The Stud Brother review Fade Out by Loop, 21st January 1989

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Simon Reynolds reviews Hunkpapa by Throwing Muses, 21st January 1989

This was one of the many records I lost at college by innocently agreeing to lend it to ‘a friend’ never to see it again. Truth be told I didn’t much like it and probably bought it as much for the Vaughan Oliver sleeve as the music. And I don’t know why but the title of this record is always Hunkapapa in my head, I guess it just flows from the tongue better.

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heroin advertisment, 21st January 1989

Of all of the big social ‘issues’ I was aware of back in the 80′s the only two that I really remember affecting me that much were the impending nuclear war with Russia and heroin.

Back in the 80′s heroin was bad. It was worse than bad – it was evil, pernicious and addictive. In fact, it was so addictive that if you so much as wrote the word ‘Heroin’ down you’d start stealing money from your Mum’s purse to buy your next fix and before you knew it you’d be dabbing the brick dust on the floor of the school toilets. But that fear, that mystery, brought with it the sort mystique which made doing heroin kinda sexy as this famous press ad proves. I mean look at that the eyeliner he’s got on…so sad, so fragile, so fucking cool.

I still remember that ad and although I don’t specifically remember this one above, I’m sure there’s a strong collective memory within my generation of this very orchestrated fear campaign. I don’t know what the legacy of these ads is. I’m not a stranger to casual drug use but I’ve never taken heroin, never injected and know very few people that have. Is that an indication of their success or merely proof that I was middle class and scared easily?

These days you Talk to Frank of course, a campaign that has probably indelibly affected today’s teenage generation as deeply as the 80′s heroin campaign did to mine. The difference between now and then being that nowadays teenagers are warned off the full spectrum of drugs and not specifically heroin. Is crack the new heroin? Is meth the new Crack? Is heroin still the same scourge on society as it was 20-30 years ago? Probably, but it feels like it’s just part of the mix now rather that the embodiment of evil it once was.

Remember kids – just say no!

Perry Farrell on the cover of Melody Maker, 21st January 1989. Photo by Joe Dilworth

I just never got Jane’s Addiction. I really tried with Ritual de lo Habitual but it just didn’t click.

But then there was a time in L.A. around 2000, when, hopelessly stoned and locked away in the 4×4 for my own good, Perry Farrell spoke to me. Sang to me. Communed with me. However long it lasted I can only compare it to a religious experience. And then I sobered up and the music sounded shit again. Drugs eh? Who needs em?

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The Stud Brothers interview The Beloved, 27th January 1990

The Stud Brothers interview The Beloved, 27th January 1990. Photos by Tom Sheehan

David Stubbs interviews Loop, 27th January 1990

David Stubbs interviews Loop, 27th January 1990. Photo by Tom Sheehan.

Everett True reviews the singles of the week, 22nd January 1990

Correctly called ET. Blue Thunder is still a fucking gem. And yes, Shine On isn’t all that but I’m not sure I’d have been that dismissive. Other than that there’s proof that not everything McGee touched turned to gold with a review for The Times – remember them? And to the oh so punk Child Molesters – do you feel stupid now?

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The Beloved on the cover of Melody Maker, 27th January 1990. Photo by Tom Sheehan.

So the big news today came from this link where IPC announced plans to revive the Melody Maker name with a comprehensive online archive of the magazine.

I’ve joined the good folks over at the WSC forum in expressing my cynicism that it’s anything more than just hot air. I’d love to see it happen but won’t be holding my breath.

And relax…


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David Stubbs interviews The Butthole Surfers, 2nd April 1988

David Stubbs interviews The Butthole Surfers part2, 2nd April 1988

David Stubbs interviews The Butthole Surfers, 2nd April 1988. Photos by Andy Catlin.

You can either read this for the outrageous Stubbsianisms that pepper this interview, cf. “Plunging in at the anus and excavating, tunnelling a giant point of exit at the sockets, they are one part giant surge of flesh, one part holy revelation.” or for Gibby’s quotes, which ironically, sound a lot like Stubbs alter-ego to be - “Hue and what? Fuck me…Humourless and Cry [more like!]“

Either way it’s worth reading.  And if you’ve never heard of the Butthole Surfers then why not track down Locust Abortion Technician or Hairway to Steven

butthole surfers on the cover of melody maker, 2nd April 1988

The Butthole Surfers on the cover of Melody Maker, 2nd April 1988. Photo by Andy Catlin.

This because I was in the office the other day and The Butthole Surfers came on the stereo.

“Wow! Who put the Butthole’s on?” I asked.

“Oh I dunno who it is…it’s the Dumb and Dumber soundtrack”

Gah!

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