March 9, 2010
Further proof that Hofmeister Lager definitely wasn’t deliberately marketed to under age drinkers. I mean just because George the Bear is pictured with party balloons, clutching a Virgin megastore bag and blowing a streamer it’s just CO-INCIDENTAL! Ten years later you could flog 2-4-1 vodka Hooch lemonades and no one gave a shit. Thankfully, these days it seems like some of us have finally grown-up.
Best thing I’ve seen this week is this fantastic (and growing) Flickr set of scanned in Smash Hits. 1979-1980 there so far but looks like it’s being done chronologically so one to keep checking back on. I’ve thought about doing this with AMP over the years (gosh years! plural) and this convinces me I should.
January 25, 2010
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!
January 17, 2010
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!]“
The Big (Dance Explosion) Bang: Vague, Sabresonic, Megatripolis, Open All Hours and others, 22nd December 1994
October 4, 2009
Things can only get better Gordon – especially after this truly low, LOW point from former GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips. She digs herself a hole and just keeps on diggin’. Can you watch to the end?
Steve Sutherland interviews Damon Albarn, 16th September 1995. Photos by Kevin Cummins.
Seeing as I have the N.M.E. pile out and we’re all still flushed from seeing Blur on stage again at Glastonbury 2009 I thought I’d post this, the counterpart to this cover, which has proved extremely popular. Gasp again to the cut and thrust of Blur vs. Oasis; thrill to the shenanigans of Cuntry House and The Great Escape; or just simply drool over the lovely Cummins picture of the young Albarn.
The years are starting to show though aren’t they? Quite understandable for Albarn to change the lyrics in End of a Century from “the mind gets dirty, as you get closer to thirty” to fifty, given the circumstances. It doesn’t scan as well but I’ll forgive him.
So I dunno if I was naive, but I wasn’t expecting quite such a retreat to the ‘Britpop’ Blur – perhaps Damon & Co. needed to be reminded of what great work they’ve produced over the years to feel re-invigorated for the future? It has, lest we forget, been a long slog for them over the last 20 years. Something I was reminded of again today thanks to the serendipitous joys of Twitter when I read Rhodri Marsden’s first hand recollection of meeting Blur in their orignal Seymour form and then subsequently touring with them. Well worth reading and there’s this photo that shows why Dave gave up drinking.
It just so happens that I’ve managed to scan in a review from one of these early Blur performances where The Keatons supported. If you missed it the first time it’s here.
And let’s not forgot all of Blur’s festival unfriendly tunes. Here’s a Spotify playlist showcasing the gloomy side of Blur through the years.
June 25, 2009
I’ll leave it to his contemporaries to write the perceptive, insightful, emotional stuff.
In James Brown’s piece he says “Anything loud or unhip became his domain” which seems particularly astute in the context of the few measly scraps I can offer.
Carter USM, Jesus Jones and finally, perhaps fittingly, Snuff.
Steven Wells interviews Carter USM, 19th November 1994. Photos Roger Sargent & Derek Ridgers
Steven Wells interviews Jesus Jones, 1st July 1989. Photo Lawrence Watson.
Steven Wells reviews Snuff Said by Snuff, 18th November 1989
Ted Mico reviews The Pixies live in Boston and Caren Myers reviews The Sugarcubes live in Yugoslavia, 9th December 1989
June 14, 2009
Ted Mico reviews The Pixies live in Boston and Caren Myers reviews The Sugarcubes live in Yugoslavia, 9th December 1989. Pixies photo Mike Morton.
Black Francis with hair. Read the review and tell me you’re not jealous that you weren’t there.
And The Sugarcubes in the former Yugoslavia. Various rumours and reports that Einar’s off-key yelping at this gig was a major factor in the break up of the former Yugoslavia still persist to this day.
A prize for anyone that can tell me in the comments who or what the black butterfly was a teaser ad for.
Simon Price reviews Mudhoney and Nirvana live at the Astoria, 9th December 1989. Photos by Stephen Sweet.
Excellent early review here of (third on the bill) Nirvana, Tad and Mudhoney. I particularly liked the Mr. Men shtick. And I think Price calls Nirvana (still waiting on the real tunes to turn up) with remarkable clarity, “The singer guitarist is pretty graceful in a long haired kinda way…but the frog legged bassist will have to go”
By the time Mudhoney take to the stage there are “…bodies apparently flying out of thin air. At one point they’re actually colliding mid-dive. It’s hard to believe that such a volatile, earth-eating, shit-kicking noise could emanate from these four bambi-like figures”