tape is the product of someone with too much time and money on their hands. It is very well-produced and executed for a one-man band, but it has no soul. The vocals reminded me of AXL W. ROSE and the instrumentation was like a collage of the WHFS top forty. One song was really cool, "Darker Than I Dreamed", but other than that song, I had to force myself to listen to the tape more than once...CREEPSHOW was next, this band consists of Bill Ewald on drums, Andy Gibson on guitar and vocals, and Louis Strachen on bass. They are very talented musicians, but they were not very original. The production and execution are fantastic, but they could be out-takes from METALLICA's "Kill'em All" album. The first song "Death Toll" was a re-working of METALLICA's "For Whom The Bells Toll" and "Raised Under Fire" was re-working of "Jump Into The Fire". I was sorely disappointed, the talent is there, but the originality is not. The Killer Kut is "The Omen", the bass line is fantastic...Finally my favorite demo this month is from CIRCLE OF FEAR, they are: C. Cicatelli on vocals, C. Clavelli on guitar, M. Maldney on guitar, N. Booher on bass, and R. Engels on drums. The six songs on this tape are thick and murky, and kind of swim in your brain. They reminded me of THE DAMNED meets THE CURE a little, but after repeated listening, it grows on you, there is a lot of energy on this tape. The Killer Kuts are "Midnight Sun" and "Sleep Comes Easy".

The hot gigs to go to in June are SADDLETRAMP and BROKEN PROMISE at The Company in Georgetown on June 11th...SCARLET O and THE PSYCO GIRLS at the DC Space on June 14th...Late breaking news has KILL CITY in a state of flux as the drummer has quit and vocalist Danny Biondo is moving to New York City to become the latest TOMMY AND THE LOVE TRIBE bassist...It's the 9:30 Club's Ten Year Anniversary Week the first week of June, BLACK MARKET BABY are supposed to be playing a reunion gig for the celebration...BE REAL...until next time, and thanks again and support the local music scene...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...Guess you only get one chance in life to play a song that goes like...Turn it down! I have children sleeping in here...Don't you boys know any nice songs..."

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 1
DC ROX Column #13

"...And justice for all..."

Yo! Yo! Boys and girls, somethin' strange is going on in America, the powers that be have declared war on rap and metal, saying they must protect the children. If they want to protect the children, and then they should cure AIDS, stop crack/cocaine/heroin, re-vamp the schools, and clean up the parents, oops, I mean planet! How come country musicians can sing about adultery and alcohol, Nazis and the KKK can preach hate, and movie-makers can show a 1001 ways to kill somebody? But the minute a young musicians talks about sex or the real problems plaguing the population - CLAMPDOWN! The recent 2 LIVE CREW bust and harassment scares the hell out of me. Who's next? WORD!
I have been kind of depressed lately so I did not catch many shows, but SADDLETRAMP rocked the National Mall on May 27th at the Rolling Thunder Revue's Rock For Freedom Concert and Rally. Tats and hogs for days, and lots of heavy vibes going around as people remembered their friends and family members lost to various wars and those still held captive in Laos and Vietnam. When we people catch on that for pure straight up rock and roll in Washington, DC, SADDLETRAMP are one of the best to deliver the goods. Go see them on July 3rd at the 9:30 Club with MURDER INK and with LOUDMOUTH at The Rage in Baltimore on July 11th.
A buddy and I found a pair of tickets for a June 1st performance of the LA GRAN SCENA OPERA in the Terrace Theatre at the Kennedy Center, so we went to the show. It was hilariously campy as humorously named divas played by men who belted out the great arias from the works of Puccini, Verdi, and Bizet. I never thought opera could be so interesting and fun.
Some people say I should be ashamed to admit it, but I went to see MADONNA on June 8th at the Capital Centre. Everybody has flaws, and one of mine is that I like Madonna. Her show was much more than I ever expected. It was like a Broadway production; it featured a constantly evolving stage set, fantastic lights, dozens of dancers, and a band that smoked. They gave depth to the songs so that they did not seem to be such pop dribble. The live version of "Like A Virgin" was performed with a dub beat as Madonna simulated masturbation while writhing on a bed. It freaked a lot of people out in the audience, parents covering their kids' eyes, but hey, it got my blood rushing if you know what I mean.
The best local show I went to was on June 14th at the DC Space with THE PSYCO GIRLS and SCARLET O. I was blown away by SCARLET O as they blasted their way into my Top Ten Favorite Local Bands chart with their awesome tunes. SCARLET O is; Lisa Eleazar on vocals, keyboards, and rhythm guitar, Kathi Turman on lead guitar and vocals, Patti Shrift on drums, and Francene Machetto as bassist extraordinaire and also doing background vocals. Tight, hard, humorous, catchy riffs, great lyrics, good stage presence, and the serious bass lines, they had it all and more. Patti has the weirdest drumming style but it worked. They played a Jimi Hendrix cover and it was better than a hundred other bands that I have seen butcher Hendrix songs. Go see them as soon as you can, you will be rocked. THE PSYCO GIRLS are a trio who play "power-billy"!?! They have some cool lyrics to their songs, but the bass player needs to learn some new licks and the drummer needs to change tempo every now and then. It would make the songs more interesting. Singer/guitarist Steve Metz is entertaining, and the dancing girls were fabulous, it was quite a funny show. I will be going to a lot of shows in July for a special live in the summer report next time.

Featured this month is OLD WORLD RECORDS; they are not really a local label being that they are based in Germany, but they have released several albums by quite a few DC bands. So far they have released a THORNS album, IMAGES' "Fall From Grace" album, MFD's four-song ep "Storm", and just recently, a SCREAM 7"single, "Mardi Gras" b/w "Land Torn Down". It is a pretty mediocre sample of SCREAM, who is one of DC's best live bands. They have just completed a successful European tour and now are touring across Canada. Check out their Dischord Records releases for some great music. For more information you can contact Old World Records at Jagerstr. 19, 3150 Peine, West Germany.

No intro needed here, I either like it or I don't like it. Unlike some journalists, I repeatedly listen to all of the demo tapes sent to me, unless it is really, really lame, before I offer my opinion. But recently I was in New York City for the EAST COAST ROCKER 200th Issue Party at the Electric Lounge where I saw this great band called HELL'S KITCHEN NYC. Afterward we stopped by the Limelight where we hung out for only about twenty-five minutes and then we went back to the car and we realized that we had been robbed - WE FUK'N FREAKED. Someone(s) stole my phone book and a case of assorted demos and everything else that could be moved. So if you know, contact me and make sure I have your number, and MACHINE - please send me another copy of your tape, I am intrigued. No intro huh!?! Hit PLAY!
BRUCE COALE - "Find Out"
A case of all muscles and no brains. Fancy-spancy fret work, Van Halen drumbeats, and la-la lyrics. You will swear you heard all these songs somewhere before. C'mon guys, use your imaginations, rock and roll!
THE CAVE SLAGS - "Trouble In Leggo Land" (Stacko' Lips Records)
Intense, driving with lots of musical influences, and heavy political lyrics, this band features Capt. Cave Slag on vocals and guitars, Jack Denning on bass, and Rob Oswald on drums. Tight, layered, but kind of depressing, I dug the Black Sabbath reference. The Killer Kuts are; the title track "Trouble In Leggo Land", "Spirals & D-D-Dots" (the best sex song I have heard in a while), and "Johnny Plays Tennis".
THE MAD ADMIRALS - "Three-Song Demo"
I liked this demo, funky Grateful Dead metal, quite amusing and it made me want to bop around and clean my house, "I Don't Wanna Think about It" is the Killer Kut.
REPERCUSSION - "The Trees And The Flowers"
I found this tape to be quite provocative. The band is: Dany Magee on drums, Matt Green on bass, Jeff Caglarcan on guitar, and Davis White on mandolin and vocals. Great insightful lyrics about being alive, heavy drums, fuzzy thick guitars, vibro-bass, and everyman vocals, they were very reminiscent of THE REPLACEMENTS but with a more punked-out sound. The Killer Kuts are "Childhood Friend" and "People Doping The Work Of Machines".
SCARLET O - "Bless" (House Of Klaus Records)
The tape that you must have in your collection, so find it, play it, love it! An all-female band that rocks - hard, driving, melodic, catchy, non-generic, and original. Watch out all you hair-farming guys! The Killer Kuts are: "Love Slave", "OOW", and "If I Was". Well, bust a move - kidz!

On a sad note, STIV BATORS died unexpectedly in Paris. He was in THE DEAD BOYS and LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH. He will be missed, YOUNG, LOUD, AND SNOTTY to the end...STRANGE BOUTIQUE are releasing a new 7"single on Skip Groff's Yesterday And Today label, it is a cover of MAGAZINE's "From Under The Floorboards" b/w "A Happy Death". Go see them live in July...JIMI SIN are playing the annual ROCK FOR FREEDOM concert and rally on July 4th at the Lincoln Memorial...On Tuesday July 10th, I will be hosting a DC ROX Showcase Night at The Company in Georgetown for a second AIDS Benefit For Children's Hospital featuring SADDLETRAMP, LONE BUBBA, and one other band...On July 24th, it's FALSE FACE SOCIETY and WEATHERHEAD for another DC ROX Showcase Night at The Company on 3263 M Street, NW, in Georgetown, win prizes and see some great bands - SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC...Be safe and smile...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"I've traveled around, Lord, playing my songs almost for free. If you're wondering what it's worth, it means the world to me. Now all they do is turn their heads when I walk by, I can't see why they don't understand, hell, they all wonder why, and I say..."

RHYTHMS Magazine #4
Interview and Letter

Mr. Jimijam: So tell me, what's been happening in the crazy adventures of in Stabb-land?
John Stabb: First, Weatherhead as we know it is over. The momentum was basically lost after second guitarist/sometime bassist Steve Hansgen and the drummer Sean Saley split the mondo scene. Original guitarist and co-founder Reverend Frank Love, who was ordained through the mail, and I should have hung it up then, but we tried to keep the groove flowing. When Government Issue was still in the air, we had a loyal and growing following. Flipside Magazine picked us "#1 Best New Band" in their poll and that blew my mind. They chose us over two bands, Nirvana and The Fluid, who tour and have vinyl out. I still have no clue how we won that title, but it was cool. A year later the same ten people kept showing up at gigs and nobody or no clubs gave us the time of day. I'm convinced the only way anyone will see me in DC is if I do G.I. songs. I had to form Weatherhead as G.I., to me it ended too predictable and the creative spark was really gone after the "You" album. I wanted to do something so radically different that was way out in left field, compared to G.I. and so I did. Frank split, it was over because it really was a Stabb/Love thing.
Mr. Jimijam: So Frank really was a Reverend and you couldn't get any gigs at 9:30!?!
John Stabb: Yeah, Frank was/is a Reverend. He can either marry you or bury you. He made me a guru, so now I can have all the acid-house booty I want. 9:30 booked us a few times then all of sudden they gave us all these lame excuses and then I heard this rumour about how some of the staff members hated Weatherhead because of a song, "Mr. Niceman". My friend Ian MacKaye said it was like fingernails against a chalkboard when Frank sang the chorus. Then I asked the new manager if someone at the club had something personal against the band or I, and he said I should pass a press package to owner Seth Hurowitz and maybe I should kiss Seth's ass as well. I said, "Look, I've been in this biz for nine years, I'm not kissing anybody's ass, we'll play somewhere else." I shopped the demo around to many labels who never told me whether they liked it or not, that was cold. I thought they were cool but Giant turned out to be weasels. Everybody wanted G.I. and the word on the club scene was that Weatherhead didn't draw like G.I. and I draw like John Stabb. I use crayons and paper when I draw.
Mr. Jimijam: So where are you now Mr. Stabb?
John Stabb: Right now, I'm doing my own thang with a band called Stabb and 1/2 of the material consists of G.I. stuff and the other half is some of the more aggressive Weatherhead groove. Even tossed in a few ditties like "Slamming With Myself" by Billy Idol sort of, and always a couple of surprise songs. I just finished a short tour of Ohio and Michigan. That went over like "Twin Peaks". The fans and the press loved it. It was a virtual blast to jam with my bastard twin in Toledo, John Stainbrook, since we been tight for ten years now. He's like the evil Jeremy Irons in "Dead Ringers" and I'm the good one. He bugged me for a long time to do G.I. stuff and finally I said, "Yeah, why not." I needed a vacation drastically and Toledo to me is like the open sexuality capitol of the world. So I decided that's where I'd do this G.I. tribute. Jon from The Stain put together some members of his band and played drums. He also booked the gigs, did all the calls, chauffeured me, fed me, and provided hot dates for me as well. What a guy! He plays in the Howie Mandel band, has music in Street Vision wear, and a brand new 7-Up commercial, does arena rock star errand-running like getting Great White shark fin soup, and the right handcuffs made for aging, badly permed musicians, so they can pretend they're young and wild with the chicks. On top of that he's always trying to crack me up before I crack them up. We've both gotten adept at doing punk rock and other impressions like El Duce of The Mentors, "Wayne's World", Henry Rollins, and Glenn Danzig. These gigs went over so well; I got bookings all over the country in two weeks. We recorded a solo album, "How Does That Stabb You?", for Mystic Records. It is a combination of our live gigs and some of punk rock's greatest hits with The Doughboys playing on the stuff. I had so much fun cutting loose on little stages again and doing more aggressive hard-edged stuff again that is where my head is right now. Also a video-documentary called "Story Of Stabb" will be released that's got old G.I. stuff, old and recent interviews, the G.I. tribute thing I did recently and more. It's like my own "Spinal Tap".
Mr. Jimijam: Who will tour with you, old G.I. members like Tom Lyle?
John Stabb: No, Tom won't tour again, period, and I couldn't be involved with the guy musically ever again. He thinks all of this is a bad career move, but things are groovy again. I'll tour with some ex-Weatherhead dudes, Hanter Fisher Lyle being the longest lasting member apart from Frank. Frank is doing his thing and I see big happenings for the Rev, he's a genius. Tom's doing his solo trip as well and I wish him the best. I'm also blowing this pop stand called DC after the summer, because DC, apart from some amazing music and positive people who want to change some of the evil in this world, is really stifling. To me it's too uptight sexually, mentally, and physically. People think I'm some kind of "Underground Gigolo" and I can't even get a date. That's a joke because I'm just a shy guy, who's honest enough not to want to play games, I'm no rock star pick-up artiste, I'm just another bozo in a band. I realized how miserable I was after I escaped for two weeks. I'll probably move to Toledo.
Mr. Jimijam: Do you think Tom will miss you?
John Stabb: Yeah, especially now that I've broken the sights on his rifle, not! Of course and vice versa, but I'm married to the road and it's been softer than most girlfriends have been to me. The end!

After publication of interview in RHYTHMS #4


"THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE" Tour '91 was a monster success!
+ 2 Shows (Toledo, OH): "The Blade" critic said, "You should form a country-western band." Actually managed to get punk-rock kids to join in on an acoustic guitar sing-a-long for, "Say Something". The Reverend Frank Love did his sitar thang-ditties before we played. The Rev should have a huge solo career ahead soon. (Don't miss him!)
+ (Bowling Green, OH): Played with a Metallica youth clone band and survived an attack of cups of ice and lit cigarettes. "Punk-rock, you gotta hate it." Look for bad review in "Flipside" on this gig. (Cool!)
+ (Detroit, MI): Could taste the tattoo ink from here. Crowd expected G.I. b/c it was G.I. on flyers (Uncool!). Stopped show early b/c of stupid p-rock attitude youth in crowd. We rocked, but buttheads wanted me to shave my head and wear a diaper. Intelligence test that Detroit failed.
+ (Cleveland, OH): Lots of merchandise sold, dedicated G.I. fans, wackiness throughout, contract signed and private booty party for me afterwards. I plan to thank Pro-Tex Condoms on my LP; "Cross-Country Tour '91" is being planned for summertime. (I can't wait to invest in stocks).
"Flavour Of The Month"--------------Stabb

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 2
SCARLET O - "Not What Nathaniel Hawthorne Had In Mind"

SCARLET O has been together barely two years as a band, but they are fast becoming the kings, I mean queens of the local rock and roll mountain. And they want you to know that they are not a bunch of bimbo puppets playing out some pervert's rock and roll fantasy. Vocalist Lisa Eleazar has a voice that is untamed and savage, yet it is controlled and could melt glass at fifty paces. She also adds all these quirky but wonderful fills with her guitar and dinky keyboard. The lyrics she sings reflect life and the band's politically-tinged views on dealing with it. Bassist Francene Marchetto nonchalantly tosses off these playful, but almost wicked, bass lines that grab you, chew you up, and spit you out. Guitarist Kathi Turman plays as if she is studying for the bar with her deep and soulful riffs that fly through your ears as she totally rocks out. And drummer Patti Shrift, she sits at her drum kit and holds her drumsticks like no one you have ever seen play drums before. She seems to have this look on her face like it is the first time she has ever played drums. But it works, and boy does ever it work! She kicks it out like a funky monkey, dropping beats left and right, almost tribal-like, that soothes and caress and carry the song like a heartbeat. Together the four of them sound like a cross between The Go-Go's and The Pretenders with a heart-stomping punch. Their vocals contrast each other with staggering beauty as they tell it like it is. OWW!
SCARLET O was conceived by Lisa and Francene, but they couldn't find all the right players to get the band off the ground. At the same time, Lisa's sister Maryanne was trying to put a band together with Kathi, and when she came over one night to jam, things just clicked with the other two. SCARLET O was born and the three of them started writing music and looking for a drummer. The band went through several drummers who just plain exploded and then luckily they found Patti. They played their first gig as SCARLET O on September 1, 1988.
Backtracking a bit for a little history, we find that Lisa comes from the Philippines where her uncles played in all kinds of bands. She says she picked up her first guitar when she was sixteen and quit a church folk group to become a "rock star". Francene, originally from France, started playing bass when she was sixteen, she says, "I jammed with some buddies who always made me late for school." Kathi is a Baltimore native who moved to Florida where she fronted a thrash band before moving back to Rockville. Patti is from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where she started drumming when she was twelve and played in variety of school bands. She says her influences are, "Keith Moon, and I love the drummer in The Bodeans, and the guy in the Knack." She also teaches first grade. Can you dig it or what! When asked about influences, Kathi states, "Everybody is influenced by somebody, you can't help it, it brings in a lot of versatility, but don't copy." Francene interjects, "We have a hard time picking out covers."
Right now SCARLET O are thrashing out new songs, writing some weird ones, and building up their repertoire to thirty songs. Lisa says, "We are trying to write songs that don't sound the same." "You know, stop writing songs in A or E", adds Francene. Hanging out with them is a blast, you always find yourself laughing which is great. Last year they released an eight-song cassette, "Bless", on their own label House Of Klaus Records. It got them a lot of notice from the press, and some rave reviews in The Washington Post. Lisa's husband John Eggers is the driving force behind them - booking gigs for them, making the appropriate phone calls, getting them to the gigs, and whatever else needs to be done. He has even lost a few day jobs on the way. They gig up to ten times a month, but according to Lisa, "We don't want to work ourselves to death playing for jerks." "Or prostitute ourselves", laughs Francene who has added many choice comments throughout our conversation for this article. What they want out of this thing called rock and roll is to "make some money so we won't have to work our day jobs and have lots of fun." "And have teenage boys hanging our posters on their walls," smirks Francene!
So boys and girls get off your butts and go see some fantastic rock and roll with SCARLET O. You can catch them at The Bayou, both Grog & Tankards, Hammerjacks, Network, and a bunch of other places up and down the East Coast. They plan to release some new music real soon, so catch'em live on stage while you can.

ROX MAGAZINE Vol. 3, No. 2
LOVE/HATE - "Primal Urges Go Electric"

Rising from the cesspool of what is currently L.A. rock and roll come the band LOVE/HATE. Vocalist Jizzy Pearl, drummer Joey Gold, guitarist Jon E. Love, and bassist Skid Rose play some of the most raucous cross-mutations of musical styles and influences assaulting the American ear in a quest for maximum playtime. Their journey to the BLACKOUT IN THE RED ROOM began in 1985 when Jizzy left the San Fernando Valley and moved to Los Angeles where he met the other guys in the band. They had a place to live and rehearse in called the Soul House. This sanctuary is where they forged their music and "a commitment to make it" as Jizzy terms it. According to Skid, "We were educated on Sunset Strip, where you'd better have a show or you get your asses kicked by other bands that rocked harder. We had to keep getting better so we could survive." Self-admitted former poseurs, they used to hop on every trend that blew through town; painted faces, hair-farming, psyched-out clothes, and trying to write the new "Sweet Child'o Mine". They realized the band was going nowhere and then it dawned on them - write what you know. All of the changes they went through gave them a multi-versioned perspective on their music. Skid says, "They absorbed it all, from The Sex Pistols' punk to Prince's funk." With this new perspective, they began to go places with their music; eventually they caught the attention of famed producer Tom Werman (L.A. GUNS, MOTLEY CRUE, and POISON). He took them to the One On One Studio in Hollywood and LOVE/HATE recorded the twelve songs that landed them a deal on Columbia Records.
LOVE/HATE takes BLACKOUT IN THE RED ROOM on the road and soon it is "chill out in the Winnebago" with yet another journalist, albeit that ever so slightly twisted freak, me, to discuss the band. But first, I had watched their sound check, which is one of my favorite things to do, it gives one a little insight on a band and just how real they are and if they can really rock. Back on the Winnebago, my pal Johnny Mazuzan and I kicked back with Jizzy Pearl and Joey Gold for a few questions and answers. When asked about the name LOVE/HATE and where it came from; Jizzy said, "Love and hate are the two basic emotions and all life revolves around them, you either love something or hate it and that is what our music is about and it seemed an appropriate name."
On the way they wrote their music, Joey said, "Skid writes everything, he's our resident musical genius. All the songs start out on the acoustic guitar, you could sit around a campfire and sing and play them and they still would be great fucking songs. We put a lot of different influences and instruments like sitars and cellos in the mix to give it a psychedelic feel, yet it is still hard and loud. We play different than people who have only heavy metal influences."
On working with Tom Werman, Jizzy said, "He was great, he didn't try to tell us what to do or play, he just let us do it and gave us some hints on how to shape our sound, other than that he was just great."
Censorship and rock and roll lyrics seem to be on a collision course lately and there are some heavy lyrics on this album, and when asked if they have come under fire. Joey said, "Not yet!" A lot of their lyrics deal with life on the streets and drug addiction, but Joey says, "We aren't trying to tell people what to do or not to do, we just think it is up to the individual." My favorite song on the album is "Fuel To Run", which is about the freedom of choice, and who should decide what is what when it comes to one's own rights, whether it be society or the individual..."I'm free to exercise my downward mobility."
On the band's plans for the future, Jizzy said, "We just plan to tour and play as many towns and in as many countries as we can, playing is the one thing we love." Well, rock on dudes! People, if you like loud music with texture, go see LOVE/HATE or get their album BLACKOUT IN THE RED ROOM on Columbia Records. It has awakened my ass up on a few of those hard to get started mornings.

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 2
DC ROX Column #14

"...Ain't no cure for the summertime blues..."

This heat and rain is driving me out of my mind, what little mind I got left that is. The music censorship issue is working my nerves. The JUDAS PRIEST suicide case opened in Nevada with claims of subliminally backward track maskings urging the listener to "Do it, do it, do it!", and that there were hidden demon faces on the album cover - please!!!! I would hate to see rock'n'roll killed by two dead whacked-out jerks from dysfunctional families - write your congressman, protest, make some noises, stop the thought police. I went to a bunch of shows, but a lot of them sucked, maybe it was the poor ventilation or something, I don't know. I just don't like watching bands in the equivalent of a sauna.
JUNE 28th - Hometown "heroes?!?" HR and rumoured "soon to be signed" LUCY BROWN took the stage at The Bayou. LUCY BROWN moved to NYC a few months back and so it was cool to catch them but I don't know...Gene Hawkins has a great voice and some cool lyrics, but his band can't decide if they are going to be FAITH NO MORE or THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. They covered FUNKADELIC's "Super Stupid" and BLACK SABBATH's "Sweetleaf", which was cool. But their originals just didn't seem to be complete songs because they played them so hesitantly. HR or HUMAN RIGHTS features Joseph I and Earl Hudson from THE BAD BRAINS, they were backed by seven other musicians but they were clearly outclassed by Earl Hudson's extraordinary drumming which caused him to carry the melody on several songs. Where were the guitars in the mix, the guitar-tronics of former HR guitarist David Byers were sorely missing, he gave the band's older songs that he co-wrote their punch and beauty. This band was tired and flat; none of the songs jumped out and grabbed you. Joseph I's voice was enthralling as ever but the music wasn't there to make it effective. I wish Earl would get a real band.
JUNE 30th - SADDLETRAMP and THE ROADDUCKS played at The Bayou; oh no you say, he mentioned that band again, and I will again and again until everyone in the world has seen them play their great music. But on the other hand, THE ROADDUCKS, who are one of the DC area's oldest continuously performing bands, have never seemed to grow up. They are still playing the same damn LYNYRD SKYNYRD covers after all these years. I wish they would just perform all originals, because they have the talent.
JULY 3rd - It was the big "locals only" blowout at the 9:30 Club with SCOOTERTRASH and MURDER INK and SADDLETRAMP (again!?!). This show rocked with all the bands giving their all - heart and soul. MURDER INK have a new tape out now, so find it, buy it, and it will become indelible in your ears. Go see these bands.
JULY 6th - I caught PAUL McCARTNEY at RFK Stadium and it was a very interesting show. The Beatles songs they played were cool, as were the three old Wings songs they did, "Jet", "Band On The Run", and a killer "Live And Let Die", but all the new songs sucked and I swear Linda was faking it the whole time. I don't know about Paul these days, Lennon was always my favorite Beatle anyway.
I saw this band from Fairfax, Virginia, called HEARSAY, they won a big battle of the bands in which they won a recording contract with Mad Dawg Records, but they sucked, I mean they SUCKED BIG TIME. Who picked this band? Who are the people like them? Anyhow here are some great local bands you should make an effort to go see: THE FLYING SHARDS, DAIT BAIT, THE REVELLAIRES, HOLY ROLLERS, VIOLENT NIGHT, TESTICULAR MOMENTUM, FALSE FACE SOCIETY, WEATHERHEAD, STRANGE BOUTIQUE, and PARASITE NATION. OK, do it now!

I am not feeling very verbose this month, so hit play and let it rip.
LONE BUBBA only seemed to be around for a heartbeat but their two-song demo, "Any Girl" and "Serpent's Circle" really rocks. Their sound is bluesy, hard, and gripping, with "been there and back" lyrics, great music to drink to. The band consists of: Frank Molina on vocals and bass, Gene Wilcox on guitar, Clint Carpenter on guitar, and Russ Smith on drums. They were formerly known as ALBERT STRANGE. They only played a couple of shows, and if you saw them you should consider yourself lucky.
DARK HORSES sent me a very mysterious five-song tape, it is dark, heavy, brooding, and oblique almost scary lyrics, lots of guitar, and they reminded me of THE DAMNED a bit, I liked it a whole lot. Their very minimal press release had a very interesting statement in it - "Heroism is not occasional brave acts, it is facing life on a daily basis." The Killer Kuts are: "Circle Of Fear", "Black Rose", and "Supremacy". I will try to have them play a DC ROX showcase soon.
SPRINGHEEL JACK sent me a four-song tape of hardcore-ish metal, tight, pounding, not too fast, with intelligent lyrics, and great squealing guitars. The production could have been a little cleaner particularly on the bass mix. This band consists of: Bryan Dittmer on guitar and vocals, Deryl Donahue on bass, Bill Henson on lead guitar, Mike Kangal on lead vocals, and Matt Seymour on drums. The Killer Kut is "No-Man's Land".
MALDOROR have a four-song demo out, they consist of Scott Elliot on guitar and vocals, Andy Zachary on bass and vocals, and Dave Newquist on drums. This tape has a IGGY POP AND THE STOOGES feel to it, pulsing bass and drums, screechy guitars, but the vocals were hard to understand. I liked their music, but I would love to get them in a big recording studio. The Killer Kut is "Dead Ended".

People are dropping like flies lately...RICHARD SOHL the pianist for THE PATTI SMITH GROUP died of heart failure and the bassist for CELEBRITY SKIN died the night after their 9:30 Club gig, it seems a lot of people have done this - Divine, The Egg Lady Edith Massey - it makes you wonder...Notorious 9:30 Club manager JARED HENDRICKSON of CHEMLAB has finally left DC causing a great many people to breathe a sigh of relief...ROX Magazine got a great write-up in the Baltimore City Paper...FUGAZI's "Repeater" has sold almost 100,000 copies...BIG BANG THEORY have been signed to MCA Records...I have been quite lazy lately but keep them tapes coming and maybe I can get you a gig at THE COMPANY in Georgetown at 3263 M Street, NW. come down and see bands every Sunday and Monday and occasionally on other nights, it is THE joint to show your face and hang out to be cool. Joyce, Jacqui, and Jill will pour you right...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...We gonna, we gonna rock for light..."

ROX MAGAZINE Vol. 3, No. 3
DC ROX Column #15

"...Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your rights..."

Well, somehow I survived the summer in one piece. Lots of street violence going and mostly with a racial slant to it, so be careful out there people. Black and white - it is time for PEACE! The mayor-for-life Marion Barry got off on a mistrial for his drug arrest, so I guess that means it is okay to smoke crack, cheat on your wife, and call women "bitches", while running a major city. Time to wake up, America!
Anyways, on the rock and roll front, I caught DAVID BOWIE at Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 19th doing his "Sound And Vision Greatest Hits" tour. Adrian Belew was the main guitarist for his band but I found his playing technique added too much noise to the songs and distracted the listener from their original beauty. Other than that minor complaint, BOWIE was flawless, the stage set and visuals were first class, and they played eight of my favorite Bowie songs. I was very happy.
On July 24th, I hosted a ROX Anniversary Party at The Company in Georgetown with FALSE FACE SOCIETY and WEATHERHEAD. Despite being a big band on a small stage False Face Society cranked out their irresistible amalgamation of world beat, funk, rock, and reggae that had a whole bunch of people bopping and dancing. Weatherhead features former GOVERNMENT ISSUE front man John Stabb and they played a sixties-influenced power pop kind of thang with off-beat lyrics, quirky rhythms, jangly guitars, and the famed Satanic Disco Machine, which occasionally blurted out strange monotone utterances. They were hysterical; go see them, more info next time.
On August 11th, I caught Peter Hook of NEW ORDER with his new band REVENGE at The 9:30 Club and they were fantastic. The music was deep, pulsing, and heady, plus they played two very odd New Order covers, and having a full band backing him gave more depth to the songs than they had on the album.
On August 12th, I saw MURDER INK and SILENCE at The Bayou, and this was the best Murder Ink show yet, they pumped out the serious kick ass rock and roll, and "Held Not Touched" is one of my favorite songs this month. SILENCE is nth-generation METALLICA clones that the crowd just seemed to love, but I love originality. I can listen to "...And Justice For All" at home.
On August 13th, I hosted a DC ROX Showcase with Baltimore's GOLDEN SOUND AXIS and RASPUTIN at The Company in Georgetown. Golden's sound has changed a bit from their demo tape, it has morphed into a more fusion-like sound but they still rocked. Their sound is textured, pulsing, and slightly whack but quite enticing, and the song "Seatbelts And Condoms" ruled. Rasputin gets harder, better, and tighter each time they play out. Derrick Denckla is a phenomenal drummer; his playing just blows me away. They played a terrific cover of THE DOORS' "Horses Latitude". So yo, support local bands, go see them now and buy their tapes.

Yeah boy, keep them tapes coming and dig this...
First up is THUDHAMMER, this two-song tape of "Image Pig" and "Nighttime Drops" was a complete surprise, more than I ever expected. It features Bob Dotolo the 9:30 doorman and 9:30 manager Jared Hendrickson, and assorted JACKHAMMER ORCHESTRA members. It is potent industro-metal that is actually songs, unlike other bands of this genre. I hope to hear more soon.
Next up is GUTWRENCH and this tape rocks, it is kind of CRAMPS-a-billy from hell, with great production, solid playing, and biting, satirical vocals. I hope to showcase them sometime in September.
FALSE FACE SOCIETY has just released a six-song demo of their mixture of rock, reggae, funk, and world beat that proves that they are one of the area's finest bands. Sheryl Bailey has an incredible guitar style and their lyrics have bite. This was recorded at Be-Bop Studios and it is well-produced. Ann Hairston's drumming is sharp and tight, and the recording doesn't bite your ears annoyingly. The Killer Kuts are: "Hollow Feelings", "Decisions", and "Liquid Fear". Go see them and stop listening to that deadhead tripe.
Next up is SOUND*ART*SCIENCE, this is a techno-pop duo featuring Darin Drake (ex-NUCLEAR CRAYONS) on vocals, lyrics, and guitar, and Daniel Rippe on keyboards, synthesizer, drum programming, and arranging. At first listen you will swear this four-song demo is ERASURE because the songs have Vince Clarke written all over them, but after repeated listening the songs stand on their own. NKOTB fans will love it. The Killer Kut is "Afraid Of The Dark".
Then we get to the new UNDERTOW demo cassette "Barhopping", and they should call it "Trendhopping". This tape has a BON JOVI meets U2 feel to it, which is completely different from their last release. This time they pumped up the guitar and toned down the keyboards. I like this one better than their last demo though. I'd like to catch them live soon, which is the real test to me. The Killer Kut is "Candle Lit".
JJ ROCKS sent me a four-song demo that is really cool. It is a one-man project recorded on a four-track, the songs are catchy, melodic, upbeat, and I like to listen to it when I am feeling down because it really picks me up. It is really decent hard pop music with some smoking guitar riffs. I wish all Top 40 music could be this intelligent. The whole tape is killer and particularly the song "Runaway Blues" which I have repeatedly listened.
The oddball demo that I received this month is a two-band compilation featuring CARRION DOG and DOGUE. It is some really demented stuff with pseudo-psycho poetic lyrics that dump on everyone and everything; it is not very upbeat at all. Carrion Dog is pseudo-metal stuff with some cool guitar licks but not much else. Dogue is labeled as industrial-metal but you could have fooled me, synthesizer beats and lame guitar buzz chords arranged haphazardly. Hey guys don't quit your day jobs!

SADDLETRAMP have expanded with the addition of Frank Molina (ex-ALBERT STRANGE) on lead vocals and Rob Devlin (ex-THE NOW) on saxophone. They are better than ever...AVAIL have a new bassist, Pat Kennedy (ex-REMISSION) and they have sold 600 copies of their latest cassette...A hot new band to catch is EVER SINCE DARWIN, they were formerly LOVE THEATRE...Dead rock star of the month is Brent Mydland of THE GRATEFUL DEAD, the cause of death is as of yet unknown, the third keyboardist they have lost...oh well, rock in peace...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...I'm just taking my time, moving along, you'll forget about me after I'm gone. All I'm looking for is my peace of mind..."

An interview with drummer Mitch Dean
9.14.1990 - Los Angeles, California

One of my favorite bands throughout the past few years has been T.S.O.L., but many so-called "punk rock" purists say the present line-up is bullshit because they are not what the band started out as - a punk rock band. But to me, they are still "punk" but in a different way. Back in September of 1990, I went to Los Angeles, California, to attend the Concrete Foundation Forum, the annual Heavy Metal/Hard Rock/Punk music convention; I was attending as a representative of the now defunct music magazine ROX. I went with my friend Jamie Holiday, the guitarist and vocalist for the Washington, DC-based band SADDLETRAMP, and his manager Rocky LaLiberte. The convention was a blast as we ran around the Airport Sheraton Hotel listening to various bands, attending discussion panels, meeting assorted rock stars (I cannot believe how short Ronnie James Dio is), and drinking with Lemmy Kilminister and the boys from MOTORHEAD at the hotel bar. Jamie said I should interview his friend Mitch Dean who drums in the band T.S.O.L. and write an article about them. We went over to his house where he lives with his wife and daughter, and we sat down and I interviewed him as he played with his daughter. He had a lot to say, and without further ado...

MR. JIMIJAM: Hello! So you were with the band from the beginning?
Mitch Dean: No! (With authority) The band started in probably like 1980. It was Jack Grisham, Ron Emory, Todd Barnes, and Mike Roche and they recorded for about two years and they did two albums and an EP and then they broke up because they had a difference in musical direction and then me and Joe got in the band, (break for baby Dina), so when I got in the band Jack and Todd left and it was Mike Roche and Ron Emory and Joe and me. We all made the commitment to keep the thing going, to keep the spirit alive of T.S.O.L., I'd say it was about '82 or '83. So we all committed and worked hard and then drugs started playing a role in the band and everybody was dabbling in them, some more than others and one guy Roche, kind of got a little too caught up in it and so did Joe and then he got off drugs and went clean and got sober. (Baby Dina requires his attention) So it was me, Joe, Ron, and Roche started doing lots of drugs, Ron quit the band for that reason and that left me, Joe, and Roche and we got Scotty Phillips, who is with us now, this was three years ago (1987), right after the "Hit And Run" album. So me, Ron, Roche, and Joe, we did "Change Today" (1984), "Revenge" (1986), and "Hit And Run" (1987). We played the DC/Baltimore area many times, the Wilson Center and the Psyche-Deli.
Mr. Jimijam: "Change Today" is one of my favorite albums.
Mitch Dean: Thank you very much, thank you and we did that for $3000. So then after "Hit And Run", that was a rough time, a lot of drugs, Joe got clean, so Ron quit the band and he went out on okay terms, we're all still friends. Ron was at our show last night in Long Beach, and so we tried for a long time and we hoped Roche was done with his career of drugs, and it just never happened and we knew that the time was coming that either the whole band was going down or we were going to have to replace Roche, and so Roche basically stopped functioning about this last December of '89 and the beginning of 1990. We replaced him with Dave Mellow, who used to be in UNIFORM CHOICE, and on the new album, Scotty Phillips didn't record on the new album because Roche, well, oh, let me back it up there a little bit, after Ron quit we got Scotty Phillips and we played for about a year and an half with me, Joe, Scotty Phillips, and Roche, and Scotty saw end in sight to the problem with Roche, and since we weren't doing anything about it, he quit the band when we started our album on Enigma, the "Strangelove" (1990) album, which left us a guitar player short for the album and so out of desperation we got Marshall Roner who is a great guitar player but he too brought in a lot of drug problems with him, and so he did the album with us, kind of like a studio musician and right after the album was done, Roche stopped functioning, he, we came to terms with Roche, and he left the band, it was official, and we made a fair split and he didn't quit, but he split, not really amicable but professional. He just stop functioning, and he can't get it together and I think he kind of aware of that and well anyways. And so once Roche was out of the picture, Scotty said WOW, can I come back now, and Marshall couldn't function either, he was doing the same drug - heroin; and I hope maybe people can learn from that, it is something that is a hard drug just to dabble with, and before you know it, it’s got you by the balls, man! It just sucks all of the life out of you. So anyways, that's where we're at today and the band has been touring constantly. We've been on the road and done like, Jesus Christ, I looked on a computer printout the other day and we have done over a hundred and fifty something shows since January 1st or something like that. We did a tour with BIG F and TROUBLE, TROUBLE wasn't on eight shows on the East Coast but we did fifty shows and it has just been non-stop touring, and we’re going back out in October.
Mr. Jimijam: What's the name mean?
Mitch Dean: The name still applies and Roche came up with the name, he was watching one of those Oral Roberts' shows and the choir was called the Sounds Of Liberty and he said we should call our band the TRUE SOUNDS OF LIBERTY and it is really all about freedom and kind of like what PUNK ROCK started to be, just fuck everybody and play what you wanna play and the freedom to do that and we still stick to that and we catch a lot of shit for that, everybody wants to stick us in the PUNK ROCK box and everybody wants us to just stay like that and we have got better recording budgets, better, the more you play the better you get and you know, we've grown up a little bit, so we're playing kind of different things now and enjoying it. We play just for us four and fuck everybody else.
Mr. Jimijam: How do you create your music?
Mitch Dean: Oh, just everyday stuff. There are different ways, it's like a team effort and sometimes Joe will have a whole song from beginning to end, he is a big songwriter.
Mr. Jimijam: Who writes the lyrics, and what is the thrust of the lyrics?
Mitch Dean: All the lyrics are mostly Joe's. the street, life, street stuff, never any of the lovey-dovey, slip of the tongue, you know, none of that kind of stuff, like there's lessons to be learned from our songs, you know a lot of it is not pretty, but a lot of life we see isn't pretty, we hope it is positive because if you can see the stuff we see, maybe you can learn from it and it can be used in a positive way.
Mr. Jimijam: Have you worked your thing out with Enigma Records since they dumped you?
Mitch Dean: No, actually that's a very fucked thing. It caught us by surprise because we're working our butts off, we're a hard-working band, and we don't see how that Enigma did that, let us go. They never even gave our "Strangelove" album a chance, they put it out and then three months later, just stopped the ball on it, we were out working, touring, you know a lot of bands don't go out on tour, we love touring, we got it down to a science. We been doing it a long time but thank God, we got a decent fan base around the country.
Mr. Jimijam: Is that your favorite thing - playing live?
Mitch Dean: Yeah, I think that's any musician's, you know, that's what we're supposed to do - is play.
Mr. Jimijam: Well, you know, some guys say, "I just like being in the studio."
Mitch Dean: I know, I don't like that, there's nothing like the instant gratification of playing in front of a live audience, the feedback and the energy you get, that's the whole reason I wanted to be in a band, whether I play in a garage or you know, in front of five-hundred people at Hammerjacks.
Mr. Jimijam: What are some of your roots? Do you come from a musical family?
Mitch Dean: No, I come from a sports-minded family.
Mr. Jimijam: What inspired you to become a drummer?
Mitch Dean: I always loved music and the whole lifestyle that went with it, and the kind of rebel side of it, the cool, like it was cool. I always liked that.
Mr. Jimijam: Which drummer made you say I want to drum like that?
Mitch Dean: I used to go to all the shows since I was a kid, you know sneaking in, going to shows and this was up in Jersey, and we used to go see THE RAMONES all the time, DAVID JOHANSEN, and a lot of the punk rock stuff, you know, I was fortunate enough to see punk rock right when it was happening, when it was real and about being open-minded and not about what "supposed" punk rock is now, there is no more real punk rock. There used to be a scene all over America, a network of people working together, it was a cool thing to have been a part. People helping each other.
Mr. Jimijam: Yeah, I remember when I saw ya'll at the Wilson Center in DC.
Mitch Dean: Yeah that was cool. You were around too, it was great. It was great to be part of that; if you were a part of that you will know that, now it's not there anymore. The kids are just imitations, new punks that just read about it, I don't think they know how or why everything started. Punk was about being open-minded, and now it is so close-minded and everything, it went a full circle.
Mr. Jimijam: When I was at the Forum (Concrete Foundation Music conference) the other day, they brought that up at the artist panel, some guy got up and asked the host Riki Rachtman of MTV if he was tired of "Yo! MTV Raps!", one of the guest artists, Flea of THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, stood up and told the guy, "You are doing the same thing we are against, you bitch about people being closed-minded about heavy metal, but you are closed-minded yourself against other music forms."
Mitch Dean: Yeah right, and it's funny, and the hair bit, short versus long, fast music versus slow, you know if you don't play a certain speed of music, you're not punk anymore, but punk was about doing whatever the fuck you wanted to and fuck off to everyone else, and staying true and not compromising much.
Mr. Jimijam: How old are you now?
Mitch Dean: How old am I? Honestly - thirty years old. I'm secure, and I have a ball and I am very fortunate that I have a great band, you know, I have a ball with them. I succeeded in what I wanted to do, the band, and the family. I get to make a living playing music.
Mr. Jimijam: What's some of Joe's history?
Mitch Dean:'s more bluesy, he used to be in a blues band...oh...I don't want to say rockabilly, because it wasn't that, it was a blues band called THE LONERS, and he was the first dude I'd ever known into AC/DC when punk was going on and he was into the punk stuff but he loved AC/DC big time.
Mr. Jimijam: Did you grow up together?
Mitch Dean: No, I met him out here. He's from Long Beach, and I remember he tattooed his ankle in '79 during the punk days, with AC/DC and I thought that was a punky thing to do, first of all, it wasn't cool to be into AC/DC then and at that time the scene was very separated from skinhead and punk rock and long hair, you really got segregation going there.
Mr. Jimijam: Yeah, I remember at that time I had long hair and I used to go to the punk matinees at the 9:30 Club on Sunday afternoons and I had to tie my hair up under a bandana and hang in the dark corners so I could watch MINOR THREAT.
Mitch Dean: Right!
Mr. Jimijam: I couldn't dance in case my bandana fell off.
Mitch Dean: Yeah right, God forbid that your hair show, I always thought - what would some of these kids do if JOEY RAMONE walked in, cause there's a punk band and he's always had long hair. But I used to see it in LA, it used to get real ugly. If a kid with long hair went to a DEAD KENNEDYS show, and I actually saw it happen, people would tackle the kid and break out the scissors and cut his hair off right there, and I thought, "Gee, this is getting silly."
Mr. Jimijam: How did you and Joe hook up?
Mitch Dean: I knew Ron Emory from when we started a band called THE JONES, and he helped me start that band and I was doing THE JONES and when Jack and Todd left T.S.O.L., he called me up and said, "I got some songs I'm trying to put together, will you help drum on them?" So I met Joe and Roche was playing bass, I was playing in THE JONES at the time and we were doing pretty good and we said we can make a band out of this and at the time THE JONES, not me personally, I never was into heroin, believe me I'm no angel. I was into drinking a lot and any other little thing I could get my hands on.
Mr. Jimijam: I was a tripper.
Mitch Dean: I wasn't into psychedelics, but I liked to do coke and stuff, but anyways THE JONES were doing a lot of heroin then and so I was sick of being in a band that heroin was so involved with, and so I said that I could do this and go with these guys. We were going to call ourselves a new band, so I quit THE JONES and we were trying to come up with a new name. Then all of sudden everybody agreed, it was three to one to keep the T.S.O.L. name. I was the one who wasn't real comfortable with that because I didn't want to fill somebody's shoes, but then we went with it and we were doing fine and there's been a lot of luggage that we carry with the T.S.O.L. thing and looking back now, I think maybe we should have called ourselves THE BALTIMORES or whatever and maybe done better or something. I don't know but a lot of good came from keeping the name T.S.O.L., and also bad because radio people see the name and they immediately think - THRASH - PUNK - and they don't...there's no room to...a lot of radio programmers and some of the key people in the industry don't want to give you break because they associate you with that, even they're closed-minded, they're real closed-minded.
Mr. Jimijam: Is the album getting airplay?
Mitch Dean:, because Enigma...we had a plan to come out with the "Strangelove" album, it was to get an aggressive first single and which we knew would get on a kind of metal workshop kind of thing and then come out with a more middle of the road type song off the album, something more accessible. So we were doing the first part of the plan, touring for three months, breaking-in, re-establishing ourselves so everybody could see the line-up now and everything and it was really successful and that's why we were so surprised because it was a fifteen month plan. We had gone to meetings and worked out everything with Enigma, and you know, we were just shocked when they pulled the rug from out underneath us, and they did it, they fired like forty or fifty key executives there, big time people with families. It was really shocking but life goes on and we turn negatives into positives.
Mr. Jimijam: You got any videos?
Mitch Dean: No, but we're going to do our own that was what we were supposed to do, after we came home from touring. Enigma was going to put out a video of probably "Strangelove", the title track, so this we are going to do on our own. We're really fortunate to have friends who believe in us, that will do it for free, you know, we're really blessed, like I say, we don't have money, we don't make any money from this if you can believe that. We make a little here and there, but we are very rich in friends, people like you and Jamie Holiday. Right now this convention is here in Los Angeles and it is so evident because we know so many people that are here from all over the country, we're very blessed that we can go to probably any city in America, and not a penny to our name and have people there and hang out with. Anyway, we, I am very fortunate to be able to travel and do what I do and we have it down to a science, this traveling business and now that the band is clean, it is such a great thing, the camaraderie is so great.
Mr. Jimijam: Is the line-up the band has now your favorite one?
Mitch Dean: Yeah, this is my favorite because everybody...there's no hangovers, nobody's off at a party, all the priorities are straightened out now, the music and the friendship and just having a ball doing it, and I think it shows on stage now. We just have a good time, Joe's so relaxed and you know, it's real positive now.
Mr. Jimijam: A review in the "LA Weekly" kept harping on Jim Morrison-like vocals, I don't see the comparison. What’s your opinion?
Mitch Dean: Right!
Mr. Jimijam: What's your fall tour going to be like?
Mitch Dean: We're going to do four or five weeks starting October 6th and going through November 6th, down through Texas and Florida and then up through Baltimore and up to New York, and then leave my van at my friend's dairy in New Jersey and go to Europe for four weeks and come back at the end of November and work our way for a week or two back home.
Mr. Jimijam: How's the crowd response been?
Mitch Dean: Really good in some ways, I'll be honest, because of the name and stuff, we're too punk for the metal people and too metal-ly for the punk people, we're kinda caught in the middle there, so it's just a matter of getting out there and showing people what we are about and having them catch up to us and stuff.
Mr. Jimijam: What's the European response been like?
Mitch Dean: Well, we've only been there once, but the album got four out of five stars in "Kerrang!" and a five out of five stars in "Sounds", nothing but the best things, so we've been really lucky in Europe. We've been in America when our label was working the album; we actually got in some Top Forty things or whatever, the charts. We'll see when we go over there; people have been calling us up wanting us to come over really bad. Some people from Germany are here and they say we have a good following over there, we'll see, we haven't been over there for three years.
Mr. Jimijam: So you are going to do your tour and...? Mitch Dean: And come back and take all the winter off and start on a new album because it looks like this album maybe is going to go unnoticed because Enigma dropped the ball and the only way is to thank God someone like you can get the word out, doing this right here, because Enigma isn't doing JACK SHIT, most labels would have ads, videos, and all kinds of vehicles to get the word out for some exposure but since we have no machine behind us. We have to create our own, that's where people like you come in. So I can't wait to get out East, Hammerjacks was a great surprise on this last trip, because the last time we played there it was a Sunday night, and there was a storm, and we asked the people, and they said, well you know, don't be too disappointed, there should be one hundred or two hundred people out on a Sunday night like this, so you know I had set my sights really low and there were five to six hundred people out. We were so happy.
Mr. Jimijam: Hopefully SADDLETRAMP will be playing there with you, they haven't played Hammerjacks yet.
Mitch Dean: Yeah, anytime we can help friends that have been so supportive as Jamie, who has been really good to us, so anyways, plus hardworking people we can really relate to, so many people just give up or are just fly by night rock-n-rollers.
Mr. Jimijam: Got any other thoughts you want to express?
Mitch Dean: No, just thanks for your time and we'll see you in DC and Baltimore, and I hope to see Jamie's band SADDLETRAMP get the gig, he deserves it. That's why I am so happy that people like SOCIAL DISTORTION are kind of doing good right now, because they really deserve it. I think there is a lot of bands like us who just many times it's been so hard and you just wanna go "FUCK THIS WHOLE THING!" because the more you do the music business, the more you realize that it has almost nothing to do with talent or the music, it comes down to schmoozing and sucking dick and snorting cocaine, and you know 5% is music and 95% is, you know, socializing and all kinds of crap like that, politics, and waiting, and playing the game. It really has so little to do with the music, which is a shame; it is almost just like selling a Chevy or a pack of Marlboro cigarettes you know. It's a commodity and it's a shame because it's really frustrating when you're a musician to see how it really works, so you wait your chance and hope that one day it comes and keep believing in your music and that's what we do.

Dig it! Well there you go, T.S.O.L.'s drummer Mitch Dean live and direct with the true history of T.S.O.L. and the trials and tribulations of being in a rock band in this day and age.

ROX MAGAZINE Vol. 3, No. 5
MURDER INK - "Tattoo Your Ears"

Yo, rock'n'rollers, there's a hot new band in town that is guaranteed to leave an indelible of full-force rock and roll in your earholes - MURDER INK. They are relatively new to the Washington, DC, music scene, being that they played their first gig on February 28th and only ten gigs since then, but in short time they have laid all poseurs and pretenders to waste. The name MURDER INK is biker slang for a killer tattoo, and besides they're from Washington, DC, the murder capital of the world. The band consists of Tim Cleeton on lead guitar, Marc Hinther on bass, Eric Wallgren on drums, Christian Krol the newest member on rhythm guitar and soon-to-be rock goddess supreme, Joyce Lacovara on vocals.
The various members of the band have musical roots that go deep and influences that are wide. Tim was born in Iowa and picked up his first guitar at the age of nine and commenced to learn how to play "Louie, Louie". As for influences he says, "...Hendrix, Angus (Young), Page, and the old guys like Clapton, Alvin Lee...they have influenced everybody." To make a living he plays in a cover band doing Top Forty and jazz standards at weddings and other functions. He says it has taught him that, "There are a few basic formulas for hit songs and that has shaped my playing somewhat, but I play what I like and gets me off. I don't want to go over somebody's head. Besides, you can never have too much background."
Marc hails from Oklahoma City and picked up his first bass when he was thirteen and learned to play Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water". Iron Maiden's Steve Harris and Gene Simmons of KISS are his influences. He says, "I'm in the band because it is fun and we want to stir up as much shit is possible and really fuck with the right-wing establishment. We have attitude and appeal and we are not into that super-virtuosity shit."
Eric is a DC homeboy that got into playing drums because of hardcore. He says, "John Stabb from Government Issue sold me a drum set for $120 in 1980 and I learned to play." Trouble Funk, Alex Van Halen, Bonzo (John Bonham), and Madonna are his influences when it comes to the drums. You figure that last one out! He played in early DC Hardcore bands, Common Cause and Underground Soldier, then seminal proto-metalcore Scythian, and joke metal band Candybar. He admits that his hardcore roots, "Have taught me that simplicity is the best and basic rhythms make the song more rocking."
Christian just recently joined Murder Ink, and he's the quiet one of the band. Boston is his hometown and he played jazz mostly, but he says, "KISS changed my life!" Without laughing he says, "My influences are John Holmes, Pat Metheny, Lou Albano, Charlie Christian, and The Pheromones." After he said this, the rest of us lost it - The Pheromones!?!
Joyce is a sight to behold, dressed all in black and sporting the coolest tats, she prowls the stage and lets it rock. Originally from Washington, DC, Joyce hit the road at an early age and moved to New York City where she enrolled in the American Academy Of Dramatic Arts and studied acting, singing, and dancing. She became fed up with the stifling atmosphere and dropped out and became a bartender at the legendary Peppermint Lounge where she saw twenty-one bands a week for six years, had her son Tony, and kept tossing cocktails and absorbing all those bands' music. A bass player at heart and Metallica's Cliff Burton is her patron saint; but beer, vodka, Iggy Pop, and Steven Tyler are her vocal influences. Her voice is very unique and once you hear it, you will be hooked.
Tim and Joyce joined up and wrote the first ten Murder Ink songs and recorded a demo tape on a four-track machine. She writes the songs on the bass and Tim comes up with a riff and tosses out a few ideas for lyrics. The words are not your run-of-the-mill sex, drugs, and rock and roll crap, but deeply emotional statements on life, relationships, and freedom of choice. Next they placed a few ads, hired a drummer and bassist, gave them the tape and told them to learn it. Nowadays on the band's newer songs, Marc and Eric play-to-fit musically for what Joyce and Tim wrote. Their one "love song" with the humorous title "Mr. Pollenex", and it will cause you to bust a gut. As for their future, Joyce says, "I want to get on a tour bus for the next five years and play everywhere and the retire." If you like hard-driving rock and roll that grabs your ears and indelibly stains them with a killer musical tattoo, then MURDER INK is the band for you.

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 5
ULTRA VIVID SCENE - "A Guilty Pleasure"

Once referred to as the "Prince" of indie college radio, Kurt Ralske the man behind ULTRA VIVID SCENE finds that comparison flattering but very embarrassing. He comes from a musical family where his father played jazz and his brother is a classical musician who plays French horn in a national philharmonic orchestra. Around puberty he decided to play pop music because, "I discovered drugs and girls. And I heard a Jimi Hendrix record and I just couldn't figure it out how anyone could possibly make those sounds on a guitar. I wanted to see how it was done. So I got a guitar and taught myself."
Kurt went on to attend the Berklee School of Music in 1979 where he was a trumpet player for the next seven years. Then in 1986, Kurt moved to London, England, where he felt he would be more at home to make the kind of music he wanted to make. He said, "The grass is always greener, you know. I felt my music was somewhat twisted and I figured I'd get a better start there. Bands are more song-based there; American indie bands try to develop a sound by being radical. I wanted to do songs based on the pop music of the British invasion, but make it my own thing, you know, fresh!"
Kurt spent his time hanging out at the underground clubs in London, particularly the "Speed" club, where he became friends with The Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine who played the club regularly. "They seemed to be on the same wavelength I was; music with the sounds and ideals of the sixties. But it wasn't some kind of nostalgia trip, a very updated thing, but it would still have that flavor, sort of The Beatles and The Byrds. And the club had this sound system that was so loud and if you played The Supremes through it, they ended up sounding like The Jesus And Mary Chain."
He started making demos and sent one to Ivo Watts-Russell at 4AD Records and he called Kurt up and said let's do it. Kurt played and produced everything on his first two releases, "She Screamed" and "Ultra Vivid Scene" that were released on the label in 1988. He decided it was time to go back to America and put a group together, Kurt himself plays lead guitar and sings, and the rest are New Yorkers; Collin Rae on rhythm guitar, bassist Ann Hollis, and drummer Bryon Guthrie. They toured the United States with Echo And The Bunnymen's Ian McCullough on his "Candleland" tour, which Kurt says, "It was okay, but it was hard because the audience had a different mindset than what I was projecting with my music."
Columbia Records decided to offer Kurt and Ultra Vivid Scene a contract earlier this year. They issued the four-song ep, "Staring At The Sun" in conjunction with 4AD Records, and then they released "Joy - 1967-1990". Kurt says the title is to suggest "a greatest hits package and it's what I want on my tombstone. This record is sadder and more desperate than the first. Some of the records are pretty dismal." The album was produced by Hugh Jones of Echo And The Bunnymen and Tears For Fears fame. There are some very heavy lyrics on this record, but they are disguised by the music, which is upbeat and lively. Kurt says, "I write a song because that's how I feel. I'm a pretty strange guy. I'm interested in some things people consider weird. It's embarrassing so I rather hint at things." Some of the common themes in Ultra Vivid Scene songs are: salvation, sex, faith, S&M, addiction, and suicide. On salvation he says, "God is such a weird concept, and so I fluctuate between hope and being cynical, I hope change is possible." On sex: "It's the most mysterious subject, the bedroom is so big, it's the one thing everyone has in common." On faith: "It helps you enjoy life or it makes you completely stupid." On S&M: "You can be explicit about it or realize it is just a bunch of pathetic people in silly costume." On addiction: "The interaction of people, emotions, and/or substances can be intense and just observing in general sense; it is so weird how people let pointless things consume them." And finally on suicide: "The thought of suicide gets some people through the night. The thought of dying strengthens the will to live. But I still like to keep the lyrics vague so people can read what they want into them."
Currently ULTRA VIVID SCENE is on the road touring and you can catch them at Max's On Broadway at Fell's Point in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12th. Kurt says, "The live show is different than the album, the songs are more rocking and energetic, faster and longer, the guitars are heavier, and we change the arrangements. Playing live is where it is fun." As for the rest of the decade Ultra Vivid Scene plan to continue making good records and Kurt says, "I'm happy for the time being." Dig it and I'll see you at Max's.

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 5
VIO-LENCE - "Thrashing The Masses"

A new decade begins and thrash metal has begun to rear its ugly head in the American mainstream. One of the leading proponents of this "hammer down - with the full on" raging mosh music is VIO-LENCE. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, this band consists of guitarists Phil Demmel and Robb Flynn, bassist Deen Dell, drummer Perry Strickland, and vocalist Sean Killian. Sean and I sat down on the VIO-LENCE tour bus outside the 9:30 Club and he let the band's story unfold.
The band's history begins in 1985 when they were called DEATH PENALTY. A few changes in the line-up occurred and in January of 1987, the band's name was changed to VIO-LENCE. This happened one day when the drummer Perry Strickland walked into rehearsal and announced that "VIO-LENCE is going to be our name", and that was that. They released their debut album, "Eternal Nightmare" on Mechanic/RCA Records in 1988. It was an album that one either loved or hated because Sean Killian has a voice that takes a few listens to get used to. In support of that release they did two tours with VOI-VOD and TESTAMENT. After getting dropped from their label, it did not take the band long to get signed to Megaforce/Atlantic Records.
To put out an album for their new label, VIO-LENCE preceded into Pyramid Studios in Ithaca, New York, where they began to work on their second album, "Oppressing The Masses". Sean Killian said, "We picked Pyramid because it isn't a sterile environment. It's a studio for musicians, and Alex (Perialas) is a great producer to work with." As for their music writing methods, Sean admitted, "The rest of the guys come in with ideas and we assemble them and change and re-arrange them as we see fit."
After the album was finished, Atlantic Records executives took offense to one song called "Torture Tactics". The song contains graphically brutal descriptions of the inhumane methods that governments and terrorists use to "extract" information from political prisoners. Sean wrote the lyrics after he watched an episode of ABC's "20/20" investigative television show that reported on these torture tactics. The track was removed from the album, but Sean says, "Hopefully it should be released on an EP sometime early in 1991." Megaforce label head Jon Zazula responded to this move with, "Removing the track from the album, in our opinion..was done, so as not to interfere with the band's momentum, and by no means was it a censorship move.” Yet Atlantic Records released rap group AUDIO TWO's vile album "I Don't Care" with its sexist, racist, homophobic, and gratuitously violent lyrics, and Atlantic Records had the gall to say they were releasing it in the name of "free speech". It all seems a bit twisted to me, and Sean said, "It's all about the money, man!"
One of the reasons that I personally like VIO-LENCE is because of Sean's lyrical depth. He says, "I write about the things I have seen around me or on the news. My lyrics reflect life. I am not trying to make a direct statement. I am role-playing; just trying to present the issues to the listener so they can make up their own mind. I want our fans and other people to read my lyrics before they make a judgment."
In a letter Sean sent out to various magazines after the controversy over the lyrics to "Torture Tactics", he reflected that: "Obscenity is not the only issue involved, issues of society are involved...ones that involve the dark side of mankind, but censoring these issues won't make them go away...VIO-LENCE brings them out of the dark...The concepts of police corruption, alcohol abuse and its effects on the family unit, political deception and manipulation...These issues are not glorified or condoned by VIO-LENCE but we feel they are issues that need to be addressed, they will go away by themselves. These are topics which need to be viewed with open minds as well as open eyes and not be suppressed by blind vision, closed minds and fear."
When I asked Sean further about the effects of the controversy over their song on the band, he said, "I find it to be a slap in the face of the parents of America by saying they are too stupid to raise their own kids. It has affected the morale of the band but we keep on going. Censorship is always in the back of my head now when I am writing."
Upon asking about my two favorite songs on the "Oppressing The Masses" album, which are "Engulfed In Flames" and "Mentally Afflicted", Sean replied that, "the song "Engulfed In Flames" was a study of my favorite topic at the moment - spontaneous combustion. The mystery of it and the fact it can happen anytime appeals to me. The other song was inspired by my reading of "Psychopath" by Alan Harrington."
In closing, Sean Killian informed me that, "VIO-LENCE is in the first part of a five month tour. We have done a few dates with FLOTSAM AND JETSAM. There will be no breaks until a two much vacation and then back on the road." VIO-LENCE - "Oppressing The Masses" - get it, listen to it, open your mind. Sean says, "Don't be a Jimbo!"

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 5
DC ROX Column #16

"...Calling all children of electric ages. Calling all the gods and the fools and the sages. Don't let your people drown in a river of sadness..."

Well people, I'm baaack...I did a lot of traveling and it was most festive of times. On September 8th I went to Pittsburgh with SCARLET O where they played at Graffiti's. It is a cool club, so bands send them a demo, or you can try The Upstage, get a gig out of town and expand your horizons. SCARLET O rocked! Go see them; ignore the Maryland Musician local music polls and their cover band flunkies
Next on September 12th, I flew out to Los Angeles with Jamie Holiday of SADDLETRAMP and photog Mike Tate to attend the Concrete Foundations Forum music conference. We had a blast and I met a lot of stars: Bill Ward of BLACK SABBATH, Ronnie James Dio, Robert Halford of JUDAS PRIEST, Lemmy from MOTORHEAD, Rick Neilsen of CHEAP TRICK, to name a few. I learned a lot about surviving the music(k) biz with one's soul intact. I saw some killer bands: WARGASM (bone-crushing speed metal attack), ANGEL BEAST (dark, heavy, and scary), PRECIOUS METAL (all-female and they shred, check'em out on Chameleon Records), REVEREND (they rule, the new definition of heavy metal), EXTREME (who I love more and more, the ultimate metal amalgamation), and JUDAS PRIEST on their first gig for their new album "Painkiller" and they proved why they rule the metal heap. I saw a bunch of other bands but most of them were lame and hurt my ears. The ones to avoid are: EYES, SPREAD EAGLE, THE LYNCH MOB, and VALENTINE. I almost had a music overdose. I attended some cool panels and learned a few things, and heard some hot quotes from some of the panelists: "To succeed you must have a vision of yourself as an artist." - John Mrvos (Giant Records) and "The only time an advance is important is when you are a failure." - Rick Rubin (Def America Records). The guest artists' panel was a scream, it featured K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton of JUDAS PRIEST, Jani Lane of WARRANT, Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH, Flea of THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, a few others, and Lonn Friend of RIP Magazine as panel host. Several members of the audience asked some ridiculous questions and the guys on the panel tried not to make fools of themselves. Everybody ragged on WARRANT's Jani Lane for being so fey, it was hysterical, and the guys from JUDAS PRIEST kept defending him, poor little Jani turns the cutest shade of red when he blushes. Flea was the court jester as he poked fun at everyone; he had me rolling on the floor with laughter when he asked Jani if he was a "homosexual" because Jani was the kind of guy that "just turns me on". You had to be there. Go to the Forum next year if you get a chance.
We flew back to DC and its sky-high murder rate and I decided to go see some bands in town. First gig was EGYPT at The Bayou; they have been getting tons of press and hype lately, so I went check them out and - YIKES! All show and no know - hey dudes, let's start a funk-rock band, it'll be cool, and we'll get girls. They had no soul whatsoever and the dweeby audience was eating it up. They need to be embalmed and wrapped like mummies.
On October 5th, the show to see was LIQUID BOY, ROGUES' CHOIR, SCOOTERTRASH, MURDER INK, SCARLET O, and JIMI SIN at the W.U.S.T. Hall. The attendance was sparse, I guess because the hall has a bad reputation because of the neighborhood. So you readers out there in ROX-land, drop me a line and let me know why you did not show up. I want to know. All of the bands gave it their best, and you missed out. However, Eric L., the vocalist for LIQUID BOY was quite rude to several audience members and it was quite uncalled for, he must have had a bug up his ass or something. I am trying to find a new hall in a better neighborhood to host shows, so be patient.
On October 17th, I went to The Rage in Baltimore with MURDER INK. They played with STONE COLD who did tired GUNS'N'ROSES covers and TWO whole originals...My! My! MURDER INK kicked out the jams with all original songs. They will be back at The Rage in December, so keep your eyes and ears open. The headliner was MISERY LOVES COMPANY which consists of vocalist Andy Troutner, guitarists Jim Hopkins and Rod Everett, drummer Tim Paparucus, and bassist Kevin Duffy, and they have been together for nine months. They are tight, hard, and rock out, but they play a few too many covers. I did like their CIRCUS OF POWER covers though. They had this great original called "Who's To Blame", where guitarist Jim Hopkins played these killer riffs. MISERY LOVES COMPANY should be a smoking band in a few months, just drop them covers guys. Remember to support local music!!!

First in the deck is "The Uncensored Truth" by SCOOTERTRASH and this six-song tape rocks. It's a bit harder and faster than their first tape, and they have two new guitarists, John Lyons and John Hord. I find it to be reminiscent of early MOTORHEAD. THE Killer Kuts are "Childhood's End", "In-Full Effect", and "The Pit". Get it and go see them.
Next up is TON OF FEATHERS and this tape was so derivative, generic, and lame and coming to a Holiday Inn lounge near you soon. I felt so sorry for the instruments I wanted to cry.
On to THE RHOMBOIDS, this three-song tape was recorded live, and it reminded me of THE FLESHTONES, it is great beer-drinking and frugging music. The Killer Kut was "Stop It Baby" because of the way cool vocals.
Next in, THE PSYCO GIRLS and this six-song tape is a vast improvement over their last one with fatter and tighter production and vastly improved playing. The music still has this demented rock-a-billy twist to it, but it is fun to dance to and get stupid. The Killer Kut is "Vampire Lover" and it gave me a good laugh.
Keep them tapes coming people, I love listening to new music!

First up, ZEN HOTEL - "Significant Moon" - hailing from Pittsburgh, this trio plays somewhat bleak, but intellectual music that swirls and pulses and the lyrics punch you in the face with their honesty, reminds me of Dylan on heroin in some places. Bassist Jody Wos used to be in noted New York City band SOVIET SEX.
Second in, GRIMM JACK - "Jailhouse Tattoo" - this New York City band kicks butt, they are hard and melodic, with great vocals and nice riffs, plus they don't sound like GUNS'N'ROSES like every other band lately. The Killer Kut is "Looking For Heaven", and you can catch them at The Rage ever so often.
Third up is BANTHER - "Raw Entertainment" - they are potent funk-inflected rock from Minneapolis that is tight, crisp, and non-generic, unlike so many bands of this genre. Their songs have great lyrics about effecting social change. I hope to bring them to town soon.

A strange disease is afflicting some of the more notable musicians and music types around town. It is called A.S.S. (Acquired Star Syndrome, and it is very hard to cure. In 200 words or less describe which person has the worst case and how you would inventively cure them. Best entry wins a cassette of their choice. Grab that pen and paper and drop me a line!

The Company in Georgetown is not a cool place to hang out anymore, do not go there, drink there, or book your band there, too many people got done wrong, instead go to Club Retaliation at 1522 Connecticut Avenue, Thursday is hardcore/metal night, there will be live bands soon, so stay tuned...RASPUTIN have a new bassist but now need a new drummer...Hot bands to catch: SALT DIAMOND MINE, BLUE RUIN, ORANGESEED PARADE...THE ROADDUCKS are rumoured to be getting signed to RCA Records...MANIFESTO are in England recording an album for Fire Records...STRANGE BOUTIQUE's Danny and Monica had the most festive wedding and reception, and they are still negotiating a record contract...well, until next time...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"Where's your guts and will to survive and don't you wanna keep rock and roll music alive. Mr. Programmer, I got my hammer and I'm gonna smash my radio..."

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 6
DC ROX Column #17

"...Cause I'd rather stay here with all the madmen, than perish with the sad men roaming free, and I rather play here with all the madmen. For I'm quite content they're all as sane as me..."

I was walking down the street the other day when I realized "IT" was upon us like a bad case of poison ivy. The Grinch in me awoke from his slumber and screamed, "Oh Noooooo!" What is this "IT" you say? The holiday season, silly! I hate this time of year, I just get depressed. So I listen to lots of metal; "Facelift" from Seattle's ALICE IN CHAINS has been making my day lately. Plus I cannot wait until December 9th for MEGADETH, TESTAMENT, and "The Metal Gods" JUDAS PRIEST to rock the Cap Centre, serious metal heaven, man!
On the live front, I saw exactly seven atrocities posing as bands in the past month. No names this month because they say bad publicity is better than no publicity, and besides I am in no mood for a didactic diatribe on lame musicians. While I am on the negative tip, I received a lovely piece of hate mail from, for the time being, an unnamed instrument molester. Between obscenities and bad grammar, I was accused of ruining the attendance at his band's show. As if playing in a bad neighborhood in the middle of the week had nothing to do with it. So dude, the time you wasted writing your pathetic letter to me, SHOULD have been spent learning a new chord. GET A LIFE!
Well, on the upbeat, I was luckily enough to see MARIANNE FAITHFULL twice in one week. God does work in mysterious ways. I first saw her on October 16th at the 9:30 Club where she and her two back-up musicians delivered a prime show of heart-wrenching beauty, they performed stunning versions of "Broken English", "Why Ya Do It?", "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan", and a stellar "As Tears Go By". The best part was that my friend Andi Mueller and I sat on the stage at her feet, and it was like she was just singing to us. Opening for her at this show was ARSON GARDEN and they sounded like STRANGE BOUTIQUE on a bad night. Then I saw her again on October 18th at Max's On Broadway in Baltimore where she and her band delivered a short set because they found themselves in equipment hell. Something kept shorting the sound out and the soundman was at a loss on how to stop it, so Marianne apologized to the audience and left the stage. However the fun part of the evening was meeting film director John Waters, he and several friends showed up for the show but people kept bothering him, so my friend Kelly Corcoran and I offered them our prime viewing spot and volunteered to act as a wall between them and the bothersome drunks. He chatted with us about Andy Warhol and puking etiquette and he bought our drinks for the rest of the night, it was way cool.
Another killer show that rocked my earholes was MURDER INK, REVEREND, and ANNIHILATOR on November 14th at the 9:30 Club. MURDER INK let loose with an ear-gripping set of brain spinning rock and roll. They debuted a new song "Garbo's Gun" and it is destined to be a classic. Tim Cleeton is a guitar god in the vein of Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, and Steve Satriani. So catch them at The Rage in Baltimore on December 6th. REVEREND delivered a bone-crunchin' set of Seattle-style metal, frontman David Wayne, former METAL CHURCH vocalist, has a set of pipes that can break glass. They cranked out an incredible version of "Beyond The Black". ANNIHILATOR was tired and they were being sponsored by British Knights Shoes - UGH!
So anyway, if you are in the mood to see some real rock and roll, then go see...SCARLET O, SADDLETRAMP, SCOOTERTRASH, the newly re-vamped JIMI SIN, THE FLYING SHARDS, AVAIL, LUNGFISH, GOLDEN SOUND AXIS, COSMIC SLOP...Stop wasting your money on jerks who play bad music.

This month I received some great tapes, so thanks to all the bands for sending them to me. And remember that opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but I wipe.
First up is the seven-song demo tape from COSMIC SLOP. This is one of the most scintillating and original demos that I have received in a long time. COSMIC SLOP consists of Stormin' Norman Vos on vocals and guitar, Johnny Del Rio on guitar, Steve Hainsworth on bass, and Waldo on drums. This tape hits you like a runaway freight train with its pounding rhythm section, wailing guitars, shotgun blast vocals, and the most hysterical and literate lyrics..."Kids dying in the streets tonight. Barry does drugs, it's recreational. I guess that makes it legal?? Say what!" They also covered "Kiss" by Prince, but so many other bands have too. I want to see the guys live soon and oh yeah, hey guys; you should label your tape, because it makes things easier to write about the band. Every song is a Killer Kut on this tape.
Second up is a little change of pace with a four-song tape plus two party mixes called "Sweet Vibrations" by PETER HUMPHREY. This tape is reggae-influenced afro-beat that is lively, positive, danceable, and great to play while cleaning the house. The production is what makes this recording stand out, tight, crisp, and full rich tones. There was no information on where it was recorded. The Killer Kuts are "Peace And Love" and "Get Up And Move".
Next in the deck is AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, this four-song demo is full force, fast, furious, frontal assault thrash. The production quality is excellent as the clarity of the drum sounds, the biting pulse of the bass, razor sharp guitar riffs, and the vocal intonation, all slap you in the face. Then I read the credits and the lyrics...BIG letdown; no James Hetfields here, just lots of contradictory statements and negative attitudes. Then I read the line - "And a warm sincere FUCK YOU goes out to all those backward ass jock fucks and THEM thur dick sucking faggots." Hey, including that on your inserts puts yourselves on a lower level than those that you purport to hate. What a waste of talent! Hate tripping SUCKS!
Well, it's on to SALT DIAMOND MINE; their four-song demo is the most off-beat tape that I received this month. It features Dr. Deth of THE MO'PAGANS fame on bass, Scott Wingo on drums, and Brian Tate on guitar and vocals. Their songs feature some strange and quirky lyrics, obtuse rhythms, and are a mixture of jazz, rock, thrash, and funk. It reminds me of 9353 with great guitar licks flying everywhere with a wall of sound rhythm section. The Killer Kut is "Trouble In The Barnyard".
Lastly, we got PRANXSTER, which is pretty standard radio-ready rock and roll: well-executed, well-produced, sounds nice, but it doesn't shine above the rest of the bands playing this genre. Vance Rockwell has a great voice, but the lyrics are mundane and typical. But hey, practice makes perfect. The Killer Kut is "Down And Dirty".

Keep them entries coming for the A.S.S. (Acquires Star Syndrome) contest! You know, in 200 words or less, who's got the worst case and how you would cure it. I'm announcing the winner next month, and a new contest. Winner gets tape of choice.

Well, in the shake-up department, JIMI SIN has changed guitarists and name; Jimmy Swope and Gene Wilcox formerly of SHATTERBOX have taken over axe duties, and the new name is THE HELL COUNTY REGULARS, their first gig is at The Bayou on November 29th with THE CYCLE SLUTS FROM HELL...STRANGE BOUTIQUE and RADIO BLUE are doing acoustic sets at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, on December 28th...I used to be in a band called REVELATION and I still got a box of tapes and I am trying to get rid of them; a six-song cassette "Final Daze" and the "DC ROX" twelve-song compilation cassette featuring HR, PRESS MOB, SCYTHIAN, DOVE, OUTRAGE, I.N.I.C.U., and REVELATION both on Olive Tree Records. Please buy some of them from me because I am tired of looking at them, you'll like'em, $5 each or $8 for both - make checks payable to James Riley...Go see MURDER INK on December 6th at The Rage and SADDLETRAMP on December 13th at The Rage...Peace, Love, and Rock and Roll...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly. Fa la la la, fa la la la"

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 6

"DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!" Screamed Robert Halford on the car radio as we pulled into the parking lot at the Capital Centre, it's a heavy metal night in the nation's capital. The posse and I ventured down to the arena and started sussing out our tickets; they were looking for nice scalpers, and I, praying the record company remembered my name. We hung out by the stage entrance and watched the kids trying to catch a glimpse of the guys in MEGADETH leaving their tour buses so they could get their autographs. It was intense to see the power and beauty of rock and roll in action. I finally hooked up with the ROX Magazine crew to get my ticket, but Ace the photog who evidently had the tickets was running late and we waited with severe bladder control in effect. Eventually he arrived; I grabbed my ticket and fled to the loo to relieve myself before I burst.
I strolled to my seat and at 7:30pm exactly, TESTAMENT hit the stage and they got the show to a slammin' start. TESTAMENT is on the road in support of their new Megaforce Records release, "Souls Of Black", and they should bust out big time this go round. They had a fat, thick, walloping rhythm section, blistering dual guitar riffs, and a just scary enough voice belting out razor sharp lyrics on the human condition. They were allowed to play a whole six songs, which was too bad because they were the best band on the bill. They performed a killer version of "Practice What You Preach", and the dual lead guitar interplay in "Pictures Of The Dead" was out of this world. I hope they play a headline show at Hammerjacks in Baltimore real soon.
The house lights went down once again, Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" played in the background as a Big Brother-ish voice declared martial law, the curfew was in effect, and the police will come to collect your urine sample in the morning. MEGADETH then took the stage with a fury. They played a forty-five minute nine-song set featuring; "Hook In Mouth", "Peace Sells", "Rust In Peace", and they encored with The Sex Pistols' "Anarchy In The U.K.". I wasn't too thrilled or impressed by MEGADETH, the sound was real murky, the guitar leads sounded like mush, and the vocals were hard to discern, which was a real bummer because Dave Mustaine has some deep intellectual lyrics. I wished the sound was better, because the bassist was a local boy from Maryland and this was like his big homecoming gig in front of his friends and family. Dave even joked from the stage that he had eighty-eight guests tonight, and I am sure they ragged on him about the crappy sound.
The house lights dimmed again, billows of smoke and menacing purple lights filled and illuminated the metallic industrial-looking stage set as Robert Halford roared on to the stage astride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle screaming, "Hellbent For Leather!" The Priest have come a long way since I first saw them on the "Stained Class" tour at The Ontario Theater in Adams-Morgan in Washington, DC. JUDAS PRIEST is the real Spinal Tap. The new drummer Scott Travis from Stafford, Virginia, was the perfect replacement for Dave Holland. He dropped a big fat bottom with groovy little fills everywhere delivered machine gun style. K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton were the same as ever, flinging screaming riffs left and right with military precision. BLACK SABBATH may have put the "HEAVY" in Heavy Metal, but K.K. and Glen put in the "METAL". Halford pranced around with more spikes and studs than a two dozen metal band and your average gay leather bar, and get this; he had a Bart Simpson key chain doll hanging on one of his chains. It was the shortest JUDAS PRIEST show I have ever seen, just seventeen songs in an hour and forty minutes. They performed a strange slowed-down version of "Metal Gods", and the highlight of the show was a sensation "Beyond The Realms Of Death" with an ear-melting Tipton solo. From their new Sony/CBS Records release "Painkiller", they played the title track and "Nightcrawler", but there seemed to be some taped enhancement to the songs though. They encored with "Breaking The Law", "Livin' After Midnight", and Halford did his best Madonna imitation during their last song "You Got Another Thing Coming". He was shaking his ass at the drummer like he was presenting it for penetration, it was so gay. I cannot believe the rednecks in the audience could not see this. Explosions and fireworks went off and JUDAS PRIEST left the stage. It was a big cartoon-ish parody and I loved it.

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 7

Some bands just hate to be categorized. Take ALICE IN CHAINS, for example. Since they hail from Seattle, Washington, everybody automatically thinks of SubPop Records, Soundgarden, long hair, flannel shirts, guitar grunge, doom, depression, and non-stop rain, but just take a deeper listen to their music and you will find it to be so much more.
ALICE IN CHAINS is guitarist Jerry Cantrell, singer Layne Staley, bassist Mike Starr, and drummer Sean Kinney, and they have just released a killer album called "Facelift" on Columbia Records. With songs like "We Die Young", "Bleed The Freak", and "Put You Down", you have to wonder what the motivation behind this band is. Jerry says, "Basically I want our music to hit someone in the gut level, so they are possessed by it and moved by it. I really want them to feel something. I don’t care if they like it or just fucking hate the shit out of it, but I want to provoke a reaction. We're all freaks...outcasts, we just want to get on the same vibe, eye to eye, and be able to look at each other and go, "That is cool", that's all you really need, everybody grooving on the same thing."
Death and depression seems to be the driving influence behind "Facelift", and Jerry admits that, "We'd be pretty fucking boring if we were like that all the time. We do take our music very seriously. We go through problems and hassles and feelings..." Layne attributes some of the depression to living in Seattle where it's always gray and raining. "You can't spend all your time running around drinking," Layne concedes, "You have to do things like practice and write songs. But I'm sure I'd be equally depressed in LA or New York, it'd just be about different things. It's great for our music."
Death has become an impetus in the life of ALICE IN CHAINS. The death of Andrew Wood, vocalist for MOTHER LOVE BONE, really shook up the band. Layne says, "It blew us away, we had to get out of town." They were in the process of recording "Facelift" when this tragedy occurred, so they packed up and moved to Los Angeles. It was there Jerry wrote the song "Sunshine", which reflects upon the death of his friend and his mother, who had also recently died. "It was a real shitty time for me," he recalls, "I didn't know how to deal with it, still don't. But it gave me the impetus to do what I am doing."
ALICE IN CHAINS recently completed a twenty-two date fall tour with IGGY POP on his "Brick By Brick" tour. It seemed to be an odd pairing, but it worked. Iggy's melancholic and depressing, but always humorous songs contrasted well with ALICE IN CHAINS' gloomy and depressing, but sincere and heartfelt music. Live on stage, the band imploded into BLACK SABBATH-like sonic thunderstorms with foreboding bass lines, crashing tidal wave drums, crackling siren-like guitars that scorched the rhythm section and vocals that were a cross between a Georgorian chant and a banshee scream. Together, they attacked in an all-consuming mass which gave true meaning to their appropriately titled debut disc, "Facelift".
Currently, the band is on a break, but they will go back out on tour again before recording their second album. Catch them live, and buy their album because ALICE IN CHAINS will give you the musical "Facelift" you so desperately need in 1991.

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 7
IRON CHRIST - "Getting The Most Out Of Your Moment"

The nineties promise to be a decade of wide-open experimentation in music, and an interesting band making some intense contributions is IRON CHRIST. This Annapolis-based band is comprised of Rod Reddish on guitar, Ned Westrick on bass, and Scott Treude on drums, and Mike Bullock supplying vocals. The band started out in early 1987 with a different drummer named Tristan Lentz and singer Lynwood Carter. Interestingly enough, on the exact day that Lynwood quit, Mike met Scott and he immediately joined the band. The original line-up cut a four-song EP, "Iron Christ", for the New Renaissance label in France in August 1987. Distribution was nil and most of the records ended up sitting in a warehouse gathering dust, and the court case for this is currently in litigation.
In January 1988 the line-up went into the recording studio and cut the tracks for their latest album "Getting The Most Out Of Your Extinction". Regarding the unusual title, Mike said, "The title is about how everybody has a doomsday attitude about life, so they are running out and using up everything in sight, and making pollution and killing the planet. We consider ourselves an environmentally positive band." When asked about the name IRON CHRIST and what it meant, Mike replied that, "It is about the fault of man trying to put too much faith in God. Man envisioned that God could do what man couldn't and they became like machines, bio-mechanical machines trying to be God, becoming false idols, an Iron Christ."
I asked Mike what kind of music he would consider IRON CHRIST to be, he called it "extreme thrash, hardcore power metal, I don't know, the label calls it techno-thrash." When asked about the band's immediate future Mike answered that, "We're going to tour the East coast from the last week in December to the last week in January. We're going to play: Cleveland, Lexington, Atlanta, Tallahassee, Baltimore, Richmond, Virginia Beach, and with DOOMWATCH in Pittsburgh. We're also playing with F.U.C.T., AT WAR, REALM, and THE DECEASED. We hope to travel overseas since we get letters from Poland, Greece, and Amsterdam. Currently the record is being distributed by Restless/Colossal Records, and by Semaphore in Europe, and hopefully by Rising Sun Records in Japan. Also, right now we are in LSP Studios in Annapolis. We've written six songs and have a possible six more and then we want to put out the best nine."
I asked Mike what kind of audience the band was trying to attract and he answered, "Our music is aimed at the kids. The older generation is set in their ways, running around trying to get that house, family, and those 2.6 cars. Polluting the earth, using aerosol cans to kill the ozone, and live in those pre-fab houses. It is up to our generation to turn this world around for our kids, or they will be left with nothing. This is what our song "Inheritance" is about, how we got to wake up now. Ever since the Industrial Revolution we have been systematically destroying the planet. We are burying ourselves under our own innovations. That's what we mean by "Getting The Most Out Of Your Extinction".
Well people, there you go some pretty heavy stuff from IRON CHRIST. Check them out and give them a listening because you might learn something that will help you and the rest of the human race through the nineties. Because we do have to face the facts and wake up!

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 7
DC ROX Column #18

"Generals gathered in their masses, just like witches at black masses. Evil minds plot destruction, sorcerers of death's construction..."

Well, well, I hope you survived the holiday onslaught, it was tough. This month my column has been shortened; therefore I've got to pack a lot of information in it. So here we go.....
On the live front: I went to the National Gallery of Art to see a Baroque concert which was just voices and woodwinds. It was some really intense stuff. On December 3rd I saw one of the last great divas, EARTHA KITT, at Anton's 1201 Club; she performed bawdy standards and some tear-jerkers with a five-piece band that rocked out on some serious jazz stylings. Especially this cat on the piano, who was the bomb and totally rockin'. I was digging it.
As usual I saw MURDER INK and SADDLETRAMP several times, if you love straight up from the heart rock and roll, go see these bands. ORIGINAL ROCK RULES! On December 13th, they both played The Rage in Baltimore along with the debut gig of MARY'S SUICIDE, the band is comprised of vocalist Rob Brubaker (ex-STRAIT JACKET), bassist Randy Lemmons (ex-NOTHING SACRED), and guitarist Tom Maxwell and drummer John Grden (both ex-HAVE MERCY). They were very interesting, kinda like Jane's Zeppelin was Cure'd by Led Addiction, kind of trendy and calculated but presented well; one cool song was "Sidewalk Cafe" which was moody and very Doors-y. During their set, a peculiar incident occurred when another local musician, Brian Stokel of STRAIT JACKET, approached the stage and just sucker-punched Brubaker - lips flapped, words flew, was it staged for the video crew, was it over money - Who cares! It was stupid behavior, so get a grip and fight censorship - not each other. And on to....

While we are on the subject of MARY'S SUICIDE, let's pop in the demo: fat production, the drummer kicks butt, hard and driving music that was sort of heavy metal and sort of progressive, a nice package but the insert was hard to read. The first song, "Miss Rosita", was just too Jane's Addiction for me, but the third song, "Sidewalk Cafe" is The Killer Kut on this tape.
Next up is a five-song tape from ORANGESEED PARADE, and this group consists of vocalist Nate Bradley (ex-WICKED SYMPHONY), guitarist/vocalist Fritz, bassist Miko, and drummer Shawn Zigler. The production is clear and crisp, nice background vocals, kind of Bauhaus meets Bowie with lots of Peter Murphy-isms but that is okay, the music pulses, screams, pounds, questions, and reminds me of cartoon music from hell. The Killer Kuts are "Rodent In The Playpen" and "Sister's Wig" (one groovy tune).
Next is a tape that I have been digging on lately, MEDULLA OBLONGATA, I don't know much about the musicians, but I like this nine-song tape. It's very lush with ringing guitars, reggae-tinged riddims, amorphous vocals, kind of like The Cure but not. It makes you want to bop around in a car on a rainy day and cruise around, get some fries and a shake, find a back road and step on it. Nicely mixed drums, but not trendy sounding, and they had an original kick to them. The Killer Kuts are "Mr. Happy", "Visions For The Mind", and "Jackery".
Now we hop to the turntable and crank up the new AGENT 86 7"single, "Vietnam Generation", I love vinyl, too bad it is disappearing, but the record kicks butt. The band is Mike Briggs on vocals and guitar, Michelle Orgill on bass, and Rob Smith on drums. It was recorded with Chris Biondo at Black Pond Studio, and it is mid-tempo punk rock that makes you want to get up and slam, political lyrics about government policies and their effects on people, totally grooving and pulsing drums, doom-bah bass, and chalkboard scratch guitars, great stuff. The Killer Kuts are "Vietnam Generation" and a cool cover of "Stepping Stone". And on to.....

This month's selection is a three-song tape from SIOUX NATION who hail from San Jose, the guitarist told me that the band is changing their name and releasing 7"single in the spring. Their music is a mixture of hard styles, thrash drums, metal guitars, gloom bass, and THE CULT-like vocals with cool lyrics about surviving life. I hope to hear more from them. The Killer Kuts are "Laws" and "Grind".

Cool audition - STRANGE PARADISES (college-radio power pop) need a twenty-something drummer, call Dan...Cool new release - CRUNGEHOUSE self-titled 7"single that was recorded with BONGWATER's Kramer...And finally the A.S.S. (Acquired Star Syndrome) Contest winner is Judy Morgan and her humorously heinous letter nominating Mitch from HONOR AMONG THIEVES in which she says..."the cure begins with a crewcut...", your tape is on the way...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"...We are the children of concrete and steel. This is the place where the truth is concealed. This is the time when the lie is revealed. Everything is possible but nothing is real..."

ROX Magazine Vol. 3, No. 7
EAST IS EAST - "Image + Music = Success?"
Article pulled - deemed by editors not to be "ad-buyer friendly"

"Oh, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet."

They say motivation is the key to success, and the drive behind it determines the quality and quantity of success. So I ask you what does it take and what should it take to achieve that goal? Talent, the right image, substance, the right manager, hard work, lots of money, perseverance, or just plain luck. There are many combinations of these factors that will lead a band to success. One such band that is striving to achieve the elusive goal of pop stardom is EAST IS EAST. They have the motivation, but what is the substance behind that motivation? A few months ago I saw them open for DEBORAH HARRY at The Bayou in Georgetown, and I was not particularly impressed. It seemed the band spent more time and energy on trying to create that right stage image than they did on trying to craft intelligent and original music. A Washington Times reporter even joked that, "Their mousse-ed hairstyles have been known to scrape the rafters."
So recently, when I received their press kit and tape, I was a little skeptical about what to expect. What ear torture is in store for me, I asked myself? I popped the cassette into the deck and hit PLAY, and I was mildly surprised, it wasn't the absolute dreck I was expecting it to be but it wasn't total godhead either. The tape "Perfect In Between" which was released on their own label, Makeout Music, contains nine songs of competently played and well-produced typical college-radio music. It was recorded at Sound Logic Studios in Silver Spring, Maryland, and mixed by Steve Carr at Hit and Run Studios in Rockville, Maryland. The songs have a nice flow to them, but they wear their influences on their sleeves.
The lead vocalist P.T. Sevin has a singing voice that brings Robert Smith of The Cure to mind, but he has great control that comes with years of practice. His voice sounded the best on the song "Liquid Courage", which also had lyrics that actually said something. Most of his lyrics are delivered in a stream of consciousness style. Drummer Mickey Adams and bassist Jeff West, who was the last member to join the band, are a solid rhythm section that provides the familiar feel the songs have to them. I found myself trying to guess what song that some of their riffed seemed to be copped from. Guitarist Scott Bolan has a melodic hard pop style to his playing that reminded me of Elliot Easton from The Cars, his song "Drive" could easily be confused as an EAST IS EAST song if you did not know better. Keyboardist Matt Hudson is who puts EAST IS EAST a notch above the rest of the bands in the alternative pop field. Scott Bolan told me that he listened to a lot of New Age music which influenced his writing, and that he wasn't into technical virtuosity per se, but rather into creating textures and atmospheres that gives the band's songs their scary edge. This method works best on the song "Cry Monday" which is my favorite song on the tape. Scott said, "It was a blatant attempt to write pop music", which gives credence to P.T Sevin's statement that, "We want to reach the masses, from babies to grandmothers."
EAST IS EAST was formed in February of 1988 when high school buddies Mickey and Matt hooked up with P.T. and began to audition a multitude of bassists and guitarists until the three of them found Scott and Jeff. Scott says, "I love working with these guys because it is such a collaborative effort." They love just going into the rehearsal studio and just thrashing it out. Their goal as a band is to have a great time and amuse themselves and to find that "mother lode of rock and roll expression." They are happy together as a band but don't like labeled as glam rock, they just like to dress up for fun and entertain their audience. The band is receiving good airplay on WMUC, WCVT, DC101, "Kirk's Hideaway" on 98ROCK, and WHFS, where they just appeared on Neci's "Local Music" show. They recently signed a management deal with Dennis Oppenheimer and The Performance Group and Cellar Door Talent is currently booking them and shopping their demo tape around to the record labels. Scott says they have all gotten haircuts and toned down their fashion and jewelry, and as a band, their performance has become tighter and "transcendent". Plus their appearance on Neci's radio show on WHFS has gotten them a lot of phone calls concerning their latest tape.
EAST IS EAST has a new album in the works and they would like to get signed to a label so they won't have to pay for its recording and release themselves. If you are interested in checking them out, you can catch them at The Paragon in College Park, Maryland on March 31st with HONOR AMONG THIEVES or on April 11th at The Roxy in Washington, DC. Well music lovers, there you go, this is EAST IS EAST and bad is bad and good is good. You decide.

DC SPACE Rehearsal Room - Washington, DC
WHO IS GOD? Interview

It was a dreary and freezing afternoon as I headed to the DC Space to interview the guys in the hot new band in town, WHO IS GOD?, after they rehearsed one last time before their second gig at the 9:30 Club that very night. I watched them rehearse a couple of their songs and I was thoroughly impressed by their power and potency, they decided to take a break and we sat down and I turned on the microphone and our lively discussion began.

Mr. Jimijam: Tell me about Who Is God?.
Sharvin Mahdavi (guitarist): We're just Fred, Dave, Stu, and I, and Bryan Burrell, who is the guy who keeps us together, sort of the mother of the band, and Fred's the guy who got the band together and got everything organized. Who Is God? And what does it basically means that we are tired of the priests, we're tired of the leaders, whoever the leader might be, telling everyone how they should feel and what they should feel and instead people should feel how they should feel, that their body should be their temple, they should believe in what they want to believe in, the most important thing is, they should discover themselves because I believe that God is within, within your soul, man, and once you feel it, you can go anywhere.
Mr. Jimijam: What is your history? When? Why? Who influenced you?
Sharvin Mahdavi: I was born in Washington, DC, and I grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. I first played guitar when I was thirteen, I needed to, I was a real hyperactive kid, and I needed something to express myself. Wes Montgomery and George Benson were my influences; I started out as a jazz guitarist. I'm not a jazz guitarist; I'm not a jazz guitarist who tries to play, I'm not a sound jazz guitarist by any means but that's what I started really getting into fully. Right now Fred Smith is my teacher when I play rock and roll that might sound really weird but my whole guitar history is really weird.
Mr. Jimijam: What are you trying to project from the stage?
Sharvin Mahdavi: A lot of self-centered energy, does that make sense? A lot of self-centered energy; and people can see through the energy that they can believe in themselves, I think that if an individual can believe in within themselves, they can go with one selves anywhere, but they have to get in touch with themselves. They have to leave all the paranoias and the stupidity behind them, and really reach deep down into themselves and there are a lot of people that play influences in your life but you have to be the main influence in your life and I guess that is sort of why I play guitar. That was a tool to get inside myself and now I'm just trying, really trying, and I am just glad I have a guy, Fred, who helps me out.
Mr. Jimijam: What is the goal of the band or is it a strictly creative project?
Sharvin Mahdavi: It is a real serious project. We want to try to do the record thing, but we are praying to God, praying for that intense energy, that be-bop god out there, that we are going to be able to produce something ourselves, and we are going to be able to have all the rights on production and through that we want to do a record and really bust out. I'm still not used to being on stage. This is only the second time, it's really weird and I'm really excited, I'm also really nervous. I'm really glad my girlfriend came out to see me but I'm really happy with the band. I think we all know each other really well and we can say anything in front of each other, it's comfortable, it's like a family and I'm really happy about that but the whole thing, the most important thing is expression. It's all expression, man, and I thank God we are in a place that we can express ourselves fully and I think we all should feel privileged that we're in a place where we all can express ourselves fully and I still haven't had a problem expressing myself, no one has ever stopped me and I feel really fortunate and that's what I try to do on my guitar.
Mr. Jimijam: Who the fuck is God? (Directed to Fred, who is famous for his use of fuck)
Fred Smith (bassist): Actually the way we try to perceive God is deep down in here (he points to my chest and grabs my hand and points it to where my heart is) that is probably where God is. Dave probably believes in God, I know I don't.
Mr. Jimijam: Why did you pick your name?
Stuart Woodruff (drummer): Shall we tell the truth? It's just that there are a lot of conceptions towards religion and spirituality and we basically believe the whole deal is within yourself. God is the spark of life and we try to're attempting to be a positive band without sounding too conformist. Fred Smith: This is the only band that has Ravi Shankar, Danzig, Stewart Copeland, and Rick James in it.
Mr. Jimijam: Fred, do you like playing bass in this band as opposed to playing guitar in Strange Boutique?
Fred Smith: Actually man, I love playing guitar but I always wanted to play bass with a fret-burning guitar player who knows nothing about rock'n'roll and make him into a rock god.
Mr. Jimijam: Stu, how long have you been playing drums?
Stuart Woodruff: I used to play in England a long time ago, I played in a band in London at The Marquee, and then I came over here and met Sharvin. I was a long hair and my life had been a farce, I cut off all my hair and joined a heavy rock band. The reason I bought a drum kit and started playing again is because I met Sharvin and he's a bad motherfucker.
Sharvin Mahdavi: I always wanted to play drums, I thought I was just going to play drums until I met Stuart, thinking I was going to play drums but it never worked out that way.
Fred Smith: Actually the name isn't WHO IS GOD?. It's "Three Bartenders and A Drunk". This is the only band in circulation that I know that has three full-time bartenders in it.
Stuart Woodruff: "Sodomizer" was the actual name.
Dave Hammerly (singer): We love women! I always figured the name was going to be "A Redneck and Three Half-breeds".
Mr. Jimijam: Dave, have you always wanted to be a singer?
Dave Hammerly: Ever since I was young, I always sang in choruses and stuff in school and I sang in the church choir. I've never really wanted to be anything else, I always had. The only way I have been able to express myself is through writing. I always thought I had a decent enough voice; I did a little band down in North Carolina when I was in college, but I like to sing, since I moved to DC, I was trying to get something together and then Sharvin played me some stuff over the phone. I heard what he was doing and I realized this guy can really burn the shit out of a guitar. We started to get together trying to write stuff, it came together a little bit and we got an idea of what we wanted to do but it never really came together until we got with Stuart and Fred and when they joined in and started doing stuff with us, the songs started to get down to being, what I consider, good pieces of music.
Mr. Jimijam: Do you write all the lyrics?
Dave Hammerly: All the lyrics so far have been mine except for a few lines here and there, there's one line in one song that we do now that Sharvin had written. I took what he wrote and wrote the rest of it, other than that, all the other stuff is mine, but we want to start doing stuff that he mentioned earlier, he's got some stuff he wants to do and he wants to write lyrics with other people in the band which I'm always game for, I'm not going to stand up there and say I'm not going to sing something somebody else wrote.
Mr. Jimijam: What are you trying to express in your lyrics?
Fred Smith: Love, death, life, we don't play rock'n'roll like Motley Crue or any bullshit with lyrics like, "Give me a bottle of Jack Daniels", but it's the same music with different lyrics, it's like what Metallica did, they do the same fucking speed metal as any other fucking Class B speed metal band. The only serious speed metal band out there is Slayer, no one can touch them but Metallica and we do the same thing lyrically. They have fantastic words like "Ride The Lightening" being about capital punishment, men killing men legally.
Dave Hammerly: The stuff I've written so far...I've written stuff about doing drugs and what a farce it is and living your life that way. This is hard to convince Stu of that fact even though it sounded like it was evil, it had a good side to it and it's been hard to convince a lot of people of that, a lot of it can sound evil but it can have a good message in it.
Fred Smith: I remember when we did our sound check at the 9:30 Club's "Headbangers' Bowl", our first show, Glenn Danzig called on the phone and was getting ready to hire a hitman.
Dave Hammerly: I'm a big Danzig fan, and I was a big Misfits fan, and Samhain.
Mr. Jimijam: Did you want to be musicians when you were growing up?
Stuart Woodruff: When I was twelve I saw Rush, I was always a big heavy metal fan. When I was a kid, fifteen or sixteen, I played in a band called Ten Yen; we played with Anti-Pasti and the U.K. Subs. The Fields of Nephilim used to support us around town.
Sharvin Mahdavi: Yes, a jazz guitarist. I was really into funk. I think if you get a good funk riff and put a lot of distortion on it, it is just as good as anything out there and that's the basis, the roots of everything, blues became funk. I hope we start doing a lot of that.
Mr. Jimijam: What brought Fred into the group?
Fred Smith: It's funny, I begged to be in this band and I almost wasn't in it because when I was going into the studio where they were rehearsing, I called and said, "Gosh, do you need a bass player?", and this girl Erika said EL (noted DC soundman) is downstairs and I said okay, I won't come, and she said no, come! Erika is the reason I am in this band, I wasn't going to come.
Dave Hammerly: Let me tell you the story how it happened. Stu, Sharvin, and myself had been sitting in the studio basically making horrible noise, pounding away at this stuff that wasn't really a song, but we wanted it to be a song so badly and I mentioned it to Fred one night at the 9:30 Club and I said we needed somebody to come in and set a disciplinary edge to this, and I was like, do you want to come in and just jam around with us a while, he attacked me at the back bar and said, "Yes, I want to do it!", and then one week later he called down there and talked to Erika and came in. We would still be a mess if Fred did not come in.
Mr. Jimijam: Fred, if this band took off, would you leave Strange Boutique?
Fred Smith: Hey man, I think your batteries are running low.
Mr. Jimijam: Sorry, bad question.
Fred Smith: I take the fifth fucking amendment, Strange Boutique know I'm a loyal fuck. I'd take a small vacation and help these guys out as much as I could...It's a hard decision, I don't think I would though.
Dave Hammerly: There's been a sense for a long time now, that the music scene in DC has been looked over in a lot of ways and finally I think we're getting quality bands playing out, and people are understanding these bands and listening, like Lucy Brown going to NYC and getting signed and making no bones about the fact they are a DC band, that's where they were created and where they did their best stuff and that's why they are where they are, it's important to realize there are a lot of good things happening in DC.
Mr. Jimijam: A quick summary, guys?
Fred Smith: We want to do a rough demo and photo and get some local press. Dave, fresh from West Virginia met Sharvin, who was a doorman at Cagney's in Dupont Circle, and he was throwing a guy out and then two buds of his attacked and Dave punched one out and then he got a job. Stu met Sharvin and told him, "Don't do drugs, man, if you need to go somewhere I'll drive you." Dave was called Captain Stupor and Stu said to him, "Hey mate, all dressed up with no place to go!"
Sharvin Mahdavi: I needed to perform; I was tired of giving into people to make a buck. I just don't want to play. I need a direction. Fred got it all together.
Dave Hammerly: His flat-out professionalism and he could cultivate us because we had all the right parts. We do what we do because we feel a passion for it.

Well, there you have it, a lovely and informative interview with one of DC's hottest new bands; their manager appeared and said it was time for the band to get back to rehearsing because their show was only a few hours away. I bid adieu and headed home to transcribe the tape and write a great article to inform the world about WHO IS GOD?.


(Originally written as DC ROX #19 for the February 1991 issue but was not published because I was fired because IRON CHRIST disputed some quotes in my article and I refused to turn over a transcript of the interview unless I was paid for all my writings in ROX Magazine, and I stand by the quotes.)

"...I'm your boogie man, that's what I am, doing whatever I can..."

Many of you have been wondering just what the hell is going on with yours truly, Mr. Jimijam, judging by all the phone calls and questions that I have been receiving from everybody over the past couple of weeks - "How come you don't write the DC ROX column in ROX Magazine anymore?" - "How come your new magazine RHYTHMS is two months late?" - "Are you gay?" - "What combination of drugs are you on?" - And so many, many other invasive questions. I must admit that I have been a mess and why...I don't know...laziness...I guess. It is not intentional, it just happens. Some people think I am a double-talking asshole, but everyone is somebody else's asshole. But hey, I love you and rock and roll. First off, I stopped writing for ROX Magazine as of the February 1991 issue, after the January 1991 issue was published; I was told that a quote in my Iron Christ article was being contested by the band. My editor Sue Hodges called me on the telephone and asked me to send her my interview tape and a transcript, so I asked to be paid first, because for the past year and half of writing for ROX, I was only paid for the very first month's DC ROX column and a Strange Boutique article. I was upset that Sue even questioned my article after all the lies and evading my questions about getting paid month after month, and exploiting my love of music which was why I kept writing for them and being a huge part of putting ROX Magazine on the map. After my demand to get paid, she fired me and hung up the telephone, and I haven't spoken to her or anyone else at ROX since that day. And to top it off, when I spoke to the band Iron Christ a few weeks later about the supposed mis-quote in my article, they had no idea what I was talking about and they told me they loved the article and it was part of their press kit. I was taken aback and it made me question Sue Hodges and ROX Magazine's motivation, because after my departure ROX Magazine faded away on the DC music scene. So I decided to publish my own magazine, and I found out that it was a major pain in the ass to undertake such an endeavor. This is the reason my magazine RHYTHMS is so overdue. Well, enough of my bullshit! And, oh yeah, my sex and drugs are none of anyone's business, and here is the rock and roll.

Damn, I have been seeing a lot of live music lately in the past three months, plus it really helps that I now have a job working at the 9:30 Club as a local crew guy doing load-ins/load-outs and lights for touring bands. I make a few bucks and I get free passes to shows for my friends - life is good. So, a very special thanks to Donna Westmoreland, Simone, Kirsten, and extra special thanks to Chad Houseknecht for getting me the job, and the rest of the lovely staff at the 9:30 Club. They are the fucking best.
On with the show...January found me at many MURDER INK gigs as usual, I just can't explain my excessive predilection for this band, but they rock my little world. Some of their recent gigs at The Rage on Calvert Street in Baltimore, Maryland, were absolutely smokin'...The most frightful show I went to was on January 14, 1991 at the Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland, and thank God my tickets were comps from DefAmerica Records. THE BLACK CROWES were opening for ZZ TOP, and the tour was sponsored by "mankind's best friend" Jesse Helms Beer, oh sorry, I mean Miller Lite Beer. THE BLACK CROWES, who I really dig, were plagued by horrid sound and a dull-minded redneck audience who wanted to see some dancing girls and lots of flashing lights, just like on that thur MTV, booed and yelled for them to leave the stage. ZZ TOP sounded so contrived, I would venture a guess that their sound was 30 or 40 percent pre-recorded backing tracks and triggered samples of backing vocals, horns, and percussion, and I swear even some of the guitar parts. Guitarist Billy Gibbons would appear to be playing one chord progression and you could hear a completely different one in the sound mix. The stage was a giant junkyard with moving parts, lights, fire, flying sparks, and construction worker women in hot pants and hard hat safety helmets gyrating their little hearts out - glorified misogyny as one great big locker room joke. I used to love ZZ TOP. I saw The Texxas World Tour in 1976 with the traveling desert including cacti, cattle, and rattlesnakes as the stage set, now that was rock and roll. ZZ TOP "Recycler" was bullshit! A little side story is that back in March, THE BLACK CROWES got kicked off the tour in their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, because vocalist Chris Robinson kept dissing Miller Lite from the stage about their corporate sponsorship of the tour which he saw as evil and bad for the music. I thought that was pretty cool on the part of THE BLACK CROWES.
On January 19th I booked and saw BONOMO'S FAGBASH at The Asylum on 9th Street in Washington, DC. That is quite a name and they are quite a band. Passionate, heartfelt, hard-driving rock and roll with a drummer on an equipment rack, and I really enjoyed their performance. Go see them and support local music.
On January 21st I was at the National Gallery East Wing on the National Mall, and there is a free classical music performance every Sunday. The show I saw featured a violinist and a pianist from Serbia, they played some very lovely Mozart and a few traditional Serbian pieces, it was utterly brilliant and the acoustics were stunning in the Great Hall where they performed.
The "Hell Gig" of the month was at The Bayou in Georgetown on January 23rd, it was one of those lovely all-ages heavy metal shows with HAZMAT, DREAM THIEF, and NASTY HABIT. The first band was a vile slab of ear sludge masquerading as wannabe heavy metal that just destroyed some great tunes. I hate cover bands. Next DREAM THIEF played a water-downed version of "Operation: Mindcrime" era QUEEN(tripe)RYCHE metal, complete with swivel-hip Geoff Tate imitations. I could have barfed, and the bassist was the instrument molester from Hell. It was a sight to behold, so my friends and I cruelly heckled them, it was so much fun. They handled us very well and I must concede that the singer could actually sing. NASTY HABIT did that AC/DC-KIX dirty boy rock and roll thang, they were fun to bop around to, but they had no substance or feeling.
February was another rockin' month; on the 2nd I was at the DC Space to see FALSE FACE SOCIETY who threw down the 'multi-kulti' rhythms and grooves with sweaty aplomb. They only have one guitar player now, which made their music sound much tighter. Ann Hairston is such a fantastic drummer and percussionist. The headliner was ALICE DONUT who was on tour to support their new SST Records release "Revenge Fantasies Of The Impotent", which is a totally killer record full of their crazy psycho-rock.
On the 5th at the 9:30 Club I worked my first gig at the club as an equipment loader and stagehand for FRONTLINE ASSEMBLY from Vancouver, British Columbia, and that night I grooved to their techno-industrial noise. They are an interesting group, who are not as darkly obsessed as a lot of other industrial know...those troublesome NINE INCH NAILS types. That afternoon, DJ Amelia G and I escorted FLA's Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber to Smash Records in Georgetown for an in-store appearance to meet fans and sign autographs. It was quite an experience, they were really cool guys especially Rhys, who had a wry sense of humor.
The 7th was the 9:30 Club debut of WHO IS GOD?, pulsing, jazzy, heavy rock featuring vocalist Dave Hammerly, guitarist Sharvin Mahdavi, bassist Fred "Freak" Smith of STRANGE BOUTIQUE fame, and British drummer Stuart Woodruff - they rule! They just put out a three-song demo tape that was recorded at Black Pond Studio; they remind me of a gothic-tinged DANZIG, and the track "Ignorance Of Bliss" absolutely rocks.
On the 10th I went on one of my regular jaunts to Baltimore with MURDER INK for a show at The Rage, and as usual they tore it up with their killer originals. One of the other bands on the bill was RAISAN BRAIN who laid down the pile-driving beat with a twin guitar Southern Rock twist to it. Hard'n'heavy, just the way I like it. Check'em out!
The 19th at the 9:30 Club was the show of the month featuring Richmond, Virginia's GWAR. They just keep getting bigger and better, and gorier and bloodier. They show no mercy and attack and destroy everybody on the planet with the destruction of the human race is their goal. This gig was in support of their new MetalBlade Records release "Scumdogs Of The Universe" and the stage set and costumes and their performance props were phenomenal, there was more fake blood than twenty Freddie Krueger movies. GWAR possessed the stage with a pulsing and spewing sonic barrage, demonic vocals castigating the world, buzzsaw guitars lacerate the room, and a doom'n'gloom rhythm section consumes the room as blood and gore fly everywhere. Nobody leaves a GWAR show without being splattered and colored blood red. GWAR may not be the most top-notch musicians, but their live show is unparalleled by any other band in the world. I would love to see a full-scale Broadway-style production of their stage show, it would be mind-boggling. AGONY COLUMN opened the show; they were a half-baked joke on Satan with guitars from hell that totally annoyed the hell out of me.
February 21st found me doing load-in and lights for the lovely THE REMBRANDTS, this band features rejects from MISTER MISTER and THE FIXX. They have a recent hit song "That's Just The Way It Is, Baby", and it is absolute total tripe, adult-oriented pop music for the brain-dead. Even I like good pop music on occasion, but this band made me want to barf. Twangy guitars, whiny vocals, and a 4/4-rhythm section, and all delivered in a dead monotone. Why do people like this stuff? Ugh!
The 24th of February found me at the George Washington University's Smith Center to see LIVING COLOUR and the URBAN DANCE SQUAD who hail from Amsterdam. They throw down a funky melange of rap, rock, and soul with real drums and bass, thumpin' and tight, soul guitar sighin' and cryin', witty vocals with insightful lyrics, and crazy samples bouncing everywhere. It was a slammin' jam and I was workin' my body, and freakin' out the collegians. Their big hit "A Deeper Shade Of Soul" was killer live. LIVING COLOUR was on tour for their awesome sophomore Epic Records release "Time's Up". It has been weird watching this band go from playing the 9:30 Club to playing before thousands here at the Smith Center. But to me their live performances have been never been up to par with their recordings. I have seen them a dozen times and the sound mix is always lacking; either the bass is mixed too low, or the vocals are choppy, or as in the case of this show, the guitar sounds like a giant dental drill and it made my skin crawl, it was kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard. The better highlights of the show were a haunting "Open Letter To A Landlord", a stomping "Elvis Is Dead", and during an instrumental number when the members of URBAN DANCE SQUAD joined them on the stage and jammed with them. Maybe they will get it right one day.
March began with a show on the 4th that Fred Smith, of STRANGE BOUTIQUE and WHO IS GOD?, and I co-hosted at the 15 Mins. Club in DC, and the show featured THE CAVE SLAGS and JADE both from Baltimore. The attendance was sparse which makes me wonder if some people have something against the club because JADE draws well at other clubs around town. Anyway THE CAVE SLAGS opened the show with a bizarre potpourri of musical styles, but the blend was not right at this show. To me it was like mashed potatoes with lumps, and I really hate lumps. The sound volume was way too loud and there was a lot of high-ended feedback in the sound mix. I liked their tape "Trouble In Leggoland", but live on stage they could not cut it. Bassist Jack Denning is an excellent musician but he should stick to playing with GOLDEN SOUND AXIS. Guitarist/vocalist Sammy Prestianni, the leader of the band, has some innovative musical ideas, but he did not execute them properly. The vocals were the worst, because he kept wiggling his head around so he did not project his vocals directly into the microphone which made them sound slurred and distorted. I think he needs a bigger band to put his music across better to the audience. JADE however, rocked my socks off. They have a killer album out on Baltimore-based Merkin Records. JADE are a four-piece band that crank out big guitars bouncing off a big wall of sound, swirling and screaming, thumping and pumping, and in your face, kind of what THE CULT wished they could be. They play the DC Space regularly, so go see them because they we will rock your world.
The next night on the 5th, I hung out backstage working as a roadie at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium and I got to see THE CONNELLS and THE REPLACEMENTS. THE CONNELLS hail from North Carolina and play that geeky, arty-farty, sensitive guy rock and roll that white, middle-class college kids just love. I can't stand it, doesn't have any spunk or soul, and it just sounds like "la-la-blah-blah" to my ears. Just how many versions of R.E.M. can there be in this world? Some critics have dubbed THE REPLACEMENTS as "the best rock and roll band in the world", and bandleader Paul Westerberg is worshiped like a god by some. I don't know about all of that, but some of their songs amuse me. I love the "Tim" album. The band has had a history of drug abuse and fighting and beating the shit out of each other at their shows, but Paul is clean and sober now, however the other members are still party boys. One could feel the animosity between the two camps; the band is supposedly breaking up after they fulfill their tour obligations. Their performance was nice and the sound was clean with a balanced mix, but the guitar playing was bland which has always been my gripe about THE REPLACEMENTS. They had a nice beat but the guitars were not spicy enough for me. I like at least a little musical virtuosity in a band's playing abilities. They performed my favorite two songs of theirs, "Here Comes A Regular" and "Waitress In The Sky", I was quite happy. After the show I helped to break down the stage, some people do not realize how much effort and work goes into putting on a big time rock show. So many elements have to come together for a show to happen that it is totally mind-boggling sometimes.
March 11th, it was back to the 15 Mins, Club where I hosted a show featuring MARY'S SUICIDE from Baltimore and DC's BROKEN PROMISE. MARY'S SUICIDE play that "post-modern rock", a big bouncing bottom and screechy guitars with doomy edges with eerie vocals and angst-laden lyrics. They are a little heavy on the JANE'S ADDICTION covers but they deliver some nice meaty rock and roll. BROKEN PROMISE were just that, they used to rock but on this night their hearts were not in it, a tired, plodding jolt of pseudo-Gothic noise that worked my hole for their entire set.

Some really great shows coming up are THE SISTERS OF MERCY at The Citadel, a venue on Kalorama Road that I.M.P. has begun to put shows on at, this show is on April 1st...and one last show to catch is FISHBONE on April 4th at Ritchie Coliseum at the University of Maryland in College Park...Until next time...MOCK - SHOCK - ROCK - MR. JIMIJAM

"If you're in the audience and like what we do. Well, we want you to know that we like you all too. But as for the sucker who will write the review. If his mind is prehensile, he'll put down his pencil and have himself a squat on the Cosmic Utensil..."

WHO IS GOD? - Three Bartenders and A Drunk (Or in layman's terms - Who Is God?)

Every now and then a band comes along that one just cannot help but liking, and WHO IS GOD? is one such band. Comprised of vocalist Dave Hammerly, guitarist Sharvin Mahdavi, drummer Stuart Woodruff, and famed man about town Fred E. "Freak" Smith on the bass, together they produce an uncompromising wall of sonic fury that will leave you a quivering pile of eardrums. When asked what WHO IS GOD? means, Sharvin replied that, "It basically means that we are tired of the priests, we're tired of the leaders, whoever the leader might be, telling everyone how they should feel and what they should feel and instead people should feel how they should feel, that their body should be their temple, they should believe in what they want to believe in, the most important thing is, they should discover themselves because I believe that God is within, within your soul, man, and once you feel it, you can go anywhere." Fred says, "WHO IS GOD? is actually the way we try to perceive God is deep down in here," as he points to my chest and grabs my hand and points it to where my heart is, "that is probably where God is. Dave probably believes in God, I know I don't." Stuart says, "It's just that there are a lot of conceptions towards religion and spirituality and we basically believe the whole deal is within you. God is the spark of life and we try to're attempting to be a positive band without sounding too conformist."
Four very distinct individuals make up WHO IS GOD? and they come together to make a unique band with a unique sound. Sharvin was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and picked up his first guitar when he was thirteen. He says, "I needed to, I was a real hyperactive kid, and I needed something to express myself." He started out as a jazz player, Wes Montgomery and George Benson being his influences, and now Fred is his rock and roll teacher. Stuart grew up in England, and when he was twelve he saw RUSH and then he knew what he wanted to do. A few years later according to him, "When I was a kid, fifteen or sixteen, I played in a band called Ten Yen; we played with Anti-Pasti and the U.K. Subs. The Fields of Nephilim used to support us around town." Fred is a Washington, DC native who comes from a musical family, and he says, "This is my life." Dave grew up in the hills of West Virginia, where he says, "I always sang in choruses and stuff in school and I sang in the church choir. I've never really wanted to be anything else, I always had. The only way I have been able to express myself is through writing. I always thought I had a decent enough voice; I did a little band down in North Carolina when I was in college, but I like to sing." Fred adds that, "This is the only band that has Ravi Shankar, Danzig, Stewart Copeland, and Rick James in it."
WHO IS GOD? started to come together when Dave went to a Dupont Circle bar called Cagney's one night, as he was arriving, Sharvin, who was a doorman at the time, was some jerk out of the bar when two of the jerks buddies began attacking him. So Dave jumped into the fray and punched one of the guys out and was promptly offered a job at the club. Everybody thought Dave looked like "The Loveboat's" Captain Stubbin, so he was dubbed "Captain Stupor". Stuart met Sharvin at the same establishment, and the first thing Sharvin told him was, "Don't do drugs, man, if you need to go somewhere I'll drive you." Then Stuart met Dave, who he laughed at and said, "Hey mate, all dressed up with no place to go." The core of WHO IS GOD? was born. Dave said, "Since I moved to DC, I was trying to get something together and then Sharvin played me some stuff over the phone. I heard what he was doing and I realized this guy can really burn the shit out of a guitar. We started to get together trying to write stuff, it came together a little bit and we got an idea of what we wanted to do but it never really came together until we got with Stuart and Fred and when they joined in and started doing stuff with us, the songs started to get down to being, what I consider, good pieces of music." Fred says of his joining the band, "It's funny, I begged to be in this band and I almost wasn't in it because when I was going into the studio where they were rehearsing, I called and said, "Gosh, do you need a bass player?", and this girl Erika said EL (noted DC soundman) is downstairs and I said okay, I won't come, and she said no, come! Erika is the reason I am in this band, I wasn't going to come." Dave adds that, "Stu, Sharvin, and myself had been sitting in the studio basically making horrible noise, pounding away at this stuff that wasn't really a song, but we wanted it to be a song so badly and I mentioned it to Fred one night at the 9:30 Club and I said we needed somebody to come in and set a disciplinary edge to this, and I was like, do you want to come in and just jam around with us a while, he attacked me at the back bar and said, "Yes, I want to do it!", and then one week later he called down there and talked to Erika and came in. we would still be a mess if Fred did not come in."
The lyrics to the songs of WHO IS GOD? are pretty heavy. When asked about them, Dave said, "All the lyrics so far have been mine except for a few lines here and there, there's one line in one song that we do now that Sharvin had written. I took what he wrote and wrote the rest of it, other than that, all the other stuff is mine, but we want to start doing stuff that he mentioned earlier, he's got some stuff he wants to do and he wants to write lyrics with other people in the band which I'm always game for, I'm not going to stand up there and say I'm not going to sing something somebody else wrote. The stuff I've written so far...I've written stuff about doing drugs and what a farce it is and living your life that way. This is hard to convince Stu of that fact even though it sounded like it was evil, it had a good side to it and it's been hard to convince a lot of people of that, a lot of it can sound evil but it can have a good message in it. Fred adds, "The lyrics express love, death, life, we don't play rock'n'roll like Motley Crue or any bullshit with lyrics like, "Give me a bottle of Jack Daniels", but it's the same music with different lyrics, it's like what Metallica did, they do the same fucking speed metal as any other fucking Class B speed metal band. The only serious speed metal band out there is Slayer, no one can touch them but Metallica and we do the same thing lyrically. They have fantastic words like "Ride The Lightening" being about capital punishment, men killing men legally."
The WHO IS GOD? live experience is a sight to behold, a little bit jazz, beat, and heavy rock and roll. They have graced the stages of the 9:30 Club, The 15 Mins. Club, The Bayou, and DC Space in the past few months, Stu dropping the big dinosaur stomp with his bass drum just a-kickin', Fred slashing out washes of inundating bass boom that just go walking all over your body. Sharvin exploding with firecracker riffs in totally fiendish fret board fury, and Dave lashing out with words that bite your soul in two. Sharvin says of his live performance, "A lot of self-centered energy, does that make sense? A lot of self-centered energy; and people can see through the energy that they can believe in themselves, I think that if an individual can believe in within themselves, they can go with one selves anywhere, but they have to get in touch with themselves. They have to leave all the paranoias and the stupidity behind them, and really reach deep down into themselves and there are a lot of people that play influences in your life but you have to be the main influence in your life and I guess that is sort of why I play guitar. That was a tool to get inside myself and now I'm just trying, really trying. I need to perform; I was tired of giving into people to make a buck." It is quite refreshing to see Fred pumping up the bass on stage, a big contrast from his guitar-playing in STRANGE BOUTIQUE, sublime to sub-light speed in seconds. Commenting on this, Fred muses, "Actually man, I love playing guitar but I always wanted to play bass with a fret-burning guitar player who knows nothing about rock'n'roll and make him into a rock god."
Sharvin says, "It is a real serious project. We want to try to do the record thing, but we are praying to God, praying for that intense energy, that be-bop god out there, that we are going to be able to produce something ourselves, and we are going to be able to have all the rights on production and through that we want to do a record and really bust out. I'm still not used to being on stage." WHO IS GOD? is currently recording a demo which should be circulating soon and it will hopefully help propel them to the big time. Dave comments, "There's been a sense for a long time now, that the music scene in DC has been looked over in a lot of ways and finally I think we're getting quality bands playing out, and people are understanding these bands and listening, like Lucy Brown going to NYC and getting signed and making no bones about the fact they are a DC band, that's where they were created and where they did their best stuff and that's why they are where they are, it's important to realize there are a lot of good things happening in DC." There sure the hell is, so go see WHO IS GOD? tear it up on a stage near you or far. The band sums it up by saying, "We do what we do because we feel a passion for it."

9:30 Club - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC

This was one of my favorite shows that I worked at the original 9:30 Club, I have loved the Information Society ever since they hit the scene with "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)", their smash dance floor single that had me shaking my ass all through the late eighties. I saw them play with Johnny Kemp and Taylor Dane at the American University Fall Concert on September 23, 1988, it was such an odd combination but Information Society rocked the house. So I was really excited when they showed up on the 9:30 Club schedule in support of their great new album "Hack" with the delicious song "Mirrorshades" which is still one of my favorite songs. The day finally arrived and I spent the afternoon loading their equipment which was mostly keyboards and all kinds of percussion instruments, then I had to gel and focus the stage lights while the band sound checked. Members Paul Robb, Kurt Larsen, and James Cassidy were a bit cranky and quite fey as they did their thing, getting their sound levels the way they wanted them, and they were quite picky as they sound checked for almost two hours. Then I had to make room for RUN-DMC and their DJ for a 6PM early show, after I did that I split for a couple of hours. I returned that evening and hid in the DJ booth with Information Society's sound man who I had bonded with as we shared jokes and several joints. Information Society hit the stage and preceded to blow me away, they played, "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)", "Lay All Your Love On Me", "Repetition", "Walking Away", "Attitude", "Fire Tonight", "A Knife And A Fork", "Slipping Away" and of course a show-stopping "Mirrorshades" with an incredible electronic percussion breakdown that just blew me away that it was all electronic but sounded like real drums. During their set I noticed that were a lot of gays in the audience particularly young lesbians, which made me laugh, so I asked their sound man if any of them were gay. He just laughed his ass off as he said that is funny that I asked him that, because recently in Minneapolis where they are from, they were, in his words, offered an "obscene" amount of money to do a track gig at the biggest gay disco in town, but they turned it down because they were afraid of being labeled as a "gay" band and hurt their sales. I found this information absurd because as far as I knew they were considered a "gay" band by the mainstream music crowd, and I felt offended by their covert homophobia. I told the sound man that that was hysterical because a majority of the audience at the show was gay, and I hope he would inform the band of this fact. He laughed and thanked me for telling him this and he could not wait to tell the band because they kind of dicks and very insecure. The whole time I was loading their equipment back into their U-Haul, I felt smug and superior because it was the gay bars that made them famous.

"The Lollapalooza Festival 1992"
Lake Fairfax Park - Rt.7 - Reston, VA

This was my very first time working at a large outdoors music festival where everything was build from the ground up and it was an eye-opening and mind-boggling experience. On the first day I arrived at the site at nine in the morning and the first thing we did was measure the area where the main stage was going to be build and then the 75-man crew and I sorted the metal work that was going to be used to erect the stage and the speaker towers, and for the next three days we slowly built the stage, as the speaker towers rose we safety-tied ourselves to the rising structure in order to pass the metal bars on up to the next hand so they could secure it to the previous bar. Once that was completed, we hoisted the roof to the top of the structure and secured it, next the Mountain Stage trucks arrived and we installed the lighting rigs and the front-of-the-house speakers, it blew my mind to learn how much work went into putting on a show of this size. Finally very early on the day of the show, the various band equipment trucks arrived, and I spent the day off-loading the various bands' gear and stage props and huge backdrops. We placed everything in proper order and ran through the sound-checks. Then it was showtime so I hung out in the VIP area that we had built on the side of the stage and watched the show - the first band LUSH took the stage and they seemed to be horrified at playing to the arriving crowd in the bright afternoon sunlight and I really did not pay much attention to their set - next was PEARL JAM who were in their prime at the time even though Eddie Vedder arrived at the sight just a few minutes before the band was supposed to hit the stage, he was all sweaty and smelly and it was gross, but they played a powerful set, I particularly remember "Jeremy" and "Black" as being soul-stirring and musically spectacular - next was THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN and the Reid brothers were in foul moods and being mean to the stage crew and playing way to loud so after a few songs I wandered off to the catering area for lunch and since I was the "token fag" I sat with the "token black", there were not a lot of us working the rock circuit, as we were eating, ICE CUBE and his crew showed up to eat and they sat with me and "the black guy". We sat and ate and made small talk with him and our talk led to discussing our favorite foods and when ICE CUBE asked me about mine, I calmly stated, "Korean", and everybody was aghast because in a recent interview ICE CUBE implies that black people should kill the Koreans who run stores in the ghetto and disrespect them when they enter said stores, but it did not faze him and we kept talking about Bootsy Collins for some reason - I returned to the stage and helped pack the JAMC equipment back on the semi as SOUNDGARDEN took the stage and livened up the crowd whose moshing caused giant dust clouds to form and making people sick but the band was great to watch from twenty feet away on the side of the stage as they played "Hands All Over", "Loud Love", and "Big Dumb Sex", it was spectacular in their grunge-y glory - then I think I watched ICE CUBE for like three seconds and said yuck and went back to catering for a coke where I saw Alan Jourgensen of MINISTRY driving a golf cart around the backstage area like a madman and laughing his head off, I wondered what he was high on, but the funny thing was that he was wearing a fancy new cowboy hat that he seemed to love, and during his recklessness it blew off his head and into a giant mud puddle and was ruined, he had a total conniption fit as he stopped and retrieved the hat and saw it was fucked up so he began screaming and kicking the golf cart...I remember laughing my ass off at the stoned idiot but I was looking forward to seeing MINISTRY. I returned to the stage and climbed into the rigging to get a good view to watch them from, but after the first couple of songs their manager got the crew chief to clear the VIP area for their guests, but not before I saw their phenomenal version of Black Sabbath's "Supernaut" that had the whole crowd bouncing up and down like the ocean, the view from the stage was amazing. They also played a menacing "N.W.O.", a smokin'n'throbbin' "Jesus Built My Hotrod" that caused the mosh pit to go into insane mode and then they exploded with "Just One Fix", they were awesome - then it was back to re-packing the band equipment trucks as they headed out to the next venue so I did not pay to much attention to THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, but I did catch a beautiful rendition of "Under The Bridge" and a nuclear "Give It Away" that had the mosh pit going ballistic. It was back to work breaking everything down and put all back in the trucks and then the next day we broke down the stage and loaded it on flatbeds and collected our pay and headed back to DC and on with the rock'n'roll show.

Blagden Alley - 9th & N Sts., NW - Washington, DC

In all my years working on various stages for a million different bands, this show ranks as one of my all-time favorites from the performance perspective. As of late I had been working at one show or another practically every night of the week, and sometimes two a night as in the case of tonight, first I loaded in Bob Mould's new band SUGAR, who were on tour in support of their debut album "Copper Blue", during the afternoon. It was an easy gig because trios do not usually have a lot of equipment to put on stage; it only took an hour to get them up and running. I then headed to Blagden Alley, where I meet up with MURDER INK's Tim Cleeton who I frequently worked with for Gussound and we set up the PA system for tonight's show with the legendary Paul Kantner of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE/STARSHIP fame and THE BAND's Robbie Robertson. We did our thing getting the stage ready and Paul and Robbie showed up for sound check, which went like this - Robbie got on stage and plugged his guitar in and recited the alphabet into the microphone and strummed his guitar, asked us to turn up his monitor and then said it sounds great and don't touch the sound levels and then he left the stage. Paul appeared and made a bunch of strange noises into his microphone, strummed on his guitar and sang a couple of bars of THE BEATLES' "Hey Jude", and then he thanked us and left the stage. We then set the opening act up and they were some dreadful hippie band. I went home for a couple of hours and returned to work the stage while Tim ran the soundboard; the hippies were dreadful even the crowd was indifferent. A little after 11PM I rushed down to the 9:30 Club to load-out SUGAR after their show, luckily I caught them for a few songs, "If I Can't Change Your Mind", "Changes", and a great version of "Black Sheets Of Rain" from his second solo album. I loaded their equipment out in record time so I could get back to Blagden Alley to catch the show. I hurried back and as I was making my way to the soundboard, some guy asked if he could plug his DAT machine into our board to record the show. We were hesitant at first so he bribed us with some incredible beautiful red high-grade marijuana, so we allowed him and to this day I wish I had a copy of it. A little past midnight Paul and Robbie hit the stage and proceed to blow my mind for the next two hours by playing the most incredible versions of their greatest hits; "White Rabbit", "Sketches Of China", "Baron Von Tolbooth And The Chrome Nun", and the most sensational "Wooden Ships", when I swear I could see the notes float off Paul's guitar like bubbles or maybe that was just the red marijuana that the bootlegger gave us, and speaking of that, the whole venue was one giant cloud of sweet smoke, I have never seen anything like it, from Robbie's catalogue they played; "Wheels On Fire", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", "The Weight", and a tears-inducing "Up On Cripple Creek" that had the whole place singing along, it was gloriously beautiful. This show is indelibly etched in my memories, so if you read this and have a copy of the tape - please contact me.

9:30 Club I - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC

This gig sticks out in my mind for two reasons; first being that since Frank Zappa had only died last year, the family was still probably in mourning and so I guess in an effort to still feel close to him or something they used his ancient and beat to hell equipment cases with very bad wheels which made it a giant pain in the ass when I rolled them down the long entrance hall to the stage because they would go every which way but forward. I loved Frank Zappa so I let this slide because he might have rolled the cases himself so I might be putting my hands where he had put his to move them. Other than that it was a pretty typical load-in and sound check and after I gelled and focused the lights I split the club. I returned a few hours later to watch the show and I was more or less unimpressed which is the second reason I vividly remember the gig, he is quite an impressive guitar player, he does have quite the pedigree - son of guitarist extraordinaire Frank Zappa and schooled by virtuoso guitarist Steve Vai - and he can burn up the fret board like a madman, but alas he cannot write a decent song to save his life. They do say talent skips a generation, just look at poor Nona Gaye. I watched him and his band played their shitty songs albeit competently, but I became bored and retreated to the back bar for a beer and to wait impatiently for them to finish their set so I could load their equipment out of the club and into their tour bus. They finally finished and I went to work, wrapping cables, packing amps into their cases, and getting it all in one pile to be rolled out the club, and those damn rickety-ass cases were starting to drive me crazy as I began pushing them into the hallway. And to make matter worse, the stupid-ass breeder doormen stood around watching me and snickering with homophobic overtones as I worked my ass off getting those damn cases down the hall to their bus, and to top that off, the Zappa family stood around by the front door gabbing with fans and getting in my way as I moved THEIR equipment outside to the tour bus. I politely asked their stupid bitch of a mother Gail if they could please move their little meet and greet out of the way of the front door I was trying to use, instead of saying, "Sure, no problem", which most any other band would do since it was their expensive equipment I was loading, the hag had the audacity to roll her eyes and turn her back to me like I was annoying her. I was livid so I began to slam the cases into each other and the walls and making a lot of noise, and sure enough they moved their punk asses and asked me politely to be more careful. I smiled and said, "Sure, and thank you for moving out of my way, it's been a great help." Gail gave me some weird looks but Ahmet Zappa apologized and gave me a tour shirt. I finished loading their equipment on the bus and I got the hell out of there. Zappa probably died just to get away from their rude asses, because I read that he spent most his time in his home recording studio and ignoring them.

9:30 Club on F Street, NW - Washington, DC

So there I was, the "hardest working man in showbiz"* (according to Lamont Prince), at the world famous 9:30 Club in that dead city of Washington, DC, where I had just finished mopping and cleaning the club for tonight's show, and I was waiting for Debbie Harry and her band to show up for load-in and sound check. While milling around listlessly as I pondered rock and roll, I heard a middle-aged black man's voice booming down the club's long hallway entrance inquiring, "Is this Deb-a-rah Harry the same lady from the seventies?" I fell out! Finally the band showed up with their road manager slash tour manager slash stage manager slash soundman slash drum tech named Mitch. He immediately rubbed us (us being the rest of the house staff) the wrong way. Bitch, bitch, moan, moan, oh we won't go on if it is not done our way...I swear he had an anal wart for a soul. Deborah, the diva herself, paraded in, just like the child-eating witch character that she portrayed in the movie "Tales From The Dark Side", with this little lump of a dog who yapped quite annoyingly and then he promptly left two piles of steaming fecal matter on my freshly waxed floor. I muttered to one of the other loaders..."It looks like they brought their own pizza topping." Pizza was what the club fed the bands for dinner, unless their contract rider specified otherwise. We loaded the band's equipment into the club, which was not very much because times were lean in the Debbie Harry/Chris Stein camp. They were in between comebacks and Debbie did not seem none too pleased about the state of things, they used to play arenas for God's sake!
I was a man of many jobs at the club, and this being a typical day; first I would mop and wax the floor, clean the bathrooms and dressing rooms, and when the band(s) arrived, I would load their equipment into the club, and then next I would put the requested color gels into their respective light cans and focus them to the band's satisfaction. Debbie's idiot multi-tasking manager, Mitch, had me changing and shifting gels and focusing the light cans for nearly two hours until Debbie had a fit about seeing rats in the dressing room and thankfully he had to go scream at the club's production manager Donna Westmoreland so I got to escape his idiot ways...and now for the dirt! My secret job at the fabulous 9:30 Club was to assist the bands and their crews in acquiring the drugs they needed to survive their visit, the club cannot have them going out to score and possibly getting arrested and then not be able to play their show - now can they! Oy vey! This gig was no different than any other one. My boss and house stage manager Chad Houseknecht pulled me aside and told me to go score some cocaine for Debbie's guitarist/lover/thorn in her side Chris Stein. He told me, "It's kind of complicated, because Chris is really weird, he said he can't buy drugs from strangers, so he gave me this knife as a present, so that meant we were friends, and so now I can sell him drugs..." I told him, "Chad, it's the middle of Memorial Day weekend and all the drug dealers I know are at the beach, but I'll try.” I called up one of my best cocaine buddies, Andi Mueller, and told him I needed an eight-ball of good blow for the guitar player in Blondie and if he hooked me up, I could get him into the show for free (another one of my perks). Andi told me that he would try to score and he would call me back as soon as possible if he could. I went and told Chad the news and that I was going on the hunt and since he rated this mission as Top Priority, I had to go to the gay bars and look for a packet man because there was ALWAYS one there. As I was walking down F Street away from the club, Andi called me back and said he found what I needed. I hopped into a cab and zipped up to his apartment on Columbia Road in Adams-Morgan. He let me in and said, "Hey, the only person I could find only had pre-weighed half grams, so I had to get seven halves to make an eight-ball and it cost me two hundred dollars. I won't charge you anything since you are getting me and a friend into the show and you are buying me drinks." I grabbed up the cocaine, did a big-ass bump and headed back to the club. Upon returning, I found Chad and we went downstairs to the band's dressing room where Chad introduced me to Chris, so I shook his hand and said, "Hi." I pulled out the blow and apologized for it being so pricey because all the good dealers were out of town up at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. He freaked when I told him it was going to cost him two hundred dollars, he went on and on about how it only cost one hundred dollars in New York City. I apologized again and said, "This is DC, everything costs double here, and I can take it back." Chris jumped up and very empathetically said, "No, you don't have to do that! We got to go to the bathroom to do this. I can't let Debbie see me score." He demanded a hundred dollars from Mitch the multi-tasking manager, who glared at me disgustingly as we went into the bathroom together to do our illicit transaction. Chris locked the door behind us paranoid. I gave him half of the eight-ball and he suddenly plopped down on the floor and said, "You two have to do the first hit with me. Get me some baking soda!" Chad and I were aghast; we were only sniffers of the shit, not smokers! He opened up this satchel that he had been carrying and it contained a mad jumble of freebase pipes and other drug paraphernalia which he started rummaging through. We had been wondering what was in the bag that he was clutching so closely when he had walked into the club earlier and now we knew. Chad and I stammered and quietly bugged, until I said, "I got to go focus the lights, and oh yeah, could you please autograph this Blondie "Rapture" twelve-inch record sleeve please?" Which he did promptly and surprisingly, given the circumstances, without any "star attitude", and he told me that he would get Debbie to autograph it later if I wanted. To which I replied, "Oh God, please, she has been one of my music goddesses since I first saw her in Hit Parader Magazine in the seventies when I was in high school." Chad then said, "I got to make some production phone calls." We fled the bathroom and left Chris to his own devices.
The night progressed and finally it was time for my next job duty as "light guy". I climbed into the sound booth at 10PM and got in my position at the light board because the band was slated to go on at 10:15PM. I was standing there smiling because I was going to get to flash the lights on one of my favorite female rock and roll icons and I was in heaven. 10:15PM rolled around, but no band took the stage, soon it was 10:30PM and still no band on the stage, the crowd was starting to get antsy, and so was I actually. I must confess that I was also a cocaine addict so I indulged in some myself. I did several big lines and I was in full-blown tweak mode and so I was ready to get my groove on doing the lights as Debbie sang some of my favorite solo songs of hers. Suddenly Chad burst into the sound booth and yelled at me, "Where the hell have you been, Chris is refusing to go on until he gets another hit!!!" I replied, "I've been right here, where I am supposed to be, waiting for the band to go on so I can do the lights!" I handed him the other half of the eight-ball, and he ran off down to the band's dressing room to give Chris the cocaine so he could do his "go on stage" freebase hit. Ten minutes later the band hit the stage, Chris seemed to be really out of it and he could barely play his guitar. The band's other guitarist carried the show while Chris stood there spacing out and occasionally noodling on his guitar. The band's performance was mediocre at best; they played a few Blondie songs, "Hanging On The Telephone", "One Way Or Another", and "The Tide Is High", with a few solo songs tossed in, "French Kissing", "Rockbird", and "Feel The Spin". It was almost sad to watch and they only played a little over an hour. But as time has shown, Debbie and Chris turned things around and have made a spectacular comeback, despite a pesky lawsuit filed by some disgruntled former band mates. And you know, I never did get my Debbie Harry autograph that Chris promised me, or the money for the other half of the eight-ball I procured for him - oh well, that's life in rock'n'roll land!

9:30 Club I - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC

This was quite the memorable day in my rock and roll history! I showed up at eleven in the morning as I usually did when it was time to clean and mop the 9:30 Club, and did my thing; sweep up the trash the doormen missed the night before, clean up and disinfect the bathrooms and let me tell you - the women's bathroom was always dirtier and the graffiti was meaner, and emptying the tampon receptacles was always a disgusting nightmare. But today I was given the extra duty of scrubbing down the infamous 9:30 dressing rooms; I had to scrap up chewing gum wads and other mystery clumps, paint over really offensive graffiti on the walls and there was a lot, nail down loose boards and cover any holes that rats could fit through, clean the toilet like it had never been cleaned until the porcelain was white, and finally I had to neatly staple brand-new linen sheets to the dressing room benches. It was quite the arduous job but I made the dressing room sparkle and for once it did not have the infamous 9:30 stench for the evening. It always came back not matter how hard I tried to get rid of it. After I had finished all that, the equipment rental company showed up with a beautiful grand piano that we had to hoist on to the stage, man that was difficult but we got it done. I watched the piano-tuner do his thing with all his freaky little tuning devices, it boggled me on how much effort and work went into tuning a piano. As I was standing there by the back door, I hear a knock and when I opened the door, there stood Tony Bennett and his ancient driver. He said hello and shook my hand and walked into the club, and he seemed a bit taken aback by the size and grunginess of the place. He asked me to show him the dressing room and took hold of my arm as we walked down the stairs and, I will never ever forget the sound of his magnificent voice as he said, "So this is rock and roll!" I helped him back up the stairs and watched him sound check with his piano player for a few minutes and it was incredible. I left the club and went outside and the line for the show already stretched down F Street and around the corner on 10th Street where it had reached Ford's Theatre. I did not see the show that night but it must have been insane, because I am sure some of his fans who were lucky enough to get tickets were just horrified by the 9:30 Club.

9:30 Club I - 930 F St., NW - Washington, DC

I have always wanted to meet Ice-T because his classic album "Power" is one of a very few hip-hop albums that I think have any real artistic merit and that I really enjoyed listening to, so when he strolled into the club, it was nice to find him to be nice and affable. I told him about being harassed and degraded by these racist cops a few weeks earlier because I was wearing my ICE-T AND BODY COUNT tour shirt, they asked why a "faggot" like me was wearing a shirt with a "nigger" like Ice-T on it, and maybe they should run me in so I could meet some real criminal "niggers", if I admired Ice-T so much. I recounted this to him and he laughed and joked about how just wearing an Ice-T shirt could turn you into a "nigger" in the eyes of a cop as he signed my "Power" cassette for me. I preceded helping with the load-in and as usual we used the empty equipment cases to make a wall along the path from the stage to the dressing rooms. I returned that evening to watch the show and do the load-out, but the show was sold-out and packed to the rafters with mad kids who moshed in an out of control frenzy as they surged against the equipment case wall. I was roped into holding up the wall by bracing myself against the opposing wall, I had to maintain this position for nearly an hour as the bodies flew and pushed against the case, and I had to use all my strength to maintain my position, it was fucking crazy! I have never left a gig more exhausted than I did from this one.

9:30 Club - 815 V St., NW - Washington, DC

This was one of those shows that I DJ-ed because no one else wanted to do it, even if he was the son of a Beatle, John Lennon, and "artiste provocateur" Yoko Ono, who was lurking around the club like a shadow as her only child sound checked for his show as I prepared for my set in the DJ booth. Earlier that day as I picked out the songs I was going to play, I decided I was going to play one Beatles' song because it just seemed appropriate, because Sean would not be where he was if he was not the son of a Beatle, so after an hour of agonizing over it, I finally decided on "A Day In The Life" from the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Band" album. It seemed to be the most fitting one for the night. I rocked out for my opening set and opener RUFUS WAINRIGHT sat at his piano and played a forgettable set of whiny and overly dramatic torch songs, when he finished I started spinning again and when the opening strains of "A Day In The Life" drifted out of the speakers, the crowd let out an appreciative roar which made me think I was going the right direction, but much to my chagrin little Sean came charging up to my booth red in the face and screaming like a madmen, "No more Beatles songs!" I tried to remain calm as his manager tried to calm him down and commanded that I stop. I replied, "I am only playing this song, what kind of DJ do you think I am, and besides the crowd loved it and isn't that who we are trying to entertain." They made some grunting noises as I mixed in to "Stone Free" by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, who I read that Sean just loves, they then stormed off back to the dressing room where I realized Yoko was watching me from afar. A few minutes later Sean and his band took the stage in some weird dance formation and then played a set of stilted and incoherent songs that just made me think that talent really does skip a generation.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC
DELUDED Magazine #12


It was in the last days of March of 1999 and I was working at the 9:30 Club in downtown Washington, DC. THE ROOTS, who by the way are the best band in hip-hop, were playing two shows and I was working them both, I was doing coat-check duty during the early show, this position afforded me the best seat in the house because of where the coat-check is located in the club. It gave me a dead-on view of the stage, and the sound balance was beautiful to the ears. It was from this vantage point that I could play "judge, jury, and executioner" in my head as I watched the various examples of human species parade by my coat-check seat. Tonight's show was heavily populated by what some people disparagingly call "wiggers", and regardless of that, they just make me gag. White boys trying to act and dress slick like they Shaft or something, so they could get some brown sugar...ack! THE ROOTS, they came, they played, and they conquered! The played a stellar set of organic hip-hop/funk that drove the crowd into a wild frenzy and even I quite enjoyed their performance. The club was emptied and the second sold-out crowd filled the room as I dropped a phat set of hip-hop and jungle that had the room movin' and groovin'. THE ROOTS returned to the stage and I decided to blow the club and head to my favorite gay bar The Green Lantern where I also spun on Monday nights. I practically ran out of the front door of the 9:30 Club and hopped into a waiting taxicab. It was a big dark sedan from the late fifties, and it was like I had climbed into a time machine. The driver was this elderly African-American gentleman with the whitest hair and the most chocolate skin I have had ever seen, he reminded me of a Keebler elf. He turned his head around towards me and said, "You a musician, young fella?"
I replied, "Yes sir, I play guitar and piano."
He smiled at me and said, "Well, I used to go up in there in the forties and fifties when it was a music hall. That's where you met the young ladies, the proper ones, the ones you could take home to your momma, young fella. Well, one time I picked up Miss Billie Holiday there, and she says, "I want you to take me over to this club on 14th and T. I get her over there and she says, "I want you to come up in the club with me and wait while I sing my songs and then take me back to my hotel." I go up in there with her and she's singing and somebody's got this dog up in there, it starts barking and Miss Day turn to that dog and says, "Goddamn motherfucker shut the hell up", and you know what, young fella, it did! And you know what else young fella, I got to take Miss Ella Fitzgerald up into the White House!"
I was stunned as I sat there in the back of this man's taxicab because while he was telling me his story, it was like I had traveled backwards in a time machine. Everything around me seemed to have turned into a 1940s sepia-toned photograph and out of the corner of my eye, I could see Miss Day pointing at that dog and cursing him for interrupting her singing...I got out of the cab reeling as I graciously thanked him and gave him a very big tip. I could not believe how lucky I was to have heard him tell me this story.
A few nights later I was riding in another cab with another older black gentleman driver and I was recounting the Miss Day story to him and he said he knew where the club used to be, and he thought it was called The Palm, and that he used to meet a lot of chicks there. He drove me by the corner where the bar used to be, as he described a typical night there to me, and it sounded pretty wild to me. An odd thing that I forgot to mention earlier about this story is that when I re-tell it to other people my voice just naturally and without thinking, imitates the voice and accent of the man that had originally told me the Lady Day story. After I told the story to the second cabdriver, he said he recognized the accent that I was imitating as the "Rounder" accent. Years ago The Rounder School which was in Southwest Washington, DC, was where the "colored" children that showed promise were sent for a better education, so all those children ended up with the same accent that was taught at the school. We reached my destination and as I was getting out of his taxicab he said to me, "You know, I used to beat up Marvin Gaye every day after school in fifth grade," as he let out a big laugh. It is amazing what you can learn by taking a ride in a taxicab. Every now and then I can catch a glimpse of Miss Day out of the corner of my eye; it is almost like she is my guardian angel or something now.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

Its Saturday night again at the fabulous Nightclub 9:30 and I am feeling like Bart Simpson in the episode of The Simpsons where he went to work for Krusty The Klown on his TV show and after a few weeks of the showbiz grind, he found himself exclaiming, "I wish I was dead!" The excessively lame hippie band String Cheese Incident is on stage butchering Kool and The Gang's "Jungle Boogie", the funk has never been so desecrated. I have begun praying for a power outage, snipers, spontaneous combustions, something, anything to stop this odious display of instrument molestation. I find myself missing The Grateful Dead terribly; they were the only ones who could play this kind of music right. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but the recent rash of nouveau hippie jam bands has proven that the liberal white music lovers' musical taste has reached an all-time low. String Cheese Incident noodle on and on and on, a constant barrage of scales; the drummer's tempo fluctuates like the tides, he was never quite in time with the rest of the band. Their musicianship is better than most of the other hippie bands like Moe and Galactica, but I find myself naming the songs that they are ripping off, and for the most part they come across as a bad Grateful Dead tribute band. Jerry what have you wrought! What has happened to innovation, because there is not a drop of originality in this band? It is intermission now, and I sit at my post and observe the crowd as they mill around and so I amuse myself by playing vicious little games in my head like "Spot The Closet Queen" and "Freak The Hippie Out With Jerry Is A Dead Junkie Comments". And whoever heard of hippies wearing khaki! I tell myself not to be so jaded and cynical, because these people are supposed to be the more open-minded and enlightened ones. I try to find comfort in the words of the Bob Marley song that the DJ is playing, "Don't worry, every little thing is gonna be alright." Now that I expressed myself, I can go back to counting the minutes to closing, as the world continues its downward spiral to the Millennium.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is a mild Tuesday night at the club and I sit quietly in coat check waiting for the time to fly by until it is time to go home. It is the second night of this three-band bill; Fleming & John are on the stage first, and they are a husband/wife and her brother trio. They played a half-hour set of bland and derivative Alanis Morrissette-type girl rock, and each song was very reminiscent of some classic rock song of yore. One song, which was written with the help of Ben Folds of the headliner band, was such a rip-off of a sixties girl-pop song and it drove me crazy because the title was on the tip of my tongue, but I just could not recall it. Fleming had a good strong voice but her delivery was so unoriginal that she just annoyed me. I was glad when they left the stage.
Train, the latest hip adult contemporary thirty-something white boy band, are currently on the stage playing some vaguely groove-orientated nineties San Francisco post-hippie rock and sounding like a thousand other West Coast bands. They lamely plod through Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On" and I just want to cry. They will burn in hell for their musical desecration. The singer has this vaguely queeny voice that makes me want to smack his punk ass. He reminds me of Rufus Wainwright if he sang for The Wallflowers, I could just choke him. Do not buy their albums, please just destroy them!
A half-hour later Ben Folds Five takes the stage, and immediately it is apparent that Ben Folds is the "heir apparent" to the throne of the Elton John/Billy Joel School of piano-driven histrionics. His favorite record when he was a kid must have had been "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John. It just had to be. The band is now playing "Army", and he sure likes to use the word "fucking" a whole lot, to quote the song, "Son, you're fucking high." I DJ'ed the first show last night and I lead my set off with Elton John's "The Bitch Is Back" because this is the song that verified to me that he is the son of Elton John, but I do not think he is gay, at least I hope he is not. Ooooh, I cannot imagine it, and I am a big fag. The song "Steven" has been my favorite so far, a big beat T-Rex-esque jam meets gypsy music ditty, which actually had me tapping my toes to its quirky beat. Their lighting guy had a great sense of rhythmic flow with the music, but the yellow lights made the bald spot on top of Ben's head glow like it was radioactive. It looks like he is going to need a hair transplant just like his "hero" Elton John. They then played a witty ditty for the club and its "beautiful staff" and once again he cursed like a sailor as he sang "The 9:30 staff is pretty fucking cool" and then they jumped into another likeable song called "Best Imitation Of Myself", which was also in the vein of Elton John. Just how many "fucking" times am I going to mention "fucking" Elton John? Ben Folds occasionally talks to the audience to exhibit a wry sense of humor with a sprinkling of witty "bon mots" that gave me more than a few laughs. Another highlight of the show is when he pounds on his keyboards with his stool and then he flings it at the piano with a cacophonic thud as he tries to be macho or something like a latter-day Jerry Lee Lewis or ELP's Keith Emerson. Next they launch into some kind of Vangelis-esque piano storm, I just want to scream, and I feel for the poor piano. Piano-tuners must hate him! Ben Folds Five continue to just play on, but now the songs are beginning to all sort of sound the same though. Finally they leave the stage, but they come back to play encores because the white collegiate crowd is mad for them. Much to my chagrin, they horribly crash through Steely Dan's "Give Me My Money Back" and then finally it is over. It must be "Bad Cover Song Month" in the world of rock and roll.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is Thursday night and I sit and wait for another show to start, it is the latest show in the continuing series of "Lame White Boy Bands Of The Nineties". The headliners, The Counting Crows, have been torturing me the entire decade, I must have worked for them in some capacity at least twenty times in my tenure as resident freak-of-all-trades at the fabulous 9:30 Club. I have yet to find anything to like about The Counting Crows or their music. Thank God for marijuana to keep me sane, or I would just have to phone in a bomb threat. The lame-ass Adam Durwitz personally introduces the first opening band, Joe 90, who happens to be signed to his record label. The vocalist's voice is so saturated with digitally processed effects and everyone knows that that is a sure sign that the night can only go downhill from there. I was hoping to say something nice about one of the bands tonight but I guess not. The keyboardist is the most annoying of noisemakers, learn some chord progressions, buddy. Their album that they are pimping on this tour is called "Dream This", but it should be called "Ream This". I am starting to lose my objectivity so I better put my pen down.
Finally something good to write about in this review, the lovely Adam Durwitz and his lovely fake dreads announces from the stage that it would be nice for the punters to take some of their valuable time and visit the advocacy groups booths that are set up in the entrance foyer of the club. One for My Sister's Place and the other for Food For Friends, one for fighting domestic violence and one to help feed people with AIDS. Kudos to The Counting Crows! He leaves the stage and then returns a few minutes later and paraphrasing Grand Funk Railroad, he announces, "They're an American band - Beantown's own - The Gigolo Aunts!" They take the stage and play that chunky but not funky Yankee bar band rock that on occasion I can find vaguely amusing. Their set bops along but I can clearly see their problem, and that is that their songs are just not that catchy, that is probably why they will be stuck in middle opening band land until they break-up. They remind me of The Afghan Whigs way too much and I keep thinking the singer looks an awful lot like Dave Grohl. So I flash back to when I used to promote Sunday afternoon punk rock matinees at a lesbian bar called The Hung Jury Pub in Washington, DC, and at one gig that I was the emcee and right before Dave Grohl's second band Dain Bramage was going to play, Dave told me not to mess up their name by saying Brain Damage instead of Dain Bramage, which of course I did anyway, so he clocked me in the head with one of his drumsticks, and that is how The Counting Crows make me feel. The Gigolo Aunts played a nice brisk set, so they get bonus points in my book, but I will not be humming one of their ditties in the morning. The most amusing song of their set contained the line, "Super ultra wicked love", which I might use as a "bon mot" later.
Okay, I am getting geared up to live through The Counting Crows set, and they have the audacity to blast The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" as their intro music, and I think in my head in my internal Jar-Jar Binks voice - "How rude!" They open with their "Time-Life Best Of The Nineties" song "Mr. Jones"...and oh...that hideous voice of his, sounding like Van Morrison on helium. It whines, it yelps, it gurgles, it is hideous, and it is evil. I have begun praying to ALL the gods to please make him go mute. I am going to start a church dedicated to heavenly protection from the evil presence that is Adam Durwitz's voice. May God have mercy on my soul and my ears! It is a half-hour into their set, and I cannot remember a single song that they played. That is so sad, and to make matters worse, I still have the phrase, "Me and Mr. Jones", stuck in my head. Curses!! Then he made the most "precious" song introduction, "This is a song about a girl who moved from Montana to L.A., and discovered the inherent wonders of heroin." The song sucked just like heroin does. I almost forgot about the Baltimore/Washington DC connections within the band until Baltimore native Adam Durwitz sang their Mid-Atlantic name-check song, and he had dozens of his relatives in the house making way too much noise, and he had his grandmother hobble onto the stage for a hug and she seemed a bit cagey. She must be so proud, particularly of his excessive use of the word "fucking" proud. We have now entered the encore segment of tonight's rock'n'roll presentation, so I tuned them out as I gear up to hand back coats to fools who listen to the "fucking" Counting Crows as quickly as possible and getting the hell out of there. May God have mercy on Adam Durwitz's soul because I do not!

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

Saturday night and I sit tight, poised like a tiger, ready to strike! Cypress Hill is in da house! The crowd flows in, a pastiche of turn of the century hip-hop culture - suburban style. I remind myself to keep the claws in, and "wigger" is considered a racial epithet.
The opening act, Mindless Self Indulgence, came out looking like the house band in the futuristic "Batman Beyond" cartoon or something, I was sitting there thinking to myself about which cartoon they must have climbed out of, and more importantly, who dressed them. But they kicked it like a mutant Marilyn Manson/New York Dolls/Beastie Boys/Korn psycho-metal rap conglomeration. It was kind of cool, but a lot of pre-recorded backing tracks though, then the lead singer Jimmy Urine turned out to be this NYC bangee fag working his mojo. I was amazed when he started yelling, "Faggot get off the stage!" I love him; the sold-out crowd went dead silent when he came out to them. It was beautiful. Mega-props to Cypress Hill for helping to fight homophobia in the hip-hop world by having Mindless Self Indulgence open for them.
Intermission was over as the house lights went down and Cypress Hill hit the stage and they dropped the bomb on the house, they are my personal favorite hip-hop act and I do not like many. Slanging in some obtuse Fellini-esque vision of life - dark - dangerous - exotic - herb smoke wafting - "How could I just kill a man.?" I keep getting this funny vibe from their music and lyrics, which are quite violent and whack but in a particularly uplifting way since they were delivered in an almost lighthearted way. Funny, I tell you, but Sen Dog and B-Real know to work the stage and rock the house, it was almost gospel-like in their presentation, and the crowd responded in kind but Washington DC has always been good to them. I have worked for them many times; their Lollapalooza show with the giant smoking bomb being one of the more memorable ones, but this show was rivaling that one. I had a surreal moment as I saw a punter pass a big joint to B-Real, and I observed the security crew chief nonchalantly watch the exchange with a wry look on his face that said, "What can I do, it's Cypress Hill man, they are pot." Their pointed lyrical attacks on the police and their illegal tactics were brilliant, especially during one song in which Sen Dog recounts a tale about a dream he had where he was a bloodthirsty corrupt cop - fantastic Shakespearean psychodrama. Cypress Hill had a full band backing them, and during the middle segment of the show the guitarist exploded like a punk rock Hendrix, they were everything Ice-T wanted to do with Body Count but did not achieve. Cypress Hill was just utterly brilliant, nobody does it better!

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is a dreary Thursday night, and the band tonight is my personal nadir involving white culture. I am trapped like a caged rat in my DJ booth/coat check aerie; I am doing double duty tonight, jacking the decks and hanging the racks. I am playing a totally mad set of righteous funky organic pop/funk/disco/rock crowd-pleasing party pumpers - "I love the nightlife, I got to boogie, I got to disco down" - curse that phone company and their insidious television and radio ads, they ruin songs.
The ABBA generation is in a tizzy, the faux ABBA, Bjorn Again, are really going to rock their pathetic little worlds. Bjorn Again take the stage - Lights, Action, and Showtime! - I could gag. What is next at the club - The Battle Of The Fake Jimi Hendrixs? The band is plowing through the ABBA catalogue, and I am horrified that I know every song - "Voulez Vous" - "Gimme, Gimme A Man After Midnight" - "Dancing Queen" - "Mamma Mia" - "Take A Chance On Me" - and my most hated personal favorite "S.O.S.". All this horrible music causes me to flashback to the mid-seventies to when my father was hospitalized at N.I.H. in Bethesda and being used as a medical guinea pig for experimental drugs to treat Cooley's Anemia, a hereditary blood disease partial to Greeks, and on Sundays my family and I would visit him at the hospital and while we waited in the visitors room, pop radio station WASH-FM would be playing on the intercom system and it seemed like I would like I would always hear "S.O.S." and "Fernando" every Sunday for the year and a half that my father was there. I hated ABBA, they are partly the reason I became a KISS fan. Tonight is so pathetically surreal and it is scaring the hell out of me. Plus the band's road manager asked me to score him some cocaine, and you know what that tells you. The Bad Covers Sweepstakes continue with Bjorn Again's entry, the most frighteningly lame cover of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" with a couple bars of the guitar riff from "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz thrown in to really terrify, and then the guitarist plays the signature riff from Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water" as the singer screams, "Real rock'n'roll music!" Oh God, help us! Then he says, "Someone tomorrow may come up to you and say, "Rock'n'Roll is dead", you look at them and walk away." Ugh! Just remember that ABBA sang this shit phonetically. Voulez-vous my ass!

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

Saturday night and it is "Ska Night" at the club, "Oh, happy, happy, joy, joy!". Tonight is also Howard University Homecoming, the school is situated two blocks east, and the brothers and sisters are celebrating in the streets, and the neighborhood is twitching from the electricity in the air. I have a friend drive me uptown and as I jumped out of my ride, these two knuckleheads eyeball me and start rudely laughing at me. One says, "Look at Little Bo Peep!", and another says, "You lost your sheep?" I smile and say, "I ain't got no sheep." Another one says, "I bet you got a big ole bag of weed! Gonna go smoke a joint?" The first one says, "He's a white boy, he uses a bong." I just laugh and hurry on my way to the club.
I walk into the club with Head East's "Never Been Any Reason" stuck in my head, and think about how ironic those guys were outside, because it is "White Teenage America Night" with Two Jacks and Save Ferris in the building. The band Save Ferris are the most vilest of instrument molesters who spew out the most diluted perversion of music based on a black music form, and they are doing it in the middle of the cultural heart of Black America. It is so ironic and depressing and so lately I have found some white people to be really disturbing, they can be so frightening some times. I set coat check up and Two Jacks takes the stage and they make some kind of dreadful noise, it is a shame when the drummer carries the band. He is the only one who is going to have a career in music in a couple of years. Someone should tell the bass player that there are three other strings on his instrument. I will not say anything gratuitously mean about the two guitarists but I will say - "chord", spelt C-H-O-R-D, look it up in the dictionary and learn something. Worst of all, the singer probably could not skateboard, so he joined a band so he could get laid. I know and hate this kind of boy. I love watching skater-generation straight boys as they attempt to skeeze on women. It is such a hoot! It has also been a fun gig tonight to play "Spot The Queen" or in the case of tonight, "Spot The Future Queen" because of the lower age bracket that is in attendance for this show. And then...Two Jacks' entry into the Bad Covers Sweepstakes...a horrendous version of The Police's "Message In The Bottle" and the tempo was in double time. Time to kill whoever gave this band a recording contract! I must go cry now.
Epic Records recording artists Save Ferris take the stage and I was hoping I did not have to go into "crucify" mode, but my muse said, "Too bad, get out the hammer and nails." Ska music is finally dead; it has been beat into the ground by bands like this. Some punk-ass label morons must have said, "This band will pay for our kids' college educations. Didn't that band No Doubt make a ton of money; well, they had a blonde singer, so let's get a ska band with a brunette singer, and tell them here is the formula, make us a hit record." They are the Loverboy of the nineties. I wonder just how many other genres of music they were before they became a "ska" band. I just sit here in coat check and try to contain myself. This band enrages me and I am filled with wicked homicidal thoughts, so I put some X on my brain stereo - "I must not think bad thoughts, I must not think bad thoughts!" Shame on the shit peddlers who are foisting this "music" on the American public! Save Ferris is such derivative, bland, lowest common denominator, designed to sell to idiots, fake-as supposedly "ska" music. They are so imitative of No Doubt that I keep waiting for them to cover "Spiderwebs". Their musicianship is quite competent, the singer is engaging but they ain't got no soul and I do not think that they truly understand what it means to be musicians or they would not be participating in this fraud. The rant segment is now over. I cannot wait to get home and play my guitar as I gently weep. Pencil down, time is up! Addenda - Save Ferris saved their entry for the Bad Covers Sweepstakes for very last, and I kid you not, it was a soul-cringing version of "Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners. God is just torturing me - why, I cry, why!


Elton John started singing "Candle In The Wind" on the radio in the restaurant where I was having a late lunch on a quiet street in Amsterdam. I found myself wishing him dead from a tragically ironic accident that happened while he was shopping for a brand new thong on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. A nice leather one that he could wear and slyly smile to himself as he recorded his latest hit duet with the latest teen sensation in his latest ill-advised bid to grab some attention. Because he was getting really tired of singing "Daniel" to over-weight middle-aged Americans trying to find a moment of happiness with an Elton John soundtrack and he desperately wanted to have another hit song because he was also really, REALLY tired of singing "Crocodile Rock". And as he was lost in thought in the store's dressing room while trying on his brand new thong, he would slip and fall and somehow accidently strangle himself with said brand new thong and then some hapless and incompetent clerk would have to bust down the dressing room door and find Elton's prone and bloated body all blue on the floor. After he screamed, he would have to call the police; they would then arrive and laugh their asses off when they realized just who the dead body lying on the floor was. One cop would call him a "stupid faggot" as another cop called The National Enquirer on his cell phone. The tabloids would have a field day, as everyone shook their collective heads, as they try to stifle their laughter and muttering to themselves, "How fitting!" Then on the day of his funeral, and it would rival Princess Diana's in pomp and proportion, I tell you! There would be a worldwide webcast where one could express oneself on the passing of Sir Elton, and I would laugh to myself as I waited to log on to the site to recount the time that I was sitting seven seats away from Sir Elton at the recently restored Hammerstein Ballroom in lovely downtown Manhattan on November 11th in 1999 for The Pet Shop Boys' NYC concert appearance. Being that I am a MITTIE (Music Industry Type), I have access to certain privileges, one being promotional concert tickets, and through my friend who was at the time, an employee of EMI Records and a disgruntled one at that, I received a pair for this show. When he gave me the tickets, he told me to dress flamboyantly and to be rude and loudly bitch about the "peasants", because when his boss gave him the tickets, he told him to be on his best behavior because the tickets were located in the first balcony tier and "all the balconies are VIP, no punters had tickets, they were only allowed on the floor." So since he hates his boss, he telephoned me, his favorite freak as he calls me, because he knew I would appreciate the tickets and that I would work the nerves of the room just right, not enough to get in too much trouble but enough to cause consternation. I was already in downtown Manhattan to see The Eurythmics perform at their only East Coast show at the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, for their "Peace Tour". They were quite fabulous by the way, and I was in the eleventh row with one of my very best friends, Keith McGirt. The only annoyance being "Miss Din Da Da" himself, Kevin Aviance was seated a few rows in front of us dressed in a bright red sequined gown with this fucking peacock feather in "her" headdress that kept getting in my line of vision of Annie Lennox singing her heart out. Back in the early nineties, Kevin was Queen Bitch of the Washington DC underground club scene along with his crew fashionably dressed drug addicts known as the House of Aviance. I used to jokingly call them the House of Evian because of their ever-present bottles of water, and for those not in the know, people who do the Connie-Tina-Gina-Kitty-X-perience tend to need a lot of water to stay hydrated and they usually do not drink much alcohol because it does not mix well with some drugs. But anyways, what a tangent that was, back to The Pet Shop Boys. My friend Owen Boarman and I arrived at the show and I was looking fierce in Perry Ellis and Rubio Leather, and when we reached the balcony entrance, the look on the usher's face was priceless when he saw that we were sitting with the other celebs. When we got to our seats we were flabbergasted by the view, we sat down and marveled at the spectacle; the A-List queens, the club kids, the straight people with the "deer in the headlights" look on their faces, and most of all, the looks that the people who were sitting around us were giving each other, that quizzical "who are they and why are they sitting near me?" look. I just sat in my seat and smirked, I once heard that it is always best to leave them guessing. Suddenly there was a hubbub of noise behind us, and lo and behold, Sir Elton John appeared with his boyfriend David Furness and two women who looked like leftover nineteen-seventies coke whore supermodels dressed badly in Donatello Versace. But the Elton...what a queen...his hair looked like a rabid raccoon sitting on top of his head, and his skin, I knew that the British were pasty white but when you are sitting seven seats away from him...ooh...his skin was the colour of a hundred-watt light bulb, and then there is that little potbelly of his. David looked terribly uncomfortable, and the two women with them would not shut the hell up, they sounded like two computer modems working in overdrive. I found myself thinking that David was kind of cute, and God...does he open his eyes when they have sex with Elton! I imagine that only sex with Bruce Vilanch would be scarier. So I started flirting with David until he started fidgeting and turned away from my direction. The lights dimmed and The Pet Shop Boys took the stage and were quite brilliant in their performance of twenty of their greatest songs, they opened with "West End Girls" and the songs flowed by highlighted by beautiful shimmery lights and dazzling video images - "Discoteca", "Being Boring", "Happiness Is An Option", a rocked out "Can You Forgive Her", "Only The Wind", then my favorite part of the show was when they started performing "What Have I Done To Deserve This", and thanks to modern technology, they were able to have the recently departed grand diva of white soul music, Dusty Springfield, singing her part on the giant hanging video screen on the stage and at the end of the song as her image faded away on the screen, Neil Tennant waved and whispered, "Goodbye Dusty." I burst into tears, for I have loved Dusty since I was a little kid in the sixties, then they pumped the mood up with a rousing "New York City Boy" that just set the crowd off being that we were in New York City, and it was on to "Left To My Own Devices", a wonderfully soulful "Young Offender", "Vampires", a tear jerking "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk", "Se A Vida", "I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More". Then out of the corner of my eye, and is it not always that way, I realized that Sir Elton was in what appeared to be dancing and it was ghastly and I could not take my eyes off him. It was just like in The Simpsons' episode when The X-Files' Fox Mulder and Dana Scully came to Springfield to investigate when Homer claimed to have seen an alien who turned out to be Mr. Burns. There was a scene where the two were performing tests on Homer and Scully had him running on a treadmill and she could not stop watching Homer's belly jiggling as he jogged in place. It was horrifyingly hypnotic. The icing on the cake came during The Pet Shop Boys' cover of Willie Nelson's "Always On My Mind", when Sir Elton leaned over and ever so romantically kissed David on the cheek. I thought I was going to die as I burst out laughing at the same time as I was taking a swallow of my beer. I had to get up and go out to the lobby and clean myself up. I returned to my seat as they were finishing "Shameless", and then they launched into a showstopper version of "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)", after which they left the stage. The crowd and my friend and I cheered our heads off and they returned to the stage and both Neil and Chris very graciously thanked us and encored with stellar versions of "It's A Sin", one of my favorite songs by them even though it is a cover, "It's Alright", and then they closed with an very enthusiastic version of The Village People's "Go West". The end of their set came and Sir Elton and his friends were whisked away by security. My friend and I entered the night and walked to our hotel laughing loudly as we cracked jokes about the kiss that we witnessed. Well, let's fast forward back to the beginning of this story where I was fantasizing about Sir Elton's untimely death and his funeral and the accompanying hoopla. I truly do not mean any disrespect to the lovely Sir Elton John, I am just being silly. Elton's shows are one of my favorite ones to go see. Before I close, I just envisioned an even better death for him - imagine yourself backstage at the Grammy Awards after Sir Elton's duet with Eminem, and in a fit of "homosexual panic", Eminem shoots Sir Elton in the head because he hugged him. Did not know that Elton John was gay, my ass!

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

I have finally got to sit still so I can recover from my whirlwind glamour tour of NYC and I just DJ'ed a fierce set of fat funky sticky party beats, some P-Funk, The Bar-Kays, Labelle, Earth, Wind, and Fire, and now I am just sitting in the dark in my DJ booth. Blue Miracle is currently on stage pumping out some pleasantly bland, vaguely familiar music that I guess they call "hippie funk" these days. I call it "Chinese food music", you know it tastes good but an hour later you are hungry again. The band noodles on, and I can hear some Hendrix, The Dead, Traffic, and Funkadelic, but Blue Miracle just does not add anything original to the mix. What I want to know is why they always get the opening slot on these sorts of gigs? I hope they finish soon. Blue Miracle suddenly kicks into their entry for the Bad Covers Sweepstakes with a verbatim rendition of Santana's "Abraxas", and that just proved to me how much of a stupid cover band they are. They blow - stick to your day jobs lame hippie boys! The Funky Meters are in their hardcore "Vegas" years as they say. They have been playing the same ten songs for the past three decades, and just like stones in a creek, every song is smooth and polished with no variation or deviation from the formula, each song a museum piece illustrating various styles of the funk and its sub-genres. Then as an added bonus, they seem to play forever, just noodling on and on for two plus hours and my ears just go numb from its offensive blandness. I wish I could heap praises on them for their longevity and enormous fan base but I cannot. That is not what moves me when it comes to music, to rock my ears you really got to make me feel the groove deep in my soul and tonight The Funky Meters just did not do that for me. Thank God P-Funk is here tomorrow night, God bless the funk.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is Thursday and it is "Modern Rock" night at the 9:30 Club and the suburban crowd rolls into the club like cockroaches. There are lots of parents with their children...and my my...the times have changed...I cannot imagine going to a rock concert with my parents. I am in my coat check patiently waiting for the show to begin and to end, so I can go drinking. I notice that the crowd demographics are quite the peculiar cross-section of people from teeny-bopper girlies to college kids to office people, very interesting indeed. Citizen King takes the stage and immediately they bore the living hell out of me. They are barely musically competent, and "turntablists" are NOT musicians no matter what anybody says. They excrete this musical abomination that is a little bit hip-hop, a little rap, a little bit of The Beastie Boys, and a touch of Korn, then shake and stir an voila - instant hit band. Citizen King is now playing their big hit "I've Seen Better Days", but I can only think, "I've seen better bands!" I am so glad they only get to play for forty-five minutes. The break between the bands seems interminably long and finally the lights dim, the crowd screams wildly and Smash Mouth take the stage playing some rockabilly/surf guitar instrumental opening number and then they launch into their current hit song "Can't Get Enough Of You Baby". The music has a familiar feel to it, every song sounds similar to a classic song of yore. They are starting to remind me of an amped up Partridge Family or some Hanna-Barbera cartoon band. The crowd just laps it up, it is so sad. Smash Mouth gives props to the club because this is where they played their first gig as a signed band opening for Sugar Ray, hence all the Mark McGrath clones walking around the club trying to get laid. Now they are playing this horrible faux-ska - Ugh! They then make their entry into the Bad Covers Sweepstakes with "Jump Around" by Boston's House Of Pain, and I am living in one right now. The singer Steve Harwell then clued me into what generation they belong to, The Sesame Street generation! They are so inoffensive and bland, total cotton-candy music, you cannot help yourself from kind of liking them. They are pleasant and they do sort of kick a decent groove on occasion. Smash Mouth are now playing a song about marijuana, the singer Steve Harwell tells a story about getting high and paranoid and hiding in the closet crying. It was an amusing anecdote, which caused me to actually enjoy the song. They pause and leave the stage, the crowd goes wild, they return to the stage. Time to encore with their smash hits - "All Star" where the singer brings two little boys on the stage to jump and down like idiots while screaming "Hey now, you're a rock star!", and finally they close with their super hit "Walkin' On The Sun". I call it to their fake Doors' song because the organ riff is lifted from "Hello, I Love You", but I still like the song. It is great pop music because it is perfect for riding around in a convertible with the top down and the speakers booming with the hot summer day kind of song that it is. It is bound to end it up in a television commercial for floor cleaner and it is their Time/Life Best Of The Nineties compilation song. I am so glad the show is over though because I got another show to work tomorrow night.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is Friday night and the seemingly endless rock and roll grind is starting to wear me out. I am the DJ tonight and I kick this perky little set of drum'n'bass into jazz house into Eddie Hazel's "Maggot Brain" and then right on cue Project Logic wind up into their NYC style of urban funk psycho jazz freeform musical sculpting. They had this kick back and groove, dim the lights, hit the bong, and let the funk free your mind thing that had me bopping my head and smiling in that dazed'n'stoned way. I like these guys and I am going to try to score a free promo CD from their PR guy, the rest of y'all - go buy it please. DJ Logic is better than most of the so-called "turntablists" as he skillfully added great accents and under scorings to the music the musicians were playing on the stage. It was a very enjoyable set that made what was coming more bearable. I did not have to DJ during the set change because Medeski, Martin, and Wood wanted to listen to banging shit and assorted clanging noises. I have DJ'ed for them twice before and they bore the hell out of me with their tepid white boy funk that made me want to cry. If you are a lost Deadhead, you will end up at one of their gigs dancing like an idiot. Mindless, funky noodling for fools, but if this is your cup of tea, by all means go to a Medeski, Martin, and Wood gig and rock out, lots of other people do it, and they always pack the club. But they still suck.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

Saturday night in the big city and the computer geeks are out "en masse" to see their heroes Moxy Fruvous. Right now Marge Calhoun is playing guitar and singing some "woman's" song but her annunciation is hideous so she sounds like she's mumbling in gibberish. Thankfully local legend Ron Holloway is backing her on his saxophone, wailing away deep and soulful and he is just enough to distract you from her singing. The percussionist has a nice and simple backbeat that really compliments Ron's very stylish saxophone trills that are quite beautiful to my ears. But the Emmylou Harris wannabe Marge Calhoun has to go, she was insufferable. At 11PM on the dot, Moxy Fruvous take the stage and they come across like the bastard child of Rush and The Bare-Naked Ladies. I wonder if they are Canadian. What is with this recent rash of quirky bands lately, they remind me of Ween, whom I just saw in the "It's Pat" movie. It is now time for the "Hurtful Break-Up Song"...oy...woe are the dorm bands that get famous. I wonder what their real jobs are in the daytime world. They have the most inane lyrics, such as, "You got to teach horseshoes,"...what!?! The band has some pretty intense four-part vocal harmonies going on, particularly during their "faux island music" segment of their show. But the worst part of the evening was that I had to endure the most inane stage banter between songs, the guitarist kept ranting about American Secretaries of State, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter, and he seems to have a bizarre and odd obsession with Madeline Albright. I wish he would just shut up and play his guitar and get their set over with and get off the stage. I just want to get away from them; I do not want to hear songs about Lazy Boy chairs. They remind me of all of those lame seventies AM pop radio bands, sounding the vaguely like America, Bread, and Three Dog Night but with Frank Zappa-esque lyrics. And boy oh is all white night at the club. Moxy Fruvous just babble on like broken records, and I am wishing that they would just get it over with, their music makes my whole body hurt. And I was right, they are Canadian, they club manager just informed of that vital information. There is no mistaking a Canadian, and it explains everything. Heart is the only Canadian band that matter. Ann and Nancy Wilson rule! This band does not, they are starting to come across as an overblown sketch comedy improv troupe and they are really starting to annoy me. They are tragically butchering Cab Calloway's "Minnie The Moocher", and I have noticed that they are butchering a lot of traditional American music styles, and it is simply appalling, but at least they are not horrible at it as some other bands that I have seen in the past couple months at the club. Lastly, I knew it was too good to be true, the band played a long and tedious set of originals, but then they had to have an entry into the "Bad Covers Sweepstakes", and it was "Psycho Killer" by The Talking Heads and it was a tragically lifeless and verbatim rendition that would have made David Bryne turn into a psycho killer. During their second encore, they added to the horror with a second entry, an ear-splitting trashing of "Alison" by Elvis Costello - ugh!

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is another motherfucking hippie show at the 9:30 Club; this one is Ratdog, which features Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead singing and playing the guitar. The nouveau hippies are out in full force to see their god Bob. Today's preppie hippies just kill me with their khakis and short hair and real jobs, somehow it just does not seem right. I used to be a big Deadhead during the seventies and the early eighties; in fact I saw seventy-three shows plus numerous shows by their various side projects and I loved the whole experience. Then I went on the road and followed The Dead for twenty-three gigs on their "Shakedown Street Tour", I was hanging with a girlfriend whose sister was dating the band's tour manager who gave us guest passes and I got to see the dark side of The Grateful Dead family. The "heroin years" were in full swing, I saw Phil Lesh be scraped off the floor with shit in his pants, and I saw roadies and hanger-ons raping and abusing young girls with the promise of meeting Jerry Garcia. I became very disillusioned with The Dead and turned to punk rock for salvation. In the late eighties when the Dead revival began, I occasionally went to a show but it was not like it used to be and then guitarist Jerry Garcia overdosed and died from a speedball that some of his "fans" snuck into the rehab for him, it was a sad and stupid day in music history. After his death, the faux Dead bands began to proliferate and desecrate the music, and I started to really despise hippies, which brings us back to now. The opening act was some broke down hippie chick that had no idea what she was doing on the stage as she flailed at a guitar and caterwauled into a microphone. She then informed us that she had just gone clean and sober after seventeen years of chronic drug addiction that began when she was ten...oh boo hoo...I really hate whiny ex-junkies. I wonder whom she blew to get this gig, because she really blew! Bob Weir and the band take the stage and kick into their signature blend of folk, rock, bluegrass, and freeform jazz, and the hippies start mindlessly dancing and I start counting the seconds until they stop even though I know they are going to play for two-plus hours. On and on and on they go noodling on their instruments, but they do perform a quite lovely "Casey Jones"..."Driving that train high on cocaine, Casey Jones you better watch your speed." Which matter of fact I was! Finally they leave the stage, and the hippies scream their little hearts out and Ratdog returns to the stage and plays for another half hour. Once again they leave the stage and the house lights come up and I return coats back to a bunch of stupid and drunken hippies trying to fuck each other. Ugh!!

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is a cold and slow night at the 9:30 Club, and it is evident by the lethargic crowd that the recent "Swing" craze has finally peaked. All I have to say is that it is about damn time, I hate the forties and fifties and overblown musical nostalgia crapola. First on the stage are local favorites The Hula Monsters who purvey some bland hula-rockabilly-swing hybrid that always seems to get the crowd dancing. The band's musicianship is good, but the music itself is dull as dishwater. I cannot remember anything about their music and songs once they finished their set. The headliners The Big Bad Voodoo Daddies take the stage primping and swinging; of all the nouveau-swing bands out there today, these guys seem to be the overall favorites of the Swing music crowd. They deliver a very polished and poppy set, but I find them bland and almost offensive. I prefer the real stuff from the twenties and thirties, Count Basie and Duke Ellington and bandleaders of their ilk, and I do not see how The Big Bad Voodoo Daddies are even vaguely connected to them musically. They make the crowd happy though as they bop and dance mindlessly to their music, so I guess they are doing their job. Props to you guys for rocking the house, I guess I will hear you next time because I do not listen to The Big Bad Voodoo Daddies at my house. And by the way, when is your Gap commercial?

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is freezing cold as winter descends upon the Capitol City, where it is "Christian Music" night at the fabulous 9:30 Club and the very polite crowd is waiting for their heroes Jars Of Clay to give them a spiritual uplifting music experience and make them feel closer to Christ. Even Jesus the Lord and Savior can rock out sometimes, dude! I cannot wait to bear witness to the spectacle that is about to begin. The "happy Jesus vibe" that is permeating the club is becoming mind-numbing, and I am smiling like a mental patient on lithium and I cannot stop myself. Their fans are so polite that I just want to vomit. Opening band Silage have begun sucking on stage and sucking to pre-recorded drum tracks, while playing that fake cover band-sounding, middle of the road pop-schlock pabulum. I blame Creed for this band's existence. They are now doing their fake Korn song...the hippity-hop my ass. I have counted fourteen Christ references so far, oh joy and Amen. Jars Of Clay take the stage, the crowd is just a' screaming, it looks like it is just about a sell-out show and they kick into their secular radio-friendly shiny happy alternative rock Christian pop. It is probably fun to sing along to when you are driving home from work and still want to be religiously correct, so you can still get in heaven or some shit like that. As I watch the band perform, I find myself trying to decide which one I would fuck until he screamed out, "Oh God!" The lead singer just looks too prissy and perky to be a real Christian. Dear God, please smack him for me if you let him into heaven. I am being overcome by their insidious syrupy drivel, it swirls in your ears all tasty and pretty, but there is something vague and evil about them that leaves a queasy feeling in my stomach. Their endless God-posturing is working my last nerve. I hope they only play a ninety minute set - please God - please answer my prayers and protect me from your followers and their insipid music. The band is now playing their self-described "love" song for coffee with the most annoying guitar riff ever. Oh how pathetic, this java generation! Finally Jars Of Clay finish their set and leave the stage and the house lights come up and their fans stand quietly in the line to retrieve their coats from me and they all thank me politely and at least they all tipped. When I was finished with my work and got paid, I practically ran to my favorite gay bar and got drunk off my ass in Jesus' name. Amen.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is another Saturday night at my rock and roll home, it is slow as a small crowd mills in the 9:30 Club for a bit of local music from Baltimore, Maryland. First up is LOA, they kick out this interesting but bland George Benson flavored trip-hop with a Tori Amos meets Alanis Morrissette flautist singer woman trying to be the singer in Portishead if they played in the lounge at the Holiday Inn on the weekends. Well, at least they do not irritate me, and now on with the show. Next up are Jah Works, who are "the bad boys of reggae" to quote the announcer. Baltimore has always produced odd musical icons from Billie Holiday to Frank Zappa to tonight's headliners The Almighty Senators who play music that is a bit funky, a bit off-beat, and lots of soul but with a twist of sadness. Jah Works are this mutant two-tone hard-stepping reggae band dropping grooves like a speed-metal version of The Wailers at 140 BPMs, it is like they are on crystal meth or something and I just want to jump up and down and scream. They have this white boy lead singer from Highlandtown, a shady B-more 'hood, fronting on this store-bought "yard" accent, I find it to be incredibly funny and so "Baltimore"! I do not think that I can bear listening to an hour of their reggae at this tempo without feeling nausea. I wonder if this is what a double espresso feels like, but I do not drink coffee - it causes cancer. The All Mighty Senators, the brothers from Bal-mer land on the stage and kick into their hyper-kinetic Starchild funk, and yes Virginia, there is funk in Baltimore. All of the band members are dressed up as superheroes and they make the groove go bang and the non-stop funk action pummels you endlessly. Which is my only complaint about the band; they do not pace their show so the chaotic tempo becomes a bit monotonous after forty-five minutes or so. But I love the party environment that they create when they perform, and there is a wonderful amount of love and playful interaction between them and their audience. God bless the funk and Baltimore. Being that this is a pseudo-hometown gig, they are recording this gig for a live recording release on their own label. Finally I see a show that has not annoyed me for once.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is yet another cold and wintery Saturday night at the 9:30 Club and my mind is set on melted as I try to get into the coat check groove. It is the big hometown Christmas gig for the boys in Clutch since they all can claim the Baltimore/Washington DC area as home. I am having my "I remember them when..." moment as I watch them hang out and play "rock stars" with their fans before their show - I used to work for Gussound, owner Sean "Gus" Vitale was the king of the soundmen in Washington DC, and we would work all these itty bitty shitty gigs at assorted punk-rock hellholes like the DC Space, The 15 Mins. Club, St. Stephen's and St. Augustine's Churches, Fort Reno, and these vile yuppie meat markets on Rockville Pike in Maryland, and the Clutch boys were in this horrible racket of a band called Glut Trip and they had a huge skinhead following and their gigs always had fights breaking out and the occasional brawl, which made protecting the sound equipment a total nightmare so I used to really hate them. Well, back to the moment, currently on stage is The Bakerton Group from Shepardstown, West Virginia...snicker, snicker...and they are playing this overblown all-instrumental seventies power trio rip-off crap. The guitarist "Eric Clapton Jr." is riffing just like it is 1971 and he is live on stage at The Royal Albert Hall. I want to scream! Every song has the way too familiar ring to them. The worst part was when some guest vocalist joined the band on stage and attempted to wail out to this Paul Butterfield Blues Band-esque boogie blues. Isn't it the nineties? Next up are Sixty Watt Shamen, who churn out some fake AC/DC from the Brian Johnson years, which is totally hideous because I am a "Bon Scott" man. On a strange aside, did you hear about the latest conspiracy theory about the death of Bon Scott - the record company had him killed because he was going to come out of the closet as gay. The band sounds like some bad cover band that played at Hammerjacks in Baltimore back in the eighties. The singer is not going to have a voice left by next you, so hopefully he will go back to his day job. They even have the onstage posturing picture-perfect from watching too much of The Headbangers' Ball on MTV. I cannot wait for the drum solo! Not! Do not even steal their album from your local Wal-Mart! When is Armageddon going to get here, I wish it was right now. It is weird to think that I have watched Clutch grow up over the years that I have worked on various local stages that they have performed. It was almost the midnight hour and I could feel the electricity in the air, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end. Hometown superstars are usually the bomb when they play a show at the 9:30 Club. The lights dimmed and the stage came alive, Jean-Paul Gaster's drums pounded with animalistic ferocity, Dan Maines' bass thumped with magnificent doom, Tim Suit's guitar raged like a thunderstorm in the summertime, and the singer Neil Fallon growled and screamed with a friendly menace, and altogether it was electrifying. I was thrilled and impressed, especially since I saw their humble beginnings. Like a latter day Black Sabbath, they rumbled and throbbed and their lyrics were very surprisingly political and socially aware and talking about issues that are not normally addressed by most bands of this genre. The crowd was in heaven, the pit was a huge pulsing mass, and the horde was moshing away. I wish there were mosh pits when I was a tortured adolescent. Clutch has really tapped into that dysfunctional generation's psyche and is actually giving these testosterone-charged boys a positive outlet for their angst and confusion. I must applaud Clutch for that, because the vibe at tonight's show is friendly and relaxed instead of the aggressive and violent vibe that used to scare me when I worked at one of their gigs. The crowd demographics has changed from the band's early years, it used to be all angry young men at their shows and only a few girls (one out of fifty ratio), and nowadays it is more around an one out of five ratio. I guess they are growing up and when I check their coats, I love it when the girls make their boys put a dollar or two in my tip jar. Pussy Power rules! I have also noticed quite a few gay boys and a bunch of "future queens", because several hot-to-trot boys are flirting with me. About twenty or so have made my "gaydar" go beep, and I try not to think lurid sex thoughts but some of them got that look in their eyes that make me think nastily delicious thoughts about their "nekkid" bodies. The most brazen one is watching me now as I write this review, and the boy lust is intoxicating. Oy vey...back to the show...Clutch slam on and they have been rocking my world with their balls-out, full-steam ahead performance. I really like the go-go/funk edge that they have incorporated into their sound. At the end of their set, Clutch suddenly turn into a full-fledged go-go band, guest percussionist Brandon of Chuck Brown and Root Boy Slim fame, kicks the funk on the drums Rare Essence-style. Guitarist Tim Suit starts playing the riff from Jimi Hendrix's "Power Of Love" as a rapper chants "Jungle Boogie", and the groove gets deeper and I was digging it. Clutch finished the song and the band members shouted out to their friends and family and wished everyone a Merry Christmas as they left the stage. The audience cheered and a good night was had by all.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is right after Christmas, but right before the New Year and Y2K...yeah! This evening is what I call, "The Bayou Nightmare Returns", The Bayou being a now-closed club on K Street in Georgetown where many wretched college bands played and you got abused by the club's security which always made going there an unpleasant experience. Tonight all the kids are home from college and out on the town and ready to party down with Vertical Horizon and the opening band from Columbia, South Carolina, Five Way Party, who are currently on stage sucking and ruining my perfectly good high. Ugh...just what the world needs, another Counting Crows. To quote The Simpsons' Montgomery Burns, "Smithers, have them killed." They seal their fate with their odious entry into the "Bad Covers Sweepstakes" with those coked-up seventies titans Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way", and I just want to scream! A forty-five minute set by Five Way Friday is just too long for any one person to stand. Vertical Horizon take the stage looking like The Smashing Pumpkins, vocals sounding like Creed, and playing like some demented REO Speedwagon complete with standard-issue rock star poses and cliched outros on their songs. What a musical nightmare! I have never even heard of this band before tonight, but the house is packed and everyone seems to know all the band's lyrics as they drunkenly sing along to every fucking word to every fucking song. The DC101 truck is parked outside of the club so they must be getting plenty of airplay, and as if I listen to commercial radio anyway. Every single song they attempt to play ends up sounding like bad versions of the famous songs that every other college rock band badly aped at The Bayou from the seventies to 1998 when the club closed for good. I hated it all; it was like some bad childhood church experience whilst getting drunk and embarrassing oneself in front of one's friends by vomiting on one's shoes. Once the ears torture ends, I am going to count my coat check money and split to my favorite drinking haunt, a shady gay bar called The Fireplace and hang out with the VJ, my friend Keith McGirt, and I will listen to bad gay disco while we make fun of our fellow fags as we drink ourselves silly, and then I will go home to wake up to rehearse for my New Year's Day solo show as I begin my climb to pop superstardom.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

Me again! Mr. Jimijam has picked up a pen again and is ready to rock and roll. So beware fake-ass "musicians", I am coming for your punk asses. I used to be quite the music journalist/assassin/starmaker in these parts. Through my words in the legendary "WDC Period" and ROX Magazine in the eighties and early nineties, I became loved by the good bands, hated by the bad ones (miss that hate mail), but feared by the editors and other insecure writers. However, regardless of their opinions of me, everyone read my columns; I used to love watching people pick up ROX Magazine in the clubs and they would just read my column DC ROX and then throw the rest of the magazine unread. I was a star; making and breaking bands with my reviews, backstage access, but people got jealous and to quote the great Aprilwine, "Rock-n-Roll is a vicious game!" I stepped on too many toes and feelings, and because they did not like my style and my ability to connect with people with my words and make me react, I was constantly being pressured to play the game. I was never a good ass-kisser, and the rock journalism game was wearing me out, so I decided most journalists and especially editors and publishers were swine, and so I put my pen down. I then got lucky and got a gig at the 9:30 Club on F Street as a local crew loader and my real rock and roll education began. I learned by hands-on experience every aspect of putting on a performance from top to bottom and beginning to end, but I digress, I just wanted to clarify that I know what I am talking about when it comes to music. Once again, I am at the fabulous 9:30 Club, the world's greatest, by the way. My current gig, after ten years of joyous employment at my little piece of rock and roll heaven, is DJ, and in the winter, like tonight, I work in the coat check booth, which is the cakest gig in the club biz, plus this position affords me the best seat in the house. I love getting paid to watch bands, but the hanging coats for money part is cool too, because it is the closest I get to going to a gym. Tonight is "Teabag Night" as they say in rock-speak, for you punters (fans), the word "teabag" is a derogatory term for a British person. I love the current "Britpop" and Richard Ashcroft is one of my faves in the genre, he is known as "eccentric", rock-speak for being difficult to work with, but they are always the ones who make the best music. The place is packed and assorted British accents are everywhere, I swear the British Embassy must send out e-mails to all of the local displaced Britons every time we host a British band. Richard Ashcroft was scheduled to play the club back in November of 2000 but the show was postponed due to work visa issues. I was looking forward to seeing him perform, I really liked his new solo record "Alone With Everybody", and The Verve was my absolute favorite amongst the so-called "shoe-gazer" bands as they were oddly named by the music press. Since "Alone With Everybody" has a stripped down sound, I was looking forward to hopefully hearing of The Verve's songs performed with re-vamped arrangements. The show begins with him playing his acoustic guitar and singing in a way that had him coming across like a Dylan meets Donovan troubadour singer type in irritating way. My pal and head DJ Dave Rubin, who was hanging in the booth with me, said, "He's the Kenny G of Britpop now!" as I watched his set, I decided that it was almost true, but the crowd is enrapt and I just want to take a nap. I was really hoping to write a glowing review but his thankfully short set just did not take me there. Richard Ashcroft gave a solid performance, but it lacked depth and soul. It felt like I was watching a muted television with the stereo on, you know, right picture but wrong sound. I kept waiting for the rest of the band to kick in, but just hovered in the background barely laying down a note or a beat, I wished they rocked out more and gave the songs more structure. Oh well, until next show.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

Another wintery Saturday night and from my coat check roost, I watch the crowd quietly filter into the club to see Chicago-bred/DC-based TeenBeat Records recording artists Aden and Luna from New York City. It is a geeky white boy night, dull, but thankfully short. The house soundman Sean "Gus" Vitale told me that Luna's soundman said their set was "an hour twenty, with encores" and I was overjoyed. I hate those bands that grind on for hours, i.e. Pat McGee Band and other so-called "hippie" or "jam" bands. Oddly enough Aden take the stage at "10:15 Saturday Night" which is the name of one of my favorite songs by The Cure, who oddly enough Aden sound a whole like for the first five songs of their set. They sounded more like The Cure than The Cure did on their last American tour a few months ago. The singer Jeff Gramm had his head so far up Robert Smith's ass that it made my ass hurt. I could not wait for them to stop playing and get the hell off the stage. The guitarist Kevin Barker kept playing The Cure's signature guitar riff over and over in every single song that they played in their set. I wanted to kill him. Learn a new riff butt munch! Luna takes the stage two minutes EARLY - oh, the rejoicing - Luna Luna Luna - your music makes me feel like "mooning" (i.e. Luna) you all, as y'all lurch into your faux-Velvet Underground atonal guitar drone. My God, why didn't you pick a more interesting to rip off? I have been working Luna gigs for the past ten years and they have not changed one bit. How boring, and they can still draw a crowd, and it looks to be sold-out in here now. I cannot believe it, white people are so dull sometimes, and these people are the nice ones. Bandleaders' vocalist/guitarist Dean Warehem and guitarist Justin Harwood and the rest of the guys are trying to give some 1960s' Andy Warhol-esque Factory trip-out thing but they just like a bad nostalgia band and I want to unplug their amps. Well, I tried to hold out from raging but Dean Warehem's bad Lou Reed imitation is just working my last nerve as I flashback to a recent Lou Reed gig here at the club, when upon spying a lone ice cube melting on the back stairwell to the opening act's dressing room, Lou Reed, who was just wandering around the club aimlessly, promptly freaked out and began yelling and ranting that he could get electrocuted by the water from the melting ice cube and demanded that it be IMMEDIATELY cleaned up or he was not going on tonight. I heard about his "cranky asshole" reputation, but it is quite another thing to see him in action. On stage right now, Luna is pimping their new live album, "Luna Live" on Arena Rock Recordings, as Dean tries to banter inanely with the audience between their highly forgettable songs. Ugh! As the kids say, they are so "so last century"! And then, as if to torture me, they are performing a song that is such a rip-off of The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" that Lou could sue for copyright infringement. I cry.

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is Saturday night and I am in my usual spot at the 9:30 Club, and it is busy in the coat check with tons of over-sized coats and icky people and suck-ass music. I am in hell. First up is some lame boy with an acoustic guitar and he is some fake-ass Beck wannabe trying to give "rebel without a clue" and I wish he would just shut-up and die. I cannot stand the current crop of singer/songwriter/acoustic guitar crap that is polluting the airwaves lately, anyways. I count the seconds until Jeff Tweedy of Wilco takes the stage and it is more of the same shit with a few acoustic versions of Wilco songs thrown in for good measure. Random chords fly as he tries to sound passionately eloquent, but he is just comes across as trite and soulless. His lyrics come across as forced, it is like he sat down with his dictionary and made lists of words that rhymed, and then he tried to come up with weird juxtapositions of phrases and allegories cleverly filled with buzz words like "smile", "love", "she", ugh, I felt like I was in a giant Irish bar with a bunch of manic-depressive, sexually repressed office drones who were beginning to drunkenly fall on each other as they tried to sing along with the band. I am just horrified. It is so hard to review some bands and musicians objectively without just being insulting and mean so I am putting my pen down. What is wrong with people that they think this crap is good music?

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC

It is Tuesday night and it is "urban country" night at the club, and the crowd is full of drunken Republicans, ugh. The opening act Kasey actually surprised me with a wonderful forty-five minute set of "power country" (i.e. big guitar sound), with the singer being "Joan Jett if she was in The Dixie Chicks". Kasey's songs had great tongue-in-cheek lyrics that are kind of unique for this music genre. She was very charismatic and engaging, and she sang this song that had this great couplet, “If you are going to look up my dress, you better mean it, if you want to put that in me, you better clean it.” Another fantastic song that she sang was called "Kiss My Ass", and it made me laugh out loud, I loved her music in spite of myself. She closed her set with a song dedicated to people who, "Take life to seriously", and then she sang her best couplet of the night, "Momma's on pills, daddy's over the hill, but we all gotta die." Go buy her CD! Now back to the annoying drunken Republican drones with their annoying Texan drawls driving me up the wall. Then some management cretin "discretely" asked me if I could score some Valium for tonight's headliner Robert Earl Keen, and you know what that means...wink, wink, sniff, sniff...he's jonesing for some blow and they cannot score - ha ha! He took the stage with his band to a roaring crowd, why, I do not know. But the second he opened his mouth, it confirmed to me why he needed the Valium - he was a giant cokehead, plus he is President George Bush's favorite singer, another cokehead. That nasal raspy singing voice of his...oh God...I could feel the cocaine drip in the back of his throat...been there, done that. It even got me jonesing for a big ole line - I must think good thoughts - as he droned on to his lackluster band. Robert Earl Keen was this odious cross of James Taylor meets Jimmy Buffet and I am hating life as I stand here writing in my coat check booth. I am just hoping that he is only going to play a ninety-minute set...oh please God! I just know he is going to play some hideous cover of some song that I love just to make sure I am really hating life right now!

THE 9:30 CLUB on V Street - Washington, DC
This article was written Christmas Day 2006

"JAMES BROWN IS DEAD" was the first thing I heard when I awoke Christmas morning. The Godfather of Soul - The Granddaddy of Funk - The Hardest Working Man In Show Business - Soul Brother Number One - God Bless Him... My first memory of James Brown was sometime in the mid-sixties and I was watching the Ed Sullivan Show and James Brown appeared on the television screen wearing his crisp peg-leg suit and his giant pompadour singing "It's A Man's World", and let me tell you, I fell out as a five-year-old white child in the South in mid-sixties America...I had to know...who was the man, where did he get those gold-rimmed sunglasses, and that hair...holla..."It's a man's, man's, man's world, but it wouldn't anything without a woman in it."...The Famous Flames kicking it...ooh the pulsing bass line and the 1-2-3-4 drum beat...I was enrapt, and thus began the possession of my soul by the funk. I went on my merry way but the funk kept bubbling up in the back of my mind. One Christmas my Uncle Frank, who was the black sheep of the family, gave me my first radio, a little black AM/FM Panasonic one, and then late at night when I was supposed to be asleep in my bed, I would listen to the AM radio "skipland", this is where I would pick up the signals of random radio stations from around the country as they bounced around the airwaves and I listened with my little one-piece earplug. I would hear songs like "I'm Black And I'm Proud And Say It Loud" and "Make It Funky" and "Talkin' Loud And Sayin' Nothing" and "I Got Ants In My Pants And I Need To Dance'...ooh shit...holla...Time passed and I went to work at the 9:30 Club and I got to DJ for all kinds of bands and when the club announced a James Brown show, I begged to get the gig. Recently I had read a Lynyrd Skynyrd biography that said during 1973 and 1974, James Brown would meet Elvis Presley and Ronnie Van Zandt in the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, and they would hang out and chat and pray and eat chicken wings and drink whiskey and then they go to the hotel lounge and they would rock out singing gospel songs at the piano. So I was luckily enough to get the gig, and I threw down. I spun the hottest old school set, and I had my set list timed so that James Brown and his band would take the stage and start their show right after I played "Sweet Soul Music" by Arthur Conley because it contains the line in the song where he sings a shout-out to James Brown, as it was playing, the anticipatory energy in the room caused the audience to surge forward to the stage a bit, but of course he was late and I had to play five more songs. Finally his band hit the stage and performed their opening instrumental bit and then the MC rallied the crowd as he called James Brown to the stage and then he hit the stage full steam and did not let up to the very end of the show. He rocked! My friend VJ Keith McGirt and I had the best seat in the house in my DJ booth and we got our life watching him give an amazing performance. My favorite moment in the show was when James Brown sat down at a Hammond B3 organ and he and the band riffed on "Talkin' Loud And Sayin' Nothing", he played his heart out on that organ as he preached and said, "It is a shame that the children have to go to school and they have to be afraid that they might get shot." It was a tremendous performance that brought a tear to eye because it was so heartfelt. The show ended and my friend Keith left and so he missed out on one of the greatest moments in my life. I was spinning my closing set and Mr. James Brown began walking towards my DJ booth and I could hear his unmistakable voice say, "I got to meet that fella who played that fine music." He entered my booth escorted by his Farrakhan-looking bodyguard motherfucker whose eyes bugged when he saw that I was a skinny-ass faggot white boy, but Mr. James Brown just approached me with his hand extended and said, "Young fella, I'd like to thank you for playing that fine music." I was shaking as I said, "Thank you, sir!", and as his FLBGMF gave me the evil eye, I pulled out my "Live At The Apollo" double vinyl album and said, "Could you sign this please, sir?", and I nervously added, "I read recently that you used to meet up with Elvis Presley and Ronnie Van Zandt at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis and rock out at the piano in the bar." He laughed and said, "Yes I did young man, they were fine men and I miss them." He signed my album and shook my hand and his FLBGMF touched him on the shoulder and nodded to him that it was time to move on. I just stood there shaking as James Brown walked away and I thought to myself, "Keith, you missed it!" I finished my set and went on my merry way to my favorite gay bar for some drinks. On a side note - I was DJ-ing for Maceo Parker, longtime saxophonist for James Brown, a couple of months back and I was playing a song by Fred Wesley And The Horny Horns when suddenly my sound in the main house speakers was cut off and I was like "What The Fuck!", so I ran down to ask the soundman what the fuck was going on, and Maceo's tour manager was standing at the sound booth with Maceo, who snapped at me, "I don't want to hear any of that James Brown shit!" I had to bite my tongue to prevent me from snapping back with, "That was your buddy Fred Wesley not James Brown, old man", and besides I could tell that he could hurt me. So good-bye and rest in peace, Mr. James Brown.

WEBSTER HALL - New York City, NY

It was a rainy September weekend when I arrived in downtown Manhattan with my (former and now dead) friend Dennis Curtin; we went to SBNY (Splash Bar New York) where it cost $25 to get into the club. It sucked so we left and went to some run-down leather bar where I picked up a copy of Next Magazine and one of my favorite music divas, Nina Hagen, was on the cover. I freaked out! I quickly read the article and interview with her and then I saw the ad for her upcoming gig at Webster Hall on the following weekend. I told myself that I was coming for the show hell or high water. So the very next weekend, my friend Mike and I drove on up Interstate 95 in his truck on a gorgeous sky-blue Sunday afternoon. After we reached the city, we checked into my new favorite hotel, The 30/30, then we had a smoke and walked around the "new" Times Square, all the new lights and giant video screens were amazing and a sight to behold. The evening descended and we arrived at Webster Hall while Ari-Up of the legendary The Slits was on stage with her band playing some funky-punky-reggae, they were great fun and put the crowd in a great mood as we all danced to their wonderful music. My favorite moment of their set was when Ari-Up proclaimed, "The Slits, Nina Hagen, and Siouxsie and The Banshees are true warriors like Xena!" After, thankfully, a brief set change, the ever lovely Miss Guy and The Toilet Boys and blasted out their very traditional glam-rock, sort of like Marilyn Manson meets David Bowie. I do not know how the hell they got on this bill; it must have been some kind of political thing involving the promoters because I know how the game is played in NYC. Miss Guy looked like some second-rate transvestite Debbie Harry, it was very disconcerting, she did not sing like Debbie though. I cannot remember a single song that they played, but the guitarist Sean spat out fire as Miss Guy lit his guitar on fire, it was quite spectacular, and then they left the stage amidst fireworks and confetti. Too bad their songs were not as exciting. The wait seemed to last forever until finally some famous New York drag queen took the stage and announced the imminent arrival of the goddess Nina Hagen and her band. As the crowd shouted, "Nina! Nina!", she and her band hit the stage in billowing smoke clouds and Nina looked radiant and the band was tight, the guitarist David was quite cute, especially after he took off his shirt and his guitar hung low across his torso. The set was intense; "To Live And Die In Berlin", "Revolution Ballroom", "Right On Time", a fabulous "Bang Bang" by Janis Martin, a wonderfully heartfelt version of Nirvana's "All Apologies", "Runaway" by Dee Dee Ramone whom Nina referred to as her guru, and my favorite song of the night was an utterly crunching "New York, New York" that had the crowd going crazy, and a couple of new songs that were really cool. Thank God I was up close and near a stage monitor to hear the music because the sound in the room was atrocious. Nina had all kinds of fun stories and anecdotes to share with us between songs about her life and dealing with assholes in the music business. She even had some troublemaking idiot in the audience tossed out by security. We smoked a bowl with some strange dominatrix and her pet submissive and nearly got caught by security. The real shocker came when I ordered two Heinekens and the blonde metal bitch bartender asked for eighteen dollars. I nearly dropped through the floor as I stared incredulously at her as she said, "You want them or not?", she was oh so cunty as I paid for the beers. Well let me tell you, we did not drink anymore beers at this show, and the sodas cost four dollars, what is this world coming to these days? I do not know why, but we left before the encores. We just could not take the club anymore, the high beer prices, and the really annoying Long Island idiots who were flailing about to Nina while having a drunken flashback to their youth in the eighties. They were ghastly. We hit the streets and walked back to the hotel and stared in awe at the Empire State Building glowing as the beacon of the free world in red, white, and blue lights. We returned to the room and I had my head shaved, it was hot and very Nina Hagen. We slept, woke in the morning, and drove back to Washington, DC, but I got to see Nina Hagen so I was quite happy.

CAPITAL PRIDE FESTIVAL - 3rd St. & Pennsylvania Ave., NW - Washington, DC


Morning dawned and I fell out of my bed, it was "Rock Star Day" for me, and Capital Pride Day for the rest of the "alternative lifestyles" types that would be at the annual event. I brushed my teeth and drank some Dr. Pepper and grabbed my guitar gear and rolled out the door, strolled down to the Capital South Metro station, rode to the very next station, Federal Center, and walked to the backstage entrance and found out where to stash my equipment. I finally stopped to breathe and took a few minutes to bond with the other band members - Raycurt Johnson the violinist, DJ Sky Twin and his manager Peter (who later had a mental breakdown and became homeless), and the star, vocalist Clint Crisher - then we sat up our gear and did a sixty-second sound check. We synchronized our watches and parted ways to retrieve our stage outfits and to get our individual grooves on. I ran around like a headless chicken for two hours to get ready for show time. I was on the go! I returned to my bat cave and prayed to my angels, Mr. Jimi Hendrix and Mr. Eddie Hazel, to fill me with the funk on this overcast Sabbath. I smoked a bowl of exhilarating ganja and then I had to make those final costume decisions so I can be a vision...decisions, decisions. I was supposed to wear all white, but for some unknown reason at the last minute I decided to wear my lovely Rubio black leather pants - all the rock stars wear them - and I tossed on my finest skull jewelry and some silver nail polish and a sexy white shirt and the "coup de grace", my custom Saxon-Gillies Designs full-length faux-Dalmatian print fur coat with the sexpot red silk lining - I was a rock and roll god! I was finally dressed and ready to head out my door because it was GO TIME! I returned to the backstage entrance and I phoned up Clint and he says to meet up with everyone at Sixth and Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the Capitol Grille. I stroll through the crowd and I run into a lot of familiar faces and see a bunch of cute boys with their hair gel sculptures trying to work the room with their be young, beautiful, and gay. I meet up with my associate, filmmaker Adrian Salsgiver of Rainbow's Child Productions and the rest of the band and the dancers Ashleigh Payne, Rachel Casey, Van Tan, and choreographer John Alix. We were called to the stage and once we were together in the backstage area, and the wait began for our turn to perform in front of the crowd. I sat and watched and listened to the other acts and speakers as our stage time kept getting pushed back. Thelma Houston took the stage and turned it out, most particularly during an extended version of her signature song "I Will Survive" with a hip musically updated ending. Jennifer Holiday sang her heart out, and disco diva Pepper Mashay took the stage in bulging gold lame jumpsuit and belted out her smash dance floor hit "Dive In The Pool" to the joy of the crowd as the roared their approval. Thea Gill and Robert Gant of Showtime's "Queer As Folk" came out of their dressing booths and did the media parade in front of the cameras and a Capital Pride backdrop. Suddenly a herd of lesbians surged against the backstage area security fence, all of them waving pictures of Thea Gill and shouting out her name and how they loved her. I prayed the fence did not give because some of them were being quite aggressive. Thea and Robert took the stage and they each addressed the crowd with nice, positive, and uplifting speeches about being true to yourself and others. Robert spoke of how he used to hate Christine Aguilera and her music until she released her latest single "Beautiful", which he said changed his opinion about her because of the song's message that everyone is beautiful no matter who they are in life. A few "less than stellar" acts did their thing on the stage, and finally towards the end of the day it was our turn. Clint Crisher, the dancers, the band, and I took the stage in our full glory. Peter announced Clint and our arrival as the music jumped out of the stage monitors and the main speakers and into everyone's ears. The dancers leapt across the stage, Raycurt Johnson's violin wailed, DJ Sky Twin drummed a beat on his synthesizer pads, and my guitar blew notes like bubbles out of my Mesa-Boogie amp. Clint's voice reached into the audience with his song's message of "It Could Happen To You..." - a beautiful life or whatever you are dreaming to do. The moment was magical! The group dynamics on the stage were working together in glorious musical beauty and we had the U.S. Capitol Dome as our backdrop, it was totally amazing. There is one moment that is emblazoned in my brain forever; Clint and I were facing each other in a classic rock star pose with our heads rhythmically moving up and down to the music as we let our music pour out of our souls on to the stage and into the audience like the smoke from the smoke machine that was floating across the stage. The music ended and the crowd roared and I could hear people yelling out, "Jimijam rocks!", as we left the stage, we packed our gear and went our separate ways, but hopefully we will meet on stage again real soon. So this is the story of my Rock Star Day and what I great time we had performing to so many people. I cannot wait to see the photographs of our performance, especially Clint and mine's head-banging moment with the silhouette of the U.S. Capitol Dome in the background. The short film that Adrian Salsgiver and I will be making of the performance is in the works as I finish writing this sentence. Ta Ta - until next time - The End.


What a fantastic night for a concert at the acoustically marvelous Wolf Trap Filene Center in Vienna, Virginia, the sun was shining, the temperature was fabulous, and the crowd was whiter than Christmas in New England. But that just means the crowd was young, pretty, and very well-behaved, because they were psyched to see their heroes Ben Folds and Guster perform their favorite songs. My best bud, Erick Thornton, and I walked around the grounds making fun of people and laughing, at least the beers were cheaper than most of the gay bars I go to downtown. The current darling of the music critics, Rufus Wainwright, hit the stage whilst sitting at his grand piano and opened with a song that reminded me of a call to worship by a Muslim imam with its Middle Eastern-sounding piano chords, which is a contradiction in terms because stringed instruments are forbidden in Islam. I must say that Rufus is a fantastic pianist with great control and timing, but sometimes his nasally voice really grates on my nerves, it is a bit too...dare I say...faggy...and before you bitch - I can use that term being that I am gay...while on stage, he referred to some of his singing as vocal acrobatics. What!?! However, I do like his lyrical wordplay because he does have something to say and I appreciate his honesty and forthrightness about being gay and a former crystal meth addict. His guitar playing and technique could use some improvement during when the members of Guster joined him onstage for the song "One Man Guy", which added some much-needed punch to the arrangement. He played a great version of his current single, "Wanton", and a lovely rendition of "Complainte De La Butte", his track from the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack which he delivered "en francais aussi", and then it was on to the obligatory anti-Bush/pro-freedom song called "Gay Messiah" that had the crowd singing along. His mother Kate McGarrigle joined him on the stage for a rather lovely rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". He made a few oblique references to Judy Garland, I guess because they were both junkies...oh strike that, just being bitchy...A few years back, I was the DJ at his show at the 9:30 Club when he was touring to promote his first album, "Rufus Wainwright", and his performance was weak and scattered, but this time he was more engaging and listenable. I hear rehab can do that for you, especially when it is successful and you realize just how precious life is. It is nice to see a "tina-head sex freak" get his act together and come back a stronger person and performer, but I have had just enough of Rufus after twelve songs. Some rather obese woman sat next to me and I realized just how small the seats are here at Wolf Trap. Maybe they should have a "fat" section with larger seats for these people so they do not have to sit next to me...and damn, there are some hot boys in the crowd tonight who I rather have sitting next to me. The Clash's "London Calling" is playing now on the PA during the intermission and it is making me feel a bit old, but Guster will be on momentarily to make me feel young with their upbeat pseudo-hippie jam rock. Opening with "Ramona", a wonderful song with a gentle sway and tasty little guitar licks. The drummer Brian "Thunder God" Rosenworcel just blows me away with the fact that he plays all of the percussion parts with his bare hands for the band's entire set and it is even more amazing that he has been doing it for at least the past ten years. I hope he has got a good hand doctor because all that pounding with his hands will catch up with him one day. Ryan Miller's voice has a very endearing quality to it, warm and friendly like a gentle summer rain and his between song banter is witty and sassy as they plow through their repertoire..."4-3-2-1 Barrel Of A Gun" - "I Spy" - "Backyard" - and my personal favorite song of theirs, "Amsterdam" with its fabulous chorus..."Gonna write you a letter, gonna write you a book, wanna see your reaction, wanna see how you look", Guster is really putting some muscle into the song with a pumped up bass line and this incredible staccato guitar-picking from Adam Gardner. It was much better than the album version; they followed with "Airport Song", a haunting piece of music that had the crowd throwing ping-pong balls in the air, on the original version on the "Goldfly" album, you can hear a bouncing ping-pong ball at the end of the track. The audience loved every second of it, but then they broke the groove with a slow-ish number "Two Of A Kind", all around us straight couples started cozying up to each other and kissing and hugging like it was "their" song - gag me! The lights were providing great accent to the music, kudos to the lighting guys because tonight's lights were much better than when my great friend comic Erick Thornton and I saw them perform with The Thorns at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on August 16, 2003 last summer. Adam Gardner's guitar playing is very unique with lots of off-kilter licks and swirling riffs. "Happier" was next, it's my second favorite song by them..."one more inch, you son of a bitch" makes me smile as Guster continues on with their set. They get to my third favorite song by them, "Demon", with its awesome guitar riff that had me air guitaring along with them. Perennial crowd-pleaser "Fa Fa Fa" is their set closer and the audience sang along at the top of their lungs. What a great set and they played my top three favorite songs from their catalogue, I could not have been happier. The house lights dimmed and it felt like the crowd was surging forward towards the stage like a tsunami as Ben Folds strode out on stage waving at the crowd, he sat down at his piano and immediately launched into "Always Someone Cooler Than You". I love his biting and incisive lyrics about people and their petty little ways. Ben is always spectacular in his piano playing as he played the intro to "Zak And Sara" and everybody rose to their feet and began singing along with him. Next was the lovely ditty "One Angry Dwarf", then "200 Solemn Faces", followed by a really cool new song called "Speed Graphic" that had a really great riff. Ben got all mushy as he babbled on about his four-year-old twins as an introduction for his song "Grace" that was dedicated to them. It was a rather boring song and besides I hate children. Why do artists always lose their edge after they have children? He stood up from his piano and did this goofy dance and then he asked the audience to give it up for his pal Rufus Wainwright, and then he launched into one of my favorite songs by him, "Never Gonna Dance Again". They performed it well together and then very oddly and to my amazement, they sang "Careless Whisper" by George Michael, which Rufus sang quite nicely I must add. Then it was on to "Philosophy" and "Army", where he extolled everyone to eat their vegetables, floss, and to buy low and sell high. "Army" was highlighted by a really "bitchin' horn section" to quote Ben. Next up was the audience participation segment of the show where he had everybody yell, "We are not bitches and whores!", after which he played "I Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet". Ben then informed us of his forthcoming release, a new EP "Speed Graphic", with this sweet song "Julie" that had this really cool piano break that was very Chopin-esque in its delivery. He then started thanking everybody, which meant it was the last song before the encores, and he said, "Please welcome my friends Guster to the stage!" They kicked into "The Ultimate Sacrifice" that Ben Folds sang in a wonderfully amazing falsetto, Adam Gardner played a squealing lead guitar, Ryan Miller banged on the piano, and Ben Rosenworcel pounded away on the drums, it was intense, and then Ben climbed on top of the piano and started writhing and wiggling about like a stripper having a seizure as he kept screaming, "Rock this bitch!" over and over. The crowd roared its approval as the stage darkened and the band left the stage, the audience kept screaming for more. After a few minutes Ben returned to the stage and started playing "Evaporated", it had a wonderful gentle piano and flowed seamlessly into "We Took A Trip And Found A Tree". When he finished playing he called Rufus Wainwright and the boys in Guster back to the stage and they all took a bow. The house lights came back on and Erick and I fled the premises in a flash to beat the parking lot madness, all in all it was a great summer show.


Damn - son of a bitch - Mr. Billy Powell has departed Mother Earth - Free Bird Forever - fly on motherfucker - I was at the computer checking my e-mails on AOL and I saw a blurb that said "Lynyrd Skynyrd pianist dies after calling 911" - a tear, well several tears welled up in my eyes - shit - a kindred spirit passed - fuck - The first time I ever saw Lynyrd Skynyrd was on May 25, 1974 at Washington DC's RFK Stadium opening for The Who. My daddy had received these tickets to the show because of his Safeway connections and so my cousin Marty and I went to the stadium and when Lynyrd Skynyrd hit the stage and Gary Rossington and Albert Collins made their guitars scream, I became a fan of the band instantly. I was enthralled and decided Ronnie Van Zant was the greatest poet from Dixie since Truman Capote from one couplet, "I used to wake the morning before the rooster crowed, to give my money to a man named Curtis Loew." I was captured by the pure poetry of Mr. Ronnie Van Zant - Sweet Home Alabama - yeah motherfucker - The second time that I saw them was on May 30th, 1976, which was also at RFK Stadium on a bill with Aerosmith, Nazareth, and Ted Nugent. Lynyrd Skynyrd lit that stage up and Mr. Billy Powell played his piano like a gospel preacher, the notes just danced and filled my soul as Ronnie sang, "If I leave today...", and the stadium was jumping as it became a North vs. South war zone in the crowd, being that Aerosmith from Boston was the headliner in a Southern city that loved Lynyrd Skynyrd. I was captivated by their music as I tried to dodge the battling rednecks and stupid Yankee bitches beating the shit out of each other, but I was hooked. We escaped the melee with the help of some kind strangers, I wish I could remember their names, and we drove back to Virginia. The next day I had to run to the Harmony Hut (a defunct record store chain) at the Manassas Mall and buy their "Pronounced Lyn-n-yrd Sky-n-yrd" and "Second Helping" albums. I was so into Ronnie's words, with his insightful lyrical prowess, he was the angel to AC/DC's Bon Scott's demon, being that the two of them are my favorite lyricists of the seventies. High school hell went on as usual, and I had to suffer daily through my "weirdest guy in school" classmate John Carpenter's band Tallwind as they butchered "Free Bird" and other songs every day at lunchtime. Time flowed and in September of 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd announced the release of their sixth album "Street Survivors" and their ensuing fall tour. I stood in line for four hours at the Montgomery Ward's Ticketron line waiting to get tickets to their December 4th, 1977 show at the Capital Centre. I was the rock and roll superstar at my high school because I had tickets in Section 1, Row B, Seat 17 and 18 and everybody wanted to be my friend, I was in heaven and I could not wait for the show. Then the unthinkable, the unfathomable, the untimely horror happened on October 11th, 1977 - I went to school that morning and all the "bad" girls were acting weird and crying in the smoking area, so I asked my stoner buddy Bobby Richardson what was going on and he said, "You didn't hear man, Skynyrd was in a plane crash, Ronnie died!" My heart dropped, my whole school was wrecked, we WERE "Lynyrd Skynyrd High School"...people were crying and freaking out and it killed me later that day when I had to give my tickets back to the Ticketron clerk to get my money refunded. That day was what inspired me to start trying to write lyrics and to sing in a band. I graduated from high school on June 6th, 1980, and the very next day, two friends and I took off to spend the summer in Florida before we started college in the autumn. On July 5th, 1980, I was lucky enough to see the Rossington-Collins Band on their third gig ever at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Florida; they were on a bill with The Johnny Van Zant Band, Point Blank, The Pat Travers Band, and headliner ZZ Top on their "Deguello" tour. It was awesome, I was eighteen and on my own and I was sitting on the ten-yard line watching the band as Albert Collins, Gary Rossington, and Billy Powell and their new female singer Dale Krantz turned it out. The album cover art on their first album, "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere", with its phoenix rising from the ashes motif reflected the band's attitude on the stage and they rocked without the shadow of their former band hanging over them giving too much distraction. It is hard to imagine what it is like to be in the position of being in a world-famous band after a terrible tragedy strikes and suddenly your key component, the glue, is dead and gone. How do you continue...the two Rossington-Collins Band albums absolutely rock, especially the hauntingly beautiful song "Pinebox". Many people have given me grief for being such a purist when it comes to some bands, especially when it comes to Lynyrd Skynyrd and AC/DC because their music had such a defining influence on me. Can you imagine Ronnie Van Zant and Bon Scott writing lyrics together! I saw the Rossington-Collins Band several more times in the early eighties, but the brothers' post-crash pain transcended everything and the band disintegrated, plus the love triangle between Rossington, Collins, and Krantz did not help things as the band finally imploded. The very idea of being in a small aircraft that crashes in the middle of swampland with your band abroad, and then one of you crawls five miles through the rain and mud to get help and when you reach a farm house, the owner appears on his porch with a shotgun and fear and hate in his eyes and you are bleeding with a broken arm begging for help and he shoots at you and you fall back into the ground and further injure yourself...oh the horror...and then you find out that your leader was dead and the only injury on his body was a gash on his forehead from a television set that fell from a shelf onto him as the plane was going down. After the survivors crawled out of the mud and wreckage, they promised Ronnie's widow that they would never continue on as Lynyrd Skynyrd, it is said that Rossington and Collins even signed a piece of paper saying such one drunken night. But eventually the remaining members find themselves in the position of where continuing as Lynyrd Skynyrd was the only option they had left to make a living, and especially if your iconic lead singer was the poet laureate of Dixie, you got to give the people what you want. I saw several incarnations of the band throughout the nineties and the two-thousands and I was quite pleasantly surprised by their performances. They were always respectful and non-demeaning of the past history of the band. As time went by, the various survivors of the initial plane crash passed - Albert Collins on January 23th, 1990 - Leon Wilkeson on July 27th, 2001 - Billy Powell on January 28th, 2009, whom I am lamenting now - and the scandal of Rossington's shunning of Artemus Pyle over false child molestation charges that his vindictive ex-wife levied against him - but through sadness comes strength as the band keeps on preserving the legacy of "Free Bird" without turning it into a mockery. And now fast forward to The 2006 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony where that lucky bitch Kid Rock got to induct them and then he got to jam with the band, and then he went on to release his best-selling album "Rock'n'Roll Jesus" with the hit song "All Summer Long" that sampled the signature guitar riff from "Sweet Home Alabama", and it went on to be the song that defined the summer of 2008. I did not hate him for it, he was quite respectful in his sampling, which I think is evil, and he touched America's heart without seeming exploitative and greedy. I knew he shared their pain because of the untimely death of his boy - Joe C. - rock on brother - and now here we are back to today and how I was feeling sad about the passing of Billy Powell. He was the baddest motherfucker to lay down the boogie-woogie rock and roll gospel on the piano. I will miss you and your brothers miss you with a pain that I can only imagine. Free Bird Forever!


Damn - yet another one of my musical icons has left this mortal coil - first on January 6th, Ron Asheton the monster guitar motherfucker genius behind Iggy Pop and The Stooges - then on January 28th, one of my all-time favorite piano players Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynyrd - and now Lux Interior the bad-ass motherfucker front man for The Cramps - the best psycho-billy rock and roll band ever! It is the summer of 1980 and I just graduated from high school hell, the very next morning I climbed out of my bedroom at dawn to beat my psycho-mom from preventing me from escaping and fleeing to Florida with my best friend Charles Valadez and his chorus buddy Greg in his Datsun B-10. We were going to Orlando to stay in this condo that his dad had hooked up for us, and we had to re-paint summer vacation condos after the tourists finished staying in them to earn our keep. Every night I would watch this cable TV show where they showed "music videos" by rock and soul bands, which was a new-fangled thing way back then, and I would see "I'm Your Garbage Man" by The Cramps repeatedly and for some reason I loved it. It was like satanic country rock-a-billy sludge to me, and I knew that it would work my mother's nerves even more than Black Sabbath did when I returned home and played it on my BSR all-in-one stereo system. Time passed - off to college - growing up - wanting to be a rock star - and Lux Interior and Poison Ivy were always lurking on the edge of my over-active rock star imagination and then on December 31st, 1984, at The Warner Theatre in Washington, DC, I was at the fucking greatest New Year's Eve rock and roll show ever - The Dead Milkmen screaming out to their "Punk Rock Girlfriend" - The Butthole Surfers and vocalist Gibby Haynes spraying lighter fluid onto a cymbal and lighting it on fire then banging on it and flinging fire everywhere as his band wailed in glorious cacophony around him - then the stage is engulfed by Lux Interior and the impeccably ice-cold beauty Poison Ivy Rorschach flung frozen riffs at the crowd as Lux moaned, wailed, screamed, and caterwauled in furious contortions as he cajoled, mocked, infuriated, spat at, and consumed the audience in ecstatic rock and roll frenzy - more time went on - I became a local crew loader at the original F Street 9:30 Club and one day The Cramps rolled into the club. I felt so cool as I loaded their guitar amps and other equipment on to the stage, Lux and Ivy did their thing at sound check as I stood around watching them and acting like a goofy teenager thrilled to be where I was. Lux and Ivy approached me, and Lux said, "We were told you were the one to talk to if we needed something." I was twirling; fucking Lux Interior was asking me to hook him up. I gulped and said, "Yes I am," as he manically shook my hand. I blurted out, "Weed or coke?" sounding all goofy as I apologized for sounding like a shady drug dealer. Lux laughed and grabbed my hand and said, "Just some good weed," as he turned to Ivy and said, "Right, babe?" she smiled and nodded, I could tell he felt so lucky to have her love him. We did our exchange and went our separate ways, but happily I got to do the lights for them during their performance. The lighting rig was not much to speak of, just a couple of light cans that I gelled and focused with their cranky drum tech. then it was showtime and I put my all into it, considering what I was working with - tap tap fade up fade down tap tap - and The Cramps ripped the roof off the place. Later as we loaded their gear out, their perplexed tour manager swagged me with a Cramps tour t-shirt and he said, "Lux said to make sure you got this and thanks." I found this extremely funny because judging by the look on his face; he had no idea why he had to perform this task. I still have the God bless you Mr. Lux Interior - you rocked and my heart goes out to Miss Poison Ivy and the pain that she must now endure.


One of my favorite voices in music has always been Miss Angela Bofill. The first time I heard her sing, I was overwhelmed by the sense of emotion that emanated from her voice. The whole feeling of survival and transcendence that her voice conveyed resounded with something in my soul. Yearning to love and be loved by someone in the most pure of ways, and even though, time and time again, you kept getting hurt and still you kept hoping one day...Songs like "This Time I'll Be Sweeter", "I'm On Your Side", "Tonight I Give In", "Angel Of The Night", and my all-time favorite "Too Tough", all of them were always in the soundtrack of my life. I would listen to 93WKYS'S Jeff Lawrence and WHUR's "Quiet Storm" just to hear her songs. Her albums never seemed to be in the bins of my local Harmony Hut when I was growing up. Off to college I went in the Autumn of 1980 and New Wave took over my life, and voila...once again Angela Bofill found her way to my ears with her ground-breaking song "Too Tough", it sounded like "New Wave meets Soul" but it was so much more. It became my theme song for a while along with Martha & The Muffins' "Swimming"..."We're afraid to call it love, let's call it swimming!" Life went on and I tried to live out my rock and roll dream. I jumped feet first into the emerging local DC music scene and I did anything I could; attending shows, designing posters for gigs, promoting bands, roadie-ing for bands, managing and booking gigs, producing band t-shirts, flyering, and writing for several local fan-zines and newspapers. In 1988 I hooked up with local glam-rock legend Jamie Holiday where I met his keyboardist Chad Houseknecht who got me my gig at the world-famous 9:30 Club at its original location on F Street. It was like my childhood rock and roll dreams had finally come true. The club became my "finishing school" as I learned every aspect of the music business working there. In 1989 I hooked up with one of my other divas, Murder Ink singer Joyce Lacovara, a DC/NYC bar-tending legend who I first used to see behind the bar at Poseurs in Georgetown where she was the tattooed leather-wearing raspy-voiced goddess ruling the DC rock scene from her bar. I was always afraid of her but she was always nice to me when I would come to the club and ordering drinks from her and be the only "faggot" brave enough to dance with another guy to the latest new wave songs that DJ Adam Mohawk would spin. In July of 1989 I started writing the DC ROX column in ROX Magazine and I began making and/or breaking local bands, and my pal Jamie Holiday, whose band Vacation, I wrote about a lot in my column, he introduced me to Joyce and we bonded instantly. She was starting her own band Murder Ink and I became their "fifth Beatle"; I did all the behind-the-scenes crap work for them and I put my heart and soul into it, I wrote regularly about them in my column, designed their posters, landed the gigs, endlessly ran my mouth about them to anyone that would listen, and the band I became a relentless machine of a team. Everybody knew their name because of my efforts, we won several Wammies and received press in all the big music publications, we were going places...but the band was going through drummers like water, the curse of DC rock and roll, and one day T.C. Tolliver answered the latest drummer wanted advertisement. We were excited because I recognized him from the Wendy O. Williams and The Plasmatics video for their song "The Damned" that was currently in heavy rotation on MTV's "Beavis and Butthead Show". We thought we were finally going to bust out nationwide and get signed to a major label. T.C. Tolliver was big time, he was a Washington, DC native who had played with local legendary seventies group The Cherry People, New York punkers The Plasmatics, and oddly, he was the touring drummer for chart-topping disco/soul act Peaches and Herb. The cachet of his name enabled me to get Murder Ink bigger and better gigs and press, and most importantly, gigs in New York City. But as we were hitting our stride towards being a big time rock band, tragedy struck and my dear friend, Murder Ink vocalist Joyce was diagnosed with breast cancer and our momentum came to a crashing halt.
T.C. Tolliver went on his own merry way, but we still kept in touch, and on the night of September 30, 1994, he called and said, "I got a new gig and we’re in town and can you help us get some press?"
I said, "Sure, who are you playing with?"
I will never forget when he said, "Angela Bofill - ever heard of her?"
I nearly screamed as I babbled, "Omigod, I love her; "Too Tough" is one of my songs!"
He says, "Well, you wanna meet her, what are you doing later?"
"I got tickets to Bootsy Collins and Slave at the Lincoln Theater, wanna go?"
"Yes, dude!"
"Meet me at 7:30 in front of the Lincoln," I was tripping as I hung up the telephone.
I get to U Street that night and T.C. and Angela pull up in his broke-down car and he says, "Get in and light up a joint, man." I hopped in and T.C. says, "This is Angela Bofill."
Acting like a stupid teenybopper, I blurted out, "I love you so much."
She laughed happily and we became instant friends. We smoked the joint and laughed together like the oldest of friends. We rolled into the front doors of the Lincoln Theater together, and everywhere I looked around people was tripping..."Is that Angela Bofill with Jimijam?"...I saw my friend producer Lamont Prince and he was flabbergasted and afraid to talk to me. Slave kicked it out on stage with their classic songs, "Slide", "Stone Jam", and the awesome "Stellar Fungk", and then the house lights went back up and everybody returned to staring at us. I was in heaven and loving every minute of the glamour of being with real superstar in a public place. Mr. Bootsy Collins took the stage, and even though the sound system sucked, he and his tight band kicked out the funk - "Ahh...My Name Is Bootsy, Baby", "Stretching Out", "Jungle Bass", "These Boots Were Made For Funkin'", "Bootzilla", "Flashlight", "P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)", and "Party On Plastic". After the show we were milling around the lobby, when one of the show's promoters approached us and said, "Omigod, you're Angela Bofill, would you like to meet Bootsy?" Angela tried to play coy, but T.C. and I were like, "Hell yes!" We were escorted to the backstage area and we were told to wait right there in the hallway for a few minutes. There were a lot of people already in a line to meet Bootsy, but we were taken to the head of the line and some motherfuckers were giving me attitude...who is that white boy and why is he with...omigod...Angela Bofill. We were the first people to get to go in Bootsy's dressing room, and of course I was in my goofy schoolgirl mode because I was with one of my idols and meeting another one of my idols, Mr. Bootsy Collins - "These boots were made for fonkin'..." - I was trembling as I hugged Bootsy and told him how much I adored him. I got him to autograph my backstage pass that just happened to be labeled for Nona Hendryx, yet another one of my idols, and it is still hanging on my celebrity autograph wall. A few days later Angie called me up and she wanted to know if I could hook her up. I rode the metro out to Bethesda to meet her and we went to her favorite Asian restaurant where they served us marvelous steamed dumplings and delicious crispy duck, and then we rode around smoking bud and she would play me demo tapes of her latest songs she was working on in the studio just to get my opinion. She would tell me about how that "motherfucker" Clive Davis totally jacked her on the publishing rights to her own music, and even though her music was selling, she was not getting shit. And that Clive's own daughter, Lauren, who was her entertainment lawyer and even she, could not get Clive, her own fucking father, to sign over the song rights to Angie. For the next several months I would take the metro to go meet Angie and bring her weed, eat some lunch, and then we would drive around listening to her latest new songs that she recorded on her little eight-track machine. I felt so lucky to be her friend; Angela is the blueprint for Whitney Houston and all the other soul music divas that followed her when it comes to modern R&B popular music, particularly with the neo-soul revival that is quite popular these days.
It was during this time that my friend and her drummer T.C. Tolliver became romantically involved with Angela, even though he was trying to be the perfect husband and father to his beyond supportive wife and daughter, and I inadvertently was caught in the middle of his "affair" with Angie. She would call me up and question me about T.C. and his wife and what I knew. Oh, I hated being in that position, it made me feel quite awkward. It was also during this time that I saw Angela and her band perform every couple of weeks at clubs up and down the East Coast. In the spring of 1994 I was at The Blues Alley in Georgetown with my friends Joyce Lacovara and Tim Cleeton from Murder Ink to see Angela perform, and because we were on the guest list we were let into the club early and we were seated at the best table in the house, dead center and directly in front of the stage. Later on Angela was up on the stage singing and giving it all she got, wailing away like she always does, and suddenly her silk drawers that she was wearing fell down to her ankles. Since she was singing her heart out, she was totally unaware of this "wardrobe malfunction". I tried to get her attention as I kept pointing and whispering, "Miss Girl, yer drawers," but she just kept on singing. She tried to take a step forward as her drawers clumped at her feet. She finally looked at me with a "What?" in her eyes as she looked down and realized what had happened with her outfit. She played it off so marvelously as she gasped and bent down to pull her drawers back up, and she quipped, "I have been trying to lose weight, so I guess I have!" Everybody laughed raucously - how fucking brilliant. My friends were blown away, especially my friend Joyce. Time went on and I saw Angie perform several more times at The Blues Alley, she always did well there, and the Washington, DC audience always appreciated her immensely. The club even named a sandwich on the menu after her; I guess that is a high honor in the R&B/Jazz Lite/Fusion world, judging by all the famous names on their menu. On December 2nd, 1995, she opened for Michael Franks at The Warner Theatre in Washington, DC, and I got to go backstage and I helped T.C. load out his drum kit while I was being annoyed by some cunty stuck-up motherfuckers who were hanging out with Michael Franks. Those jazz-lite people can be real asses. New York City was another good place to see her play live, especially at S.O.B.'s where I always had fun. The summer of 1997 my friend Joyce and I drove across country, our first stop was The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, where I touched Janis Joplin's psychedelic painted Mercedes-Benz and I received a psychic shock from her when I touched the door handle. I also touched one of Jimi Hendrix's coats on display, which also gave me a weird psychic rush that flooded me with "hippie love". We continued driving across the northern portion of the United States - Indiana - Chicago - Illinois - Iowa - Minnesota - Devil's Tower - South Dakota - Mount Rushmore - Wyoming - Yellowstone - Jackson Hole - Montana - Idaho - Oregon - and then we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway until we reached Sonoma, California just north of San Francisco. This is where Joyce and I met up with Angie and we crashed with her and her daughter, and she was wise beyond her years. She freaked me out when she said she was glad I was gay because I would not leave her mother. We stayed at her condo for a few days, and I met her sister who had the attitude that she could not believe that her sister was a star and she did not appreciate who she was and how much she meant to so many people. Which I totally understood, because after I became friends with Angie, I used to catch a lot of cabs after I got off work from DJ-ing at the 9:30 Club and the various cabbies would ask about who I had spun for and about the bands that played the club, and I would eventually tell them about Miss Angela Bofill being my pal. All of them would freak out and tell me what her music meant to them, I was blown away when I found out how deep the love for her was out there in the world. Every once in a while one of them would look at me like I was a crazy-ass liar, so just to really freak them out I would call Angie up and have her tell the motherfuckers that she, indeed was my friend. It always made us laugh to do that to some fools. But on the other hand, I really loved it when one of them would say, "You know Angela Bofill, how cool," and then precede to tell me some wonderful story about how through her music, she had a great effect on them, so I would call Angela and ask her to say hello to one of her biggest fans, and she would graciously, the look on their faces was always wonderfully priceless because Angela so turned out people. I cannot tell you how many motherfuckers told me how important her music was to hooking them up with the loves of their lives. I never felt so lucky in my life whenever I could call her up and say, "Hey Angie, say hi to one of your fans." While we were there with her in Sonoma, she took us to the town square to visit her favorite art gallery, as we were walking the feral chickens that roamed the town ran up to us and tried to attack Joyce and me. The photographs we took still crack me up. I remember the night she came to The Fireplace, the gay bar where I hung out in the video DJ booth and snorted cocaine with my friend VJ Keith McGirt, and Angela graciously posed for photographs with all the bitches; and then there was the time she came to hang out with me at the 9:30 Club when I was the DJ for the Macy Gray show. The fact that Angie was at her show totally wrecked Macy, and goodness gracious, the bitch crazy, plus I guess it did not help that earlier in the evening, the club manager Jean Homza and I walked into the dressing room to ask about any likes/dislikes for my DJ set, and the stupid ho was sitting in the middle of the dressing room with a fist-sized crack rock in her hand. Stupid bitch! Be discrete. Whew! Back in Sonoma, after a couple of days, it was time to hit the road for LA, but we needed some weed for the journey so Angie hooked us up with this old brother named Jimmy who had this killer bud. We went to his house and got a huge bag for a hundred bucks, and we were on our way to Los Angeles. A week later Joyce and I were staying with her son Tony and his girlfriend, who worked as an usher on Jay Leno's Tonight Show, and two annoying aggressive giant Rottweilers in Venice Beach, California. We stayed with them for three weeks and we decided it was time to head back home to Washington, DC.
Before we hit the road I bought a little Tupperware container to store the weed that Angie had hooked us up with in Sonoma, and we drove along with no problems until we got to Arkansas. We stopped and crashed at some Motel Six outside of Little Rock, the next morning we went on our merry way and as we were driving suddenly out of nowhere appeared a state trooper with sirens wailing and pulled us over right pass the "Welcome To Toadsuck, Arkansas" sign. A little voice in my head told me to hide the weed in the half-eaten burrito in the trash bag. We stopped the van and the two police officers approached our vehicle over-cautiously like we were two psychopaths on the loose. Joyce rolled down the window and said hello and asked why they had pulled us over and they said it was because we fit the profile. I named them "Stuttering Opie" and "Rest Area Hillbilly" as I tried so hard to play it cool while they eyed me suspiciously. They separated us and questioned us; they brought us back together and said they now were going to search our van for contraband. As we stood there, I noticed that Officer Opie seemed to be acting odd, and then he asked me if I was on some kind of medicine because I seemed nervous.
I replied, "I saw "Gang-Bangin' In Little Rock" on HBO, and you know, cultural stereotypes and stuff." I could see his brain explode as I used a word that my grandmother would call a "fifty-cent word".
He said, "That's down the road in Little Rock, not up here."
After the two of them had finished searching our stuff, the only weed they could find was a bud in a pill bottle amongst Joyce's prescription medicine bottles for fighting her cancer and other ailments. They made her dump the bud onto the road, step on it, and then grind it into the ground. Arkansas' Finest lectured us about driving safely and finally said we could go and we sped off. I breathed a sigh of relief and asked Joyce what she had said to Officer Opie to convince him to let us go free.
She said, "He wanted to know why you were so nervous, so I had to tell him that you were gay and you were scared to be in Arkansas."
We laughed and that totally explained the several strange comments that Officer Opie made to me before he and his partner let us go. He said it seemed to be me who had the problem and not him. The real funny thing was that they searched the van and our bags very thoroughly but not once did they ever look into the trash bag hanging in the front seat. We were so lucky! We reached Memphis, Tennessee safely and we really wanted to visit Graceland. We checked into the Elvis Presley Motel, which was directly across the street from Graceland. We slept and woke up early and got into the long line to take the Graceland tour, when we finally reached the front of the line we were separated into groups of twenty and boarded a small bus that drove up to Elvis' front door. Our tour guide who looked like Pat Benatar took an instant liking to Joyce and me after we told her we were visiting from Washington, DC. She told us a horror story about living with her two young sons in a car parked outside of the Capitol Building on the mall before they moved to Memphis and she got a job at Graceland. This was cool because she focused on us for the whole tour of the house and grounds, she even let us and only us to touch some of Elvis' things in his bedroom and the jungle room...ooooh the vibrations I picked up from his knick-knacks. After my visit to his home, I gained so much respect for Elvis and what he represented that I did not have before. I felt just how important he was as a catalyst for people transcending racial crap and making the world a better place. Elvis has been accused of exploiting "black music" but he did not, when you stand in the jungle room at Graceland, you will understand what I mean. I would shoot up televisions too, if I could get away with it! Later that night, Joyce and I went to B.B. King's on Beale Street, where I tried to eat some chicken wings that were so spicy that I screamed. Ruby Dee and Her King Bees were on the stage kicking out some old-school blues, when Vanessa Williams (pre-Wilhemina, of course) showed up with a large security entourage and sat in the corner watching the show until Ruby Dee invited her to come up on stage and sing a song, but Vanessa was acting all diva and visibly refused as her security rushed her out of the club. And Miss Ruby Dee, God bless her, called her a bitch and told her to get the hell out because she didn't need her anyhow! Then Dennis Wilson and some of the Beach Boys' backing musicians showed up and they joined the King Bees on stage and butchered a classic soul song, I think it was "Louie, Louie". Thank God my mouth was on fire from the fiery chicken wings and I could not terribly rude and loud. The set ended and we waited around to say hello to Ruby Dee because she acknowledged us with a shout-out during her set. I got her to autograph a flyer for the show, and she said she shouted out to us because she wanted to know who we were because we looked interesting. I told her that Joyce was a heavy metal goddess in the vein of Janis Joplin and I was just a typical rock guy. We left B.B. King's and walked around Beale Street soaking in the atmosphere as we hopped club to club absorbing the blues. The next day we hit the road but before we left we stashed the weed that Angie hooked us up with by tying it to a string and hiding it in the spare gas tank. We were driving down Interstate 40 in the late evening and we had just smoked a bowl and we saw this Highway Department sign that said "Drug Checkpoint Ahead". We were so high and Joyce said, "What should we do?" Choice A or Choice B was bouncing back and forth in my head. I foolishly uttered at the last possible second to take the next exit, but as we started up the ramp, I realized I had made the wrong choice. I screamed, "No! No!", but alas we were spotted and much to our chagrin a police officer spotted us and signaled for us to pull over, and the worst thing was that they had been wrapping things up and we could have missed them if we were more vigilant. As we parked, I quickly dismantled the bowl and put it in the bottom of the trash bag, it worked last time, and we ate the rest of the pot as we came to a complete stop. We were surrounded by the officers and asked to get out of the vehicle. I silently prayed to God to protect us. We got out of the van and the "failed high school jock" cop grabbed me and the "undercover dyke" cop grabbed Joyce, but the head officer in charge took a paternal liking to Joyce as he said, "It would break mah heart if we found anything illegal." I was dressed in my fresh white Armani shorts and shirt set that Dona Armani at The Armani Boutique in Miami Beach, Florida gave me a few years ago. The "failed jock" cop kept looking at me like he was ready to kill me and the "undercover dyke" cop glared at Joyce like was angry that the head cop was acting paternal towards her. They began pawing through our stuff as I sat on the ground in front of the van, and one of the pigs had the audacity to say to me, "You might get ticks sitting there." I smiled as I reeled in my head in bad attitude but I kept my cool. They get one of their drug-sniffing dogs out of the K-9 Unit vehicle and began walking him around our van. I know some of you motherfuckers will find this hard to believe, but the ghost of Bandit, who was my lover's dog in the eighties, he was a German Shepherd Wolf mix breed that the U.S. Army created to be a canine super-soldier, but the breed failed to meet the army's expectations, so several were put up for adoption and my longtime companion ended up with one that he named Bandit. Over the years the wolf-dog and I had bonded, he was my buddy until the day he died. Well back to that night in Tennessee, as I sat and watched the cops search our stuff, out of the corner of my eye I swear I saw Bandit's ghost watching me just as a cop was walking a drug-sniffing dog around the van, and when the dog paused by the side of the van where the second gas tank was, where we had hidden our weed after the Arkansas incident. I saw, and I swear to God to this, Bandit's ghost looking at the dope dog with a look that said, "Back the fuck up! You do not smell anything, do you?" The cop kept trying to push the dog towards our van because it kept trying to back away from the van. And to top the evening off, my full name, James Wallace Riley III, showed up on their computer as someone with an arrest warrant, but the wanted James Wallace Riley III was described as having eight tattoos. So I was asked to pull my shirt up and slowly turn around and show the skin of my chest and back. I thought I was doing it nonchalantly, as I mentally thanked my lover for never allowing me to get a tattoo, and out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of all the cops' jaws dropping. Since they found nothing illegal they had to let us go, and they were not happy about it because they were so sure we were up to something, we jumped into the van and sped off into the night.
Joyce started laughing wildly and said, "Jimi, you were like RuPaul on the runway. I've never seen so many jaws drop at once."
We were heading towards Dollywood, but the drug checkpoint nightmare had us totally freaked out and paranoid, and I kept repeating, "Should we stop?"
Joyce kept muttering, "I don't know, I don't know." So we just kept driving until we reached Interstate 81, and we were still so freaked out that we kept driving and driving up the interstate deep into Southwest Virginia. By now it was dawn and the sun was coming up, it was incredibly beautiful to see the morning like that in the mountains as we made our way home...back to Angie...I returned to Washington, DC, and Angie would come to town occasionally to play a few gigs and we would hang out and eat and talk, but she would always end up bitching about T.C. and how she did not feel loved. I would try to soothe her is funny...we went on with our lives however we would chat on the telephone every so often. Then I heard the news that Angela had a stroke on January 10th, 2006 while she was performing in a stage play, I was devastated and heartbroken. I cannot imagine being taken to the hospital in this condition, surviving to end up half-paralyzed lying in a bed unable to sing or play the piano. It must be unbearable. The messed-up part is that Angela's lawyer Lauren Davis, the daughter of Clive Davis, who stole music publishing rights from so many, and even she could only get him to contribute ten thousand dollars to help with Angela's medical costs because she did not have any health insurance. That bitch, Clive, knows that without Angela Bofill, there would have never been a Whitney Houston, and he would not have the blueprint to finance his high-flying lifestyle. His own daughter could not get him to recognize how important Angela Bofill was to his success in the music industry. There would be no Whitney Houston, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Macy Gray, Solange, Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis, and whoever else he claims that he made and brought to the world's ears. To make matters worse my dear Angela had another stroke on July 10th, 2007, but thankfully she is a survivor. Her website recently stated that she is getting better and practicing her singing, so hopefully she will be back on the stage very soon, sharing her beautifully angelic voice with us again.