Gary’s Nineteen Nineties

Still in a most list-ful mood, but this round-up certainly wasn’t a very easy one to compile, I’ll have everyone know. The pickin’s were extremely, uh, thin, to say the very least.

Nevertheless (or should I say Nevermind)…..

Number One: Mark Johnson12 in a room (1992)
Powerful pop most firmly rooted within the Brill Building anteroom.

Two: CowsillsGlobal (1998)
America’s once-and-forever First Family of Song leave no Partridge unspurned.

Three: Brian WilsonSweet Insanity (1991)
Just to make sure the Nineties weren’t ALL Pet Sounds re-issues.

Four: Dave Rave GroupValentino’s Pirates (1992)
Wherein the former Soviet Union signs its first Western act, then promptly dissolves.

Five: Johnny CashAmerican Recordings (1994)
Rick Rubin produces a Johnny we thought only Sam Phillips could.

Six: Tiny TimRock (1993)
Includes possibly definitive readings of “Eve of Destruction” and “Rebel Yell,” I kid you not.

Seven: PuffyJet CD (1998)
Oh-so-effortlessly crosses ABBA, Sabbath, and Who’s Next …and all by way of Jellyfish.

Eight: MonkeesJustus (1996)
Those Prefabs go out on a very high note (which, I’ll have you know, they played ALL BY THEMSELVES).

Nine: Shane FaubertSan Blass (1993)
Former head Cheepskate most definitely goes for baroque.

Ten: NRBQYou Gotta Be Loose (1998)
Proof very positive: The greatest live r-n-r band In The World.

Eleven: EvaporatorsI Gotta Rash (1998)
Before Ali G, Baba Booey, and most definitely Tenacious D.

Twelve: Neil YoungArc (1991)
Truly too cool – not to mention loud – for (many) words.

Thirteen: Go-NutsThe World’s Greatest Super Hero Snak Rock And Gorilla Entertainment Revue (1997)
For once, the title says it all.

Fourteen: High LlamasGideon Gaye (1994)
More than filling that cavernous sonic gap between SMiLE and the XTC reunion.

Fifteen: Blue ShadowsLucky To Me (1995)
Hank Williams visits The Cavern by way of Big Pink.

Sixteen: Mojo NixonGadzooks!!! (1997)
Includes “Bring Me The Head of David Geffen” …and then some.

Seventeen: James Richard Oliver
The Mud, The Blood and The Beer
(1998)
alt. Country with a capital “Oh!”

Eighteen: Chesterfield Kings
Surfin’ Rampage
(1997)
Upstate New York’s finest give their Stones cloning a rest whilst hanging all ten.

Nineteen: JandekTwelfth Apostle (1993)
So many Jandek albums; so little space.

Frankie Teardrop

Several weeks ago, a random gathering of some of the best musicians from Canada’s greatest musical berg (that’s Hamilton, Ontario, by the way) threw themselves onstage as part of the city’s annual Locke Street Festival. Spearheaded by the one and only Tom Wilson, said ad-hoc combo was busy rocking and rolling things all the way up that street as the sun slid down when suddenly, a most familiar figure was spotted nearby. The lead singer of the one, the only, Teenage Head.

As would later be reported in the press, "I asked Frankie, 'Frankie, fuck man, you've got to come up here and sing,'" Wilson says. "He said, 'You got to give me a hundred bucks.' So I reached into my pocket and I only had fifty, so I asked Dave Rave for the other half. I said, 'Dave, fifty bucks for Frankie.'

"And this was the kind of love they had for Frankie. Dave didn't ask me, 'What for? What does Frankie need fifty bucks for?' He was just pulling it out of his pocket. And Frankie got up and did ‘Let's Shake’."

It turned out to be the last-ever public appearance of Frank Kerr, much better known – and most rightfully so – as Frankie Venom, who along with his high school pals about thirty-three years ago decided to form a band in between spins of Dolls, Stooges and, yes, Flamin’ Groovies records. Remarkably, that little band that could went on to garner two gold and one platinum twelve-inchers of their very own; in fact, their latest, now available from the fine folk over at Sonic Unyon Recordings, actually features Marky Ramone on the drums. Terrifically high praise indeed.

In a scar-studded career that admittedly held more bumps than most bands’, Teenage Head never turned (or toned) things down, never towed anyone’s line, and never ever made a bad record or gave a bad show that I, or anyone else for that matter, should care to recall. And whether slithering across the heat pipes of Toronto’s legendary Crash and Burn club, opening for the Pretenders, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello in front of fifty-thousand at Canada’s Heatwave festival – or belting ‘Let’s Shake’ for and with some old friends on Locke Street on a warm late eve – Frankie Venom was every single inch the Head above all others.

He succumbed to throat cancer on October 15, 2008, aged fifty-two. Your record collection will never be the same.

RBF Gets LITG @ IPO NYC re NBT, GPG, DRC, ETC.

Dear Pop Pals,

Our very good friend
Robert Barry Francos
certainly had lens in hand,
then fingers to keyboard,

to commemorate
none other than
Dave Rave, Shane Faubert, Gary Pig Gold
and Very Special Guests
at the opening of this year's
New York International Pop Overthrow Festival.

now,
You can
Read All About It HERE,

then Be Sure
to check out all the photographic evidence
right THERE !!

 

Sweet Relief

I am so very, very pleased
to have been able to join
not only The Next Big Thing,
Ghost Rockets,
and Dave Rave Group slash Conspiracy

but over seventy (Count ‘em!) other
most powerfully poppin’ combos
…..including KLAATU even

all in the aid
of a more than good cause:

Jam Records’ benefit CD
for the Hurricane Katrina victims.

now,
Please do
your fairest share as well,
won’t you?

Relief never sounded
quite so good.

The Next Big Rave

What ever happens
when the Dave Edmunds of Canada
reunites with, yes, the Nick Lowe of Canada
right there On Stage again ?

In order to kick straight off
the Sixth annual New York
International Pop Overthrow
Festival to boot ??

For the answer to these,
and oh So many other merry musical questions,

simply Meet Us at around 11 PM
on the night of Thursday, November the 9th
within The Baggot Inn,
right there at 82 West 3rd Street
in Greenwich Village.

MANY splendid Seconds of Pleasure are guaranteed for all !!