The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Age of Innocence #5


The Dead Boys, at their CBGB audition, 1976

"The Dead Boys had only been together a week. Before that we had a band called Frankenstein (in Cleveland), but we had broken up. We were just sitting around, mostly because we couldn't get a gig. Stiv kept saying, "Listen, in New York they're into what we're into. We're not weirdos there. We'd be normal there." -Cheetah Chrome

-taken from Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. If you don't have it already...what's your problem?

5 comments :

Tom Sutpen said...

This is going to sound like a backhanded compliment, but it isn't:

One thing I love about this photo is that it harkens back to an era when bands weren't afraid to look hideous in public.

swac said...

True...some early Ramones photos are scary too.

Keep in mind, Stiv Bators and Co. were fresh off the boat from Cleveland when this was taken.

I saw Bators with Lords of the New Church years ago. The man was amazing onstage, a total walking id, lashing out at the audience. I haven't really seen anything like it since. The fact that Brian James from The Damned was the guitarist was icing on the cake.

mwl said...

I especially love that it was co-written by Gillian McCain.
When did you see Lords of the New Church, you bastard?

mwl

swac said...

Yep, I've read a few complaints about Please Kill Me, for ignorning the British or the West Coast, but as an examination of this one particular scene, New York City in the '70s, it's pure gold, improved in paperback by the inclusion of even more material. I'm not sure what Gillian's working on now, although I hear the plan to turn Please Kill Me into a movie (DeVito's Jersey Pictures bought the rights) has kind of soured. Supposedly she's working with McNeil on another project.

And I was surprised to find out that she married NYC rock afficianado Jim Marshall, whose WFNU rockabilly/R&B/garage show The Hound is notoriously great. I found his website which is a treasure trove of amazing old tracks in MP3 form. I've got some serious CD compiling to do...

I sent an e-mail to the site, I hope to hear from her soon...it's been ages.

As for Lords, I managed to get into Barrymore's in Ottawa when I was 17, and visiting my uncle there. There was some terrible sub-Go-Gos rock band called American Girls opening, and I got to meet Brian James as he came in the door, and Stiv was magic, hanging on the mic stand for dear life, climbing the speakers, swinging off the lights, playing with his gum... I don't recall hearing any Dead Boys material that night, although I do believe he did A Million Miles Away from that solo album he had, called Disconnected I think.

Two or so years later, he'd be dead, after getting hit by a car in Paris, limping back to his apartment, and bleeding to death internally.

And how have you been, you mofo you? Glad you decided to pop in and have a boo. I heard from someone that Chris was married and about to become a dad in Vancouver. Will wonders never cease. Who knew that I'd be the last bachelor of the bunch (well, depending on where Chuck is spreading socialism at the moment).

Kerri Rachelle said...

They shoulda kept the "Frankenstein" name.