Monday, August 31, 2009

09/01/89 - 20 Years Ago in Duluth, MN - Barren Cross/Fortress

(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
No particular memories remain from this show other than it was another night of heavy music by the excellent Christian-Metallers Barren Cross, the second (and final) time I had seen the band. This time only "PriestFreakNo.1", our buddy "Sober Dude" and I made it to the show, as opposed to the previous time about a year and a half earlier when we had travelled to Duluth to see the band, that trip made with two car-loads full of assorted freaks and friends. One difference between the shows that I noticed was that Barren Cross had dropped thier use of the standard "Metal Look" - exchanging leathers, chains, studs and spandex for a more subdued look of "cool street" clothing instead. The band eventually went on extended hiatus for many years, then news came of them reforming in 2007.
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Check out these Barren Cross videos:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Suggested Reading: "Smack - Heroin and the American City" by Eric C. Schneider (2008)

(Image via: University of Pennsylvania Press)

Smack: Heroin and the American City
by Eric C. Schneider
Published: 2008 by University of Pennsylvania Press

Includes fascinating glimpses into the history of heroin's use, distribution and it's rise in popularity among certain cultures in the United States in general and New York City in particular throughout the 20th century. An amazing read, highly recommended for those who can never get enough New York City history...

From the book jacket:

During the twentieth century, New York City was the nation's heroin capital—over half of all known addicts lived there, and underworld bosses like Vito Genovese, Nicky Barnes, and Frank Lucas used their international networks to import and distribute the drug to cities throughout the country, generating vast sums of capital in return. Schneider uncovers how New York, as the principal distribution hub, organized the global trade in heroin and sustained the subcultures that supported its use.

Through interviews with former junkies and clinic workers and in-depth archival research, Schneider also chronicles the dramatically shifting demographic profile of heroin users. Originally popular among working-class whites in the 1920s, heroin became associated with jazz musicians and Beat writers in the 1940s. Musician Red Rodney called heroin the trademark of the bebop generation. "It was the thing that gave us membership in a unique club," he proclaimed. Smack takes readers through the typical haunts of heroin users—52nd Street jazz clubs, Times Square cafeterias, Chicago's South Side street corners—to explain how young people were initiated into the drug culture.

Smack recounts the explosion of heroin use among middle-class young people in the 1960s and 1970s. It became the drug of choice among a wide swath of youth, from hippies in Haight-Ashbury and soldiers in Vietnam to punks on the Lower East Side. Panics over the drug led to the passage of increasingly severe legislation that entrapped heroin users in the criminal justice system without addressing the issues that led to its use in the first place. The book ends with a meditation on the evolution of the war on drugs and addresses why efforts to solve the drug problem must go beyond eliminating supply.

...and check out this little comic book gem, discussed in the book, published by the Welfare Council of New York City in 1951 and handed out to high school and college students throughout the city. You can read the whole sordid! shocking! thing by clicking: Trapped!

A New York Minute From National Geographic: "Before New York"

(Image via: National Geographic.com)

I saw this in the magazine rack at the grocery store this morning...

"If you think the city is wild today, you should have seen it in 1609. See what New York might have looked like 400 years ago."

BEFORE NEW YORK

One From The Archives: 08/27/03 Doobie Brothers/ Grand Funk Railroad @ Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, MN

08/27/03 Doobie Brothers/Grand Funk Railroad @ Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, MN (Ad)

08/27/03 Doobie Brothers/Grand Funk Railroad @ Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, MN (Ticket)
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)

The Minnesota State Fair starts today. 6 years ago I was there, attending a Doobie Brothers/Grand Funk Railroad concert at the outdoor grandstand.
 
Grand Funk started things off in style with a set of their classic blues-based brand of 70's style stomp-rock. They never fail to put on a great show and it was great to see former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick handling the guitar duties - he is an excellet fit in the band. About 20 minutes into their set, I decided to have a cigarette. So I lit up and within about 2.5 seconds I had a security guy standing next to me, asking me to "please extinguish my smoke." I was kind of amused by this - it was an outdoor show, so I didn't see the harm. But he insisted. So I begrudgingly complied. He then walked away, presumably looking for other offenders. "337" and I had a good laugh about how much things had certainly changed at a Grand Funk Railroad concert in the past 20 years. Back in the early 70's when they were at the top of the heap, you probably couldn't see across the arena due to the haze of cigarette and pot smoke that the fans were exhaling. Now, at an outdoor show, they were asking you not to smoke even just a cigarette. Had we lit up a joint I shudder to think what the consequences may have been.
 
About 15 minutes later, I thought I'd try my luck again. So I took a look around for the Cigarette Nazi, and, not seeing him, cautiously lit up and cupped the cig in my hand so it wasn't so obvious. About this time, "337" decided to head over to the concession area to grab another cold beer. He got on line and when I looked over a few seconds later, there he was, being accosted by the Cigarette Nazi. "337" looked pretty pissed off as he made his way back to our seat and when he arrived he told me that the guy had told him to tell me that "if I didn't put out my cigarette NOW and refrain from smoking for the duration of the show that we'd BOTH be ejected from the grandstand. And I'll be keeping an eye on you two." I looked over and the guy was there, giving me the evil eye. I shot it right back at him as I reached up and scratched my nose with my middle finger. I stomped out my smoke again and was quite annoyed at the whole situation. I though it was pretty unfair that he was willing to kick out "337" (who is a non-smoker) as well if I lit up again. I just couldn't figure out the mentality of the whole situation.
 
Grand Funk finished up and the Doobie Brothers came out and played a set of their classics to the smoke-free OUTDOOR crowd. As I looked around I saw not one cigarette OR doobie being smoked during their set and thought to myself "My, the times they certainly are a' changin. A smoke-free DOOBIE BROTHERS concert. What is the world coming to?"

 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One From The Archives: 08/25/00 REO Speedwagon/ Styx @ Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, MN

08/25/00 REO Speedwagon/Styx @ Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, MN (Ticket)
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

The Minnesota State Fair, which starts this Thursday and runs through September 7th, usually has at least a few good concerts during it's two-week run. Nine years ago today Styx and REO Speedwagon appeared in concert at the State Fair Grandstand, this was the first show I'd ever attended at the Fair. It was about what you think a Styx/REO show would be - nothing more, nothing less. They played all their respective hit songs and there were really no surprises. One cool thing that did happen was that during Styx's set, there were some thunderstorms a few miles away and as we were watching Styx play, far off in the distance behind the stage, we could see quite a lightning show going on, so that was kind of cool. Luckily the rains never made it to the fairgrounds so we stayed nice and dry.

REO Speedwagon and Styx, along with guest .38 Special, will again be appearing at the MN State Fair this year, this time on September 5th. The ticket price in 2000 was only $12.00, this year it's $34.00 PLUS $10.00 Gate Admission to the fair. Ain't gonna do it...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One From The Archives: 1966 Steve Paul's The Scene Free Record Album Giveaway

01/15/66 Steve Paul's The Scene Club, NYC, NY (Ad)
Print ad for Steve Paul's The Scene - from 01/15/66 issue of "Host"
(Image via NYCDreamin Archives)

This was one of the swingingest, most happening places in all of New York City in the mid-late 1960's. It's was a place you might catch a drunken Doors vocalist Jim Morrison jamming with Jimi Hendrix. (You can listen to a recording of that March 1968 disaster HERE.) It was place you could see acts as varied as Tiny Tim and Alice Cooper perform. A place you might catch a glimpse of Andy Warhol holding court with members of his entourage before they took over the back room at Max's.

You can read all about the scene at Steve Paul's The Scene over at:
It's All The Streets You Crossed Not So Long Ago



A New York Minute: These Are No Ladies! - Late 1960's Club 82 Ads

January 1966 Club 82 Advertisement - NYC, NY  
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Ad from 01/15/66 issue of "Host - A Weekly Guide to New York"

November 1967 Club 82 Advertisement - NYC, NY
 Ad from 11/04/67 issue of "Host - A Weekly Guide to New York"

Here we have a pair of circa 1960's print ads from New York City's notorious "Club 82".

Some history on the venue from About.com:

"This basement space set very discreetly behind a simple, unmarked door has quite a history with New York's gay community. From 1958 until 1978, Club 82 (82 E. 4th St.) was a beloved drag cabaret and glam-rock venue made famous by the likes of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Harvey Fierstein, Blondie, and the New York Dolls - in this sense, it's one of the more important sites of gay history in the East Village, and it even has its own fan site, which celebrates its colorful past. It then became an indie-film theater, and in the early 1990s, the dark, underground (figuratively and literally - it's in a basement) space became a quite popular gay adult theater and sex club called the Bijou Cinema (although still known by many as Club 82). More recently, it's been closed at different times, but it was spruced up at one point and now continues to be a gay sex club.

This is a quirky and happily sleazy little spot that's especially popular after the bars closed - it used to be open 24/7, but more recent reports suggest it now closes by 5 or 6 in the morning. You enter through the ominous unmarked door, descend the brightly lit stairs, and pay a cover fee ($10 at last check) to enter. Inside there's a 48-seat cinema that used to show gay porn and more recently has played conventional movies, some with an arty bent. Forming an L-shape behind the cinema area is a corridor lined with private booths that contain monitors showing gay porn. These are basically walk-in-closet-size booths - no beds or facilities to speak of. Guys hang out in these rooms, cruise the corridors, etc., etc. Off the main corridor and theater, there's also a TV lounge, some rental lockers, and a bar no longer serving drinks. There's something strangely and endearingly retro about the entire set-up."

One From The Archives: War. What Is It Good For? A Book Deal And A TV Series. And Hero Status to a 10 Year Old Boy.

August 1980 - In Front of Pappy Boyington's Corsair Fighter Plane
(Photo by Dad - NYCDreamin Archives)
 August 1980 - That's me standing in front of a fully restored WWII killing machine, the beautiful, amazing and deadly Corsair Fighter plane. This one belonged to Col. Greg "Pappy" Boyington, the most celebrated fighter pilot to emerge from WWII.

For several years when I was younger, my father and I made a yearly trek to the annual "EAA Air Show and Fly-In" held in Oshkosh, WI. Dad had obtained his small pilots license a few years prior and was consumed with learning all he could about avionics and the history of flight and Oshkosh was the perfect place to do this. I tagged along and hoped for something exciting to happen. On our trip in August of 1980, something did...

Sew-on logo patch commemorating the 1980 Oshkosh, WI Air Show.

About this time, my favorite TV show was called "Black Sheep Squadron", a show about famed WWII fighter pilot Greg "Pappy" Boyington. I watched enthusiastically each week as Pappy and his crew of misfits broke the rules and gave the finger to those in authority, all while flying around the South Pacific in their shiny Navy-blue Corsair fighters, gunning down the inferior enemy Japanese Zeros with deadly accuracy. They would then return to base and drink and carrouse and celebrate their victories. I thought they were probably the coolest guys who ever lived.

In August of 1980 we arrived in Oshkosh for the Air Show and one afternoon a few days later, my dad said he had a big surprise for me. We were going to go meet "the real" Pappy Boyington. I couldn't believe it - I was gonna get to meet one of my idols! So we went over to this huge air-conditioned merchandise building, my dad plunked down some cash for a copy of Pappy's book ("Baa Baa Blacksheep", published in 1958) and we got in line and waited to meet the man. After a while we were at the front of the line and then we were standing in front of this old guy who looked nothing like Pappy Boyington - I was a bit disappointed - this guy was all old and stuff and kind of smallish in stature. My father assured me that this was indeed "the real" Pappy Boyington, (who was 67 years of age at the time) explaining that the much younger, tougher-looking guy on TV, Robert Conrad, was just an actor playing the part of this hero who was sitting here in front of us. It took me a minute to sort out the reality of the situation but I figured it out and then I remember stepping up to the table and saying "hello" and handing him my copy of the book to sign. He asked my name and then he inscribed a personalized autograph just inside the front cover, smiling and thanking us for coming as he did so. My dad snapped a few photos of me standing with Pappy but unfortunately when we got the film developed upon our return from the air show, those photos did not turn out for some reason. All these years later I still wish they had. My dad and Pappy talked for just a minute or two as I looked on in admiration and as a long line of others waiting to obtain an autograph and meet a War Hero waited their turn behind us. A few seconds later our turn was up and we began to walk out of the building, me clutching my freshly autographed book tightly beside me.

08/06/80 Greg ''Pappy'' Boyington Autograph
The first autograph I ever obtained - My dad purchased a copy of the book "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and a few minutes later I was standing in front of my hero as he smiled at me and signed my book.

Pappy died of cancer eight years later on 01/11/88 at the age of 75 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery with the other war heroes of his generation. I had long since moved on to other interests but was still saddened a bit when I learned of his passing.

Click HERE to see a great History Channel documentary titled
"The Real Story of the Black Sheep Squadron."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One From The Archives: 1980-something: Who Is That Geek With The Model Rocket??

 (Photo by Mom - NYCDreamin Archives)
Younger Days: The geek (me, on the left, with the spiffy glasses!) and my cousin, getting ready to get down to the serious business of a model rocket launch sometime during the early 1980's. The launch was a success but the recovery mission was a failure - the rocket caught some wind and lodged itself high in some trees not far away and proved irretrievable.

Yes, long before I became obsessed with girls, Rock and Roll on a broader spectrum, and New York City, I was a total geek. I was already a few years into my life-long career in the Kiss-Army, but I thought they were the only band on the planet in those days. Nothing else mattered. Except space exploration...

I dreamed of someday leaving the planet myself. I was seriously interested in astronomy during my pre-teens in the early part of the 1980's, and as such was always launching model rockets and reading up all I could on the then-new Space Shuttle program. On my 11th birthday, 04/12/81, I woke up early to sit, glued to the TV, as the very first Space Shuttle mission (known as "STS-1" for all you non-geeks) lifetd off from Cape Canaveral Florida. I was amazed at the sight of the powerful rockets lifting the orbiter vehicle into space and I wished I could be going with them.

NASA Astronaut John W. Young, Commander of STS-1.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

Several weeks after the two-day mission had concluded, I decided to write to the astronauts who had piloted the historic flight and ask them to send me a few autographed photos. A few weeks later I was thrilled to get a package in the mail, from NASA. Young and Crippen had taken the time to send me the photos as I'd requested. My mom and dad bought me a few picture frames and the images hung proudly on my bedroom wall for several years, eventually being replaced by a W.A.S.P. or Anthrax poster I would imagine.

NASA Astronaut Robert L. Crippen, Pilot of STS-1.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
 
I remember being absolutely crushed when, on the 25th Shuttle mission, the Shuttle Challenger broke apart shortly after liftoff on 01/28/86. I watched the TV news for days, wondring how such a disater could happen. But I was failing math, so it didn't really matter - there was no danger of me exploding on liftoff, I wasn't gonna leave the planet anytime soon. You had to be good at math to experience that thrill and I was NOT good at math. I eventually moved on to other interests, but I always held onto the photos and would be interested when I head another Shuttle mission was about to lift off into space. Once a geek, always a geek I guess.
STS-1 Logo.
(Image via: Science.ksc.NASA.gov)

 

One From The Archives: 08/23/92 Pantera/ Trouble/ White Zombie @ Mirage, Minneapolis, MN



(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)

During the early-mid 1990's, Pantera was one of the hardest touring bands on the international concert circuit. They certainly seemed to be around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area quite often and my friends and I were always thrilled when we heard they were coming to town to kick our ass some more. This was the second time (of many) that I saw them and the first time (of many) that I would see the amazing and all too short-lived White Zombie.
 
Zombie was the bottom band on the bill for this show but they sure got my attention - the very next day, still hung-over and half-deaf, I went out and picked up a copy of their (then new) CD "La Sexorcisto Devil Music Vol. 1" and another older release titled "Make Them Die Slowly" (this one being a used cassette version). This was just before Beavis & Butthead (and a schedule of never ending touring by the band) made them almost a household name. In just about a years time they would go from bottom band on the bill to headlining shows of their own all over the world and destroying audiences with a special blend of psycho-sludge-horror-metal that has never come close to being duplicated. Those were the days my friend, those were the days...

 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Next Month: 09/10/09 RetroFest Featuring the Music of Woodstock: A Benefit for the Max's Kansas City Project

*Thanks to Sesu Coleman (Magic Tramps) for sending along this information...

WHAT: RetroFest
A night of music benefitting the Max's Kansas City Project.

WHEN: Thursday, September 10th, 2009

WHERE: Triad Theater at 158 West 72nd Street, NYC, NY
(located between Broadway and Columbus Avenue, 2nd Floor)

WHO: Star 69 Grateful Dead Tribute Band/Mojo Myles featuring Ellen Foley and Ira Stone/Ann Klein/Jahn Xavier/Joy Rider/Peter Sabatino (of The Vagrants)/David Amram/David Bennett Cohen (of Country Joe & the Fish)/The ASCAP House Band with Sesu Coleman (of the Magic Tramps) featuring Julie Peng/Jon Sobol/Cindy Lopez/Aviv Roth/Lin McEwan/Lilly Hatchett/Helen Hooke (of The Deadly Nightshade)/Karl Reamer

PRICE: $25.00 Minimum Donation - 2 Drink Minimum
Tickets are available online and at the door.
Seating is EXTREMELY LIMITED to 150 guests.
It is highly suggested to purchase tickets online in advance.

FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION on performance lineup, tickets, venue information and more information on the Max's Kansas City Project, please visit:

RETRO69.net

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

A New York Minute: More Views of New York City's Vanished Elevated Railways

Here are a few more images of the Elevated Railways (The Els) of New York City. The images are taken from the book "Freeways", by Lawrence Halprin. The book was published in 1966 by Reinhold Publishing Corporation.


The famous El down in the Bowery photographed in 1895.
(Photo: Museum of the City of New York) (Large view)(View at night)

A drawing from "Police Gazette", December 23, 1882. The caption reads: "Shooting at the Elevated. A party of New York girls enjoy a little after-dinner pistol practice at the trains that rush by the windows of their hotel."

The great trestle at 110th Street.
(Photo: Museum of the City of New York)

The New York El from South Street has long since disappeared.
(Photo: Standard Oil Company)

The Third Avenue El, New York City
(Photo by Lawrence Halprin, 1951)
 

A New York Minute: Early 1950's: New York City's Third Avenue El



 

A New York Minute: The End of the Third Avenue El



 

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One From The Archives: 08/16/05 Cinderella/ Ratt/ Quiet Riot/ Firehouse @ Myth, Maplewood, MN

(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
This night of 80's hair metal was the very first concert held at the newly constructed Myth nightclub/concert hall in Maplewood, MN - the paint in the upstairs portion of the club wasn't even dry yet, you could still smell it. Cinderella (who I'd seen only one time previous to this show) was amazing, as were Ratt, who have never put on a bad show that I've ever seen and I've seen them plenty. Quiet Riot was OK, but I remember thinking Kevin Dubrow looked like shit - just over two years later he would be dead. And Firehouse? They've been dying for 20 years now...

 

One From The Archives: 08/16/88 King Diamond/ Flotsam & Jetsam @ First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)

Scattered memories from the day and these two pieces of ephemera are all that remain.

It was a beautiful, hot summer day - a good day for a long road trip to Minneapolis and the hallowd ground of 1st Avenue to see two amazing bands, so early that morning my fellow headbanger buddies "P" (who I just recently connected with after about 10 years) and "J" (whom I have not seen or spoken with in well over 15 years) and I hopped in my 1978 lime green Ford Pinto hatchback (with a sunroof!) and hit the road. Not far down the highway we managed to get stuck behind a garbage truck. It smelled. Badly. And we were stuck behind it for many miles before we were able to pass.

The next memory is that when we finally arrived in the Minneapolis area, we stopped in the north suburb of Fridley at the amazing "Great American Music" that used to be located on Central Avenue. It is now home to a "Cheapo", one of my favorite places to go spend obscene ammounts of cash on pre-recorded music. I don't remember what, if anything I purchased that day, but I can't imagine I walked out of there without at least 1 or more records or tapes.

Then it was off to downtown Minneapolis. We spent some time checking out a few of the porn shops that were then located on Hennepin Avenue (they're all gone now), as well as a few of our favorite stores in the world - "Suns" (where you could find an assortment of the best concert t-shirts anywhere, backpatches, posters, stickers, just about anything that had a rock band's named emblazened on it, "smoking devices", and martial arts items such as nun-chucks and throwing stars.) A few years later they would relocate a few blocks further west down the street and by the mid-2000's the store would finally close, a huge loss to the local rockers like myself who spent so many hours browsing the store full of rock and roll goodies. We also hit up another great record shop, "Northern Lights" that was then located on the corner opposite 1st Avenue. This was another amazing shop where we could spend literally hours browsing the great selection of metal and punk records we were unable to find anywhere in our hometown.

Then we went over to the club and waited to get in and soon it was showtime. I vividly remember how little room was left on the stage for Flotsam & Jetsam. They had to put a large "banquet-style" table in front of the stage for their vocalist to stand on as there just wasn't room for him on the stage. Seems King Diamond had a pretty big production waiting for us that was taking up all the room. Flotsam & Jetsam were quite good and we were all duely impressed. Then the evil one, King Diamond, and his band of happy fellows took the stage and we were treated to an all out Satanic praise festival. The show featured several songs from his then-new album "Them" and King had many cool theatrical effects to go along with the music. At one point "Grandma" (who looked surprisingly young) was brought out in a wheelchair to torture poor King. I remember one song featured him "slicing" up his arm with this huge knife...we were in the front row and it looked pretty damn real to me let me tell you, blood flowing everywhere. And during the Mercyful Fate classic "The Oath", King brought out this huge, framed copy of the Satanic Oath that he held high above his head throughout the song, until it erupted into flames at the end of the number. It was a pretty cool effect. His band was tight and we were all thrilled to have been able to winess something so...evil. It was a nice change of pace from the Stryper concerts I had been attending (although those were great shows as well, don't get me wrong).

Click HERE to see some cool photos (not by me) from a November 11, 1988 King Diamond show in Philadelphia, PA - this will give you an idea of what the show looked like visually.

After the concert was over, we piled back into the car for the long, hot three and a half hour drive back home. My concert-going friends slept most of the way, leaving me, and my ringing ears, to have some quiet reflection on the spectalcle we had just witnessed.

 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Handsome Dick Manitoba Buys and Loses Sid Vicious' Leather Jacket - A Punk Rock Tale from the 70's

The Handsome One enjoys some gutbombs - and leather jackets.
(Image via: Manitoba'sWildKingdom.com)

Click over to The Brew Yorker (!) to see HDM in front of his bar, Manitoba's, telling a sad tale of his aquisition and subsequent loss of a leather jacket that had previously belonged to Sid Vicious.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A New York Minute: 1956 "Spectacular New York"



 

06/09/15 - 08/12/09: RIP Les Paul

(Image via: ContactMusic.com)

The inventor of the meanest fuckin' guitar in the world has passed away: Les Paul, dead at age 94 of complications from Pneumonia . Full details at MSN.com.

This is a sad day indeed...



My hero - Ace Frehley (and his Signature Model Gibson Les Paul Sunburst), with his friend and hero, Les Paul. (Photo via: Blabbermouth.net)

Statement from Ace Frehley.com on the passing of Les Paul:

"The music industry has lost a giant! I'm very saddened by the news of Les Paul's passing. I was lucky enough to have known Les as a friend, and admired him as a musician and innovator. He forever changed the way we listen to music."-- Ace Frehley

One From The Archives: 08/13/94 Pantera/Sepultura (Cancelled)/ Prong/ + Opening Act @ Apple River Amphitheatre, Somerset, WI

08/13/94 Pantera/Sepultura/Prong @ Somerset, WI (Print Ad)
 (Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)

08/13/94 Pantera/Sepultura/Prong @ Somerset, WI (Ticket)

08/12/94 Minneapolis Star Tribune Article featuring Pantera (Below)

08/13/94 Pantera/Sepultura/Prong @ Somerset, WI (Article)

It's hard to believe it's been 15 years since this show. Pantera is now but a memory, Dimebag is dead, and Sepultura is no longer the same band. And my back has healed...

We picked up tickets for this one the day they went on sale. The day of the show arrived and PriestFreakNo.1 and a few other friends and I drove out to Somerset, arriving at the Apple River Amphitheatre plenty early enough to begin downing several beers each. It was a hot day, I remember that, and the beers were tasting plenty good.

When we arrived we were greeted with the news that Sepultura, who I'd only seen one time previously, would not be appearing. Seems vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera had broken his leg in a mosh pit a few days prior and was still on the mend. A big sign near the main gate proclaimed in bold lettering "Sepultura Cancelled - NO REFUNDS!" So we were pretty bummed out at learning this news, but hey, we still had two amazing bands to see, and this was gonna be Pantera's night to shine anyway.

So the gates open and a local Minneapolis/St. Paul area band (I couldn't tell you who it was to save my life) kicked things off. I remember they were pretty good, and the moshing commenced almost immediately. The pits were huge, the crowd surfing was crazy, and this was only a local opening act. From all indicators, this was gonna be a crazy fuckin' show. We soon ran into a few friends of ours who had made the trip down from Duluth to catch the show and we all had a few more beers as we got all caught up on what each other had been up to.

Soon it was time for Prong to destroy the crowd, and destroy they did. The intensity in the pits ramped up a few notches as they plowed through a blistering set of their oh-so-moshable tunes. I had had my fill of beers by the time they took the stage and was right in the center of one huge pit, running, shoving, pushing and pulling my way around the circle of maniacs. Just a few songs into Prong's set, I decided it was time to get up on top and do some serious crowd surfing. I had a friend of mine launch me up, and was soon cruising along with ease on top of the sea of sweaty metal heads. I did this a few times, having no problems. Then it happened.

I was launched up again, and almost immediately there was a surge in the crowd - what seemed like about a hundred people started to fall down as a result of the crush of people behind pushing and pushing and pushing, and I just happened to be on top of several of them. All I remember is the peolpe below me falling to the ground, me falling down on top of them, and more people from behind falling in on top of me. As I came to rest and the bodies fell in on top of me, I felt my back go SNAP and I was in immediate and excruciating pain. I paniced for a moment, thinking I'd broken my back. People began picking themselves up and I managed to stand as well, so the back was not broken. But I was fucked up, that was for sure. I limped my ass away from the crowd, over to the concession stand where I ordered a beer, then trudged over to one of the fences that lined the grounds and slowly sat down to asess my situation. I was drunk and now I was seriously hurt. As I was doing this bit of self analysis, I noticed up on stage, as Prong continued to kick the crowd's ass, the members of Pantera were now on stage with them. They had pushed BBQ grills out on the stage and while Prong tried to finish their set, Dime, Phil, Vinnie and Rex were busy whipping up hamburgers and hot dogs and tossing them into the crowd. I started to laugh and it hurt when I did so. They soon retreated backstage to get ready (which I'm sure included having several drinks and smoking several joints) for their own set as Prong finished up theirs.
.
After a while, I started to feel a bit better. Maybe I wasn't hurt as badly as I thought. Soon Pantera appeared on stage and the craziness in front of the stage became a frenzy. It always was at their shows, I had witnessed and taken part in it myself several times proir to this show. I stood up, went over and bought another beer and after I downed it was feeling not-so-bad. I decided that I couldn't just stand there while the metal gods decimated tis crowd - I had to be part of it. So I wandered back into the crowd, pushing my way up as close as I could get. I asked some dude to launch me, he did, and up I went. I knew this was one of the dumbest things I ever did almost immediately. The pain in my back returned in full force and within seconds I was frantically pulling myself down from the top of the crowd. I limped back over to the security fence and sat down feeling hurt all over again and quite stupid for not having just sat there all along. I tried to enjoy the rest of Pantera's set as best I could, they were putting on a great performance as always, but I felt cheated at not being able to be down in front where all the action was. By the time it was all over I was in pretty bad shape, not really able to sit down as I could barely bend my body, and standing was becoming painful as well.

I waited near the gates after the show was over and soon saw PriestFrekNo.1 looking for me. He was unaware of my situation as we'd been seperated almost immediatley after Prong had begun playing. He took one look at me and told me, "Dude, you look like you're in rough shape." I told him that was indeed the case, and he and another buddy of mine helped me limp my ass back to the parking lot where getting in the car and sitting down proved to be excruciating. And I had to sit in there for the hour-plus ride home. When we arrived back home, getting out of the car was even more difficult than getting in had been. PriestFreak and his (now ex) wife helped me out of the car and up the stairs and into the house. It was difficult to get myself into bed but I managed somehow.

The next morning, I woke up partially deaf, completely hung-over and in serious pain. I needed help getting out of bed. I grabbed the phone, picked up a phone book and looked up "chiropractor" and dialed the number of a local guy whose offices I knew were close by. I scheduled an appointment for later in the morning and when I arrived for my appointment he told me I was in bad shape ("No shit," I thought to myself!) and asked how it had happened. I explained to him my adventure the previous night and he looked at me and said "You won't be doing that again, will you?" I nodded my head and we went into one of his procedure rooms where I laid down and he began the painful process of "popping" my back into place.

I had several visits to his office over the next few months, each time it was painful, but he was managing to pop me back in shape. I was able to return to work in just a few days, and over time my back began to feel normal again, but every once in a while I'd bend wrong or lift something a bit too heavy and I would feel the pain - a permanent souvinier from the Pantera/Prong show. I stayed out of the mosh pits at all the shows I attended for the next 2 or 3 years. But a few years later, feeling like I was finally 100% again, I finally re-entered the pit, again at a Pantera show, this time at OzzFest. I just couldn't help myself. I couldn't just stand there as the (at the time) heaviest band on the planet raged away on stage - I HAD to move! It was so much fun to again be able to crowd surf, it was some of the best I'd ever taken part in. But I was nervous and a litle scared the entire time, and it was one of the last times I would do so.
 
My mosh-pit days are now long over, I miss the a bit, but I'm O.K. with it - I have to be, I'm too old for that shit now. I'm just glad I eventually healed 100% and that I am able to look back on this show and think how fun it was, not that it was the show that broke my back and put me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.

 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Andy Warhol's Factory People: Inside the Sixties Silver Factory

(Image via: PlanetGroupEntertainment)

Thanks to former "St. Adrian Company" co-owner Bruce Bethany for sending along a link to a great, long interview with Warhol Factory regular Louis Walden, which is part of a much larger site dedicated to the documentry: "Andy Warhol's Factory People: Inside the Sixties Silver Factory".

Included at this site are many more great interviews with other Warhol "Superstars" and associates including: Alan Midgette, Bibbe Hansen, Billy Nmae, Gerard Malange, Mary Waronov, Victor Bockris, Jonas Mekas, Ultra Violet, Vincent Fremont, Nat Finkelstein and Taylor Mead. Also included on this comprehensive site are overviews of the documentry project, photo galleries and video snippets from the film. It's all fascinating stuff, a time capsule look into the whole underground art and music scene of mid-late 60's centered around Warhol's famed "Silver Factory" in New York City.

You can find all this and more over at PlanetGroupEntertainment.com.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

One From The Archives: 08/09/99 Detroit Rock City Advance Screening @ Mall of America, Bloomington, MN

08/09/99 Detroit Rock City Advance Screening at Mall of America, Bloomington, MN (Ticket Voucher)
 (Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)

Ticket Voucher (above) for 2 and tickets (below) to an advance screening of the Kiss movie "Detroit Rock City", shown at General Cinemas at Mall of America in Bloomington, MN on 08/09/99.

08/09/99 Detroit Rock City Advance Screening at Mall of America, Bloomington, MN (Tickets)

08/09/99 Detroit Rock City Advance Screening at Mall of America, Bloomington, MN (Promo Lip Balm)

"Detroit Rock City" promotional item - a tube of Lip Balm. These were given out, along with posters, postcards, and t-shirts at the advance screening for the movie.
 
I had been lucky enough to score a voucher for a pair of tickets to an advance screening of the movie on August 9th. This was one of the perks of working on the periphery of the music business back then, freebies! The girl who worked in the promotions department at PaulStarr Distributing, where I worked as warehouse manager at the time, came out to the warehouse on the afternoon of August 9th and asked if I'd like to "go see this Kiss movie?" Seeing as how I wore a different Kiss t-shirt nearly every day of the week back in those days, she already knew the answer but she still had to ask. I gladly thanked her and made a phone call to "337" and a few hours later we were on our way to the movies.
 
This movie was never meant to be a serious affair, and it certainly was not. How could it be? It was about four teenagers on a quest to see a Kiss concert. But when it was premiered in theatres nationwide a few days later on 08/13/99, I went to see it again for a second time in just over a week as it had struck a nerve with me - I had lived parts of the movie as a teenager.
 
My Mom and Step-Dad, although not as psycho as the Mom in the movie, also thought Kiss was "...of the devil..." - a situation that caused me much grief back in those days of the early-mid 1980's. So I certainly felt a connection the main character in the movie, Jam, when he watches his mother burn his prized Kiss concert tickets in front of him. I was never so lucky to have a ticket to a Kiss concert (until I turned 19 - and by then Kiss was on their "Hot In The Shade" tour - the makeup and flash of the 70's and Ace and Peter long-since faded memories) but I HAD seen all of my precious Kiss albums and posters destroyed in the same method (immolation) in my early teens before the band and all mention of them were entirely banished from my home. But, like the character in the movie - I overcame the situation. I simply packed up my shit and moved to live with my Dad, who realized that Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace were not about to steal my soul...



 

Saturday, August 8, 2009

One From The Archives: 08/08/97 Suicidal Tendencies/ Druel/ Stray Bullets @ First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

08/08/97 Suicidal Tendencies/Druel/Stray Bullets (Flyer)(Top) 08/08/97 Suicidal Tendencies/Druel/Stray Bullets (Flyer)(Bottom)

08/08/97 Suicidal Tendencies/Druel/Stray Bullets (Ticket)
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)

I don't remember much in particular about this show except that Druel (a great, noisy pseudo-hardcore band from Minneapolis) kicked major league ass and Suicidal Tendencies seemed to be a shadow of their former self - they were not very good on this particular evening.



Meanwhile Over At Max's - Part 3: "Man Taking Money" - by Ed Siejka


Max's Kansas City, NYC, NY (Undated)
(Photo: Allan Tannenbaum for SoHo Weekly News)

Ed Siejka - On the inspiration for his piece "Man Taking Money":
"I used to frequent Max's Kansas City during 1971 - 1973, especially during the spring of 1973. Always a nice crowd...occasional famous people or event. Some of us would leave Max's no later than 12 midnight and grab an early breakfast at a local diner located on 13th street. On some Saturday nights the diner was standing room only.

From the looks of the people who came to Max's after midnight and the stories I heard, Max's became a place where a lot of dealing went on...money, drugs - and some of it out in the open. The photo (above) reminds me of what I used to see outside Max's. It's a night-time shot and looks like it had just stopped raining. A couple is in front of the club...looks like a man talking to his girlfriend and the passersby are just ignoring them and walking by the scene. The poem itself, "Man Taking Money", is based not only on that photo but from what I recall.

To be fair, Max's was always an exciting place to go and no one was ever really made to leave despite the fact that some of the patrons made it a habit to nurse a drink for the entire night."

"Man Taking Money" - by Ed Siejka

Outside a club
Just past the music
And swaying bodies
They stand together
Isolated in a corner
He towering over her
Hands clenched
Theirs is an intense conversation
Of muted voices
She stands
Arms folded over her chest
Looking toward the ground
Relenting
She opens her purse
Passersby see nothing wrong
And continue walking
Overhead neon lights
Distorted from the rain soaked streets
Throw glimmer
On another street scene

A few steps away
Cradled in the
Bosom of night
A restless city yawns
And goes to sleep.

-end

More writing by Ed Siejka:
"St. Adrian's, 1971" and "Journey to New York"

-and-

Previously at Max's:
Summer 1970 - Velvet Underground and 12/06/65 - Max's Grand Opening

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Blank Generation" - A Film by Ivan Kral & Amos Poe

(Image via: TheBlankGeneration.com)

Thanks to Stupefaction for bringing this website and film to our attention. This is a MUST SEE video for fans of the birth of the 70's era NYC punk scene and is one of THE most important historical visual documents of the entire movement. After seeing this you'll REALLY wish you had been there...like you don't wish that already!



Saturday, August 1, 2009

Check Out Photos from Leee Black Childers' 07/24/09 Birthday Party in NYC

The one and only Leee Black Childers celebrated his 64th birthday at the Delancey Bar in New York City on Friday, July 24th. The party was jammed with all sorts of cool people including but not limited to: Seymour Stine (Sire Records Presidant/R & R Hall of Fame inductee), Gyda Gash (Angel Rot), Sesu Coleman (Magic Tramps), Tish & Snookie (Sic Fucks/Manic Panic Founders), Natasha Adonzio (Punk fashion desinger), Yvonne Sewell-Ruskin (former wife of Max's Kansas City owner Mickey Ruskin), and John Holmstrom (Punk Magazine founder). Many others were in attendance as well - looks like it was a fun evening.

You can view photos from the party HERE at StarTraksPhoto.com.