Text (c) Robert Barry Francos, 2011
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As stated in an earlier blog, throughout the years I have collected flyers, especially from the 1970s and '80s. Many were sent to me directly by the bands while I was publishing FFanzeen. Below are some scans I made from my personal collection, in no particular order. I did see many of them, but not all, and I will comment on them from time to time. Note that I do not financially profit off of publishing them, but only do so to honor the work that was involved, and for archival purposes.
Desperate Teenage Lovedolls was possibly one of the first hardcore fiction films to be released. Actually, its first incarnation was as the VHS-only Desperate Teenage Runaways, which they had to legally change the name due to the growing popularity of the Runaways (yes, I own a copy). The film was pretty bad, and starred or had cameos by many local So-Cali scenesters (similarly, as did the British Jubilee). When the film came out in larger format, it was shown on the big screen for the first time on the East Coast at Danceteria. The opening bands, Adrenalin O.D. (aka AOD) and White Flag were powerhouse hardcore acts. It was a fun night, for sure.
Not only did Donny Fury do sound at CBGBs and have an inexpensive basement practice studio for local bands not far from the club, but he also fronted the Donny Fury Band. We did an article about him/them in FFanzeen, but I never actually saw the band perform. This show was not on his home turf, but deep in Brooklyn, around Caransie (definitely not the so-called cool, hipster part of the Borough of Kings where the clubs are now), at the famed Zappaz. I frequented the club a few times, occasionally clashing with the Tony Manero wannabes on the corner. Anyway, the photo collage on the flyer is excellent.
Though invited to this mainstream rock Press Conference held at the Hard Rock Café, I didn’t go. WNEW was the classic rock station, and I just wasn’t interested in whomever they would invite. I had been to a similar one for the USO in 1980 with Stephen Stills, and members of Kansas, America, and Cheap Trick, among others. With the exception of the CT… yawn. Now if the Ramones would have been there, that would have been another story.
Though I don’t actually know much about Johnny Jewel, I’m fond of the Television song they were named after. Feel free to let me know if you were at this Ritz gig, and if they found their little wing head.
The Vipers, led by Jon Weiss, were a fun garage band during those heady revival days of the early ‘80s. When I interviewed them for FFanzeen at their loft in Alphabet City, their manager (RIP) had to leave early to go catch Bruce Springsteen at the Garden, which I found weird at the time, for some reason. While “Cheated and Lied” was not their biggest hit, relatively speaking, I still hear it and smile for the extraordinary cut it is. I still have their demo cassette, with the songs in a different order from their LP. While I know someone who worked at the Cat Club, I can’t remember ever being there. But I did see the Vipers numerous times at various venues (mostly Irving Plaza, though).
The Cucumbers’ 1988 Holiday on Ice Tour was, I believe, their first big East Coast outing. Based in Hoboken, NJ, I saw the quirky band play a couple of times around New York, and participated in an interview on cable access show Videowave. They were a cut-up for my (still) camera between takes.
The Undead seem to be more understandably popular now that they’re history than when they played the Mudd Club. Bobby Steele’s girlfriend at the time, Laurie, posed for the cover of FFanzeen wearing nothing but one of our tee-shirts while leaning on a hydrant. That is one of my biggest memory of the band. They did set the local – and then national – scene on fire with their scorching horror hardcore.
The Beach Blanket Blowout at the Palladium seems like a show that may have been inspired by some of the Ritz mash-ups that I loved, such as their Girls Night Out series. Here the performers include Joy Askew and Get Wet’s vox Sherri Beachfront. Then there’s the infamous Neon Leon. I didn’t go to this because, well, it was the Palladium, one the uncoolest venues for us club rats in the city. I believe they were trying to lure us in with some star acts of the downtown fashionistas.
While the Mudd Club had the reputation for occasional debauchery and some amazing acts, such as this night with the Fuzztones and the Chesterfield Kings, I rarely went there because their door policy was ridiculously prohibitive. For example, they would almost never let in two males who were together (but any females were always accepted, as look as they looked “good”). Why travel all the way to the club to find out you probably wouldn’t get in, even though one of my writers worked there. Good show + bad door policy / policing = fuck ‘em.
Speaking of debauchery, probably no club during the ‘80s had the repute of one that had been a grand church, the Limelight. While their shows were interesting, between sets they were basically another Palladium, filling the air with beats and scratching (I remember hearing a 20-minute version of Lauper’s “Girls Just Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-n-n-n-n-n-na have f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-un fun fun fun fun”). It was, however, an excellent venue for Peter Zaremba’s Love Delegation for their signing to Celluloid Records. Zaremba was and is an R&B man who mixed it with punk and garage maniacality (yes, I know there’s no such word… deal with it). As a Fleshtones’ side project, he got to play a more undiluted version of what he loves. (RIP Wendy Wild.)