Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Club Flyers and Invites from 1970s and 1980s: Part 5

Text (c) Robert Barry Francos, 2012
Images are owned by the artists
Also, images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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.

While it’s questionable whether Marianne Faithfull’s music of this period is punk, her life sure was hardscrabble at the time of this show. As her amazing book (Faithfull: An Autobiography) explained, a later life of substance dependence and the jealousy of others had a negative effect on her career. Yet, with the emergence of her album Broken English, she quickly captured the New York punk audience… well, the First Wave, anyway. I doubt British punk, hardcore, or neo-garage fans cared one way or another, though the latter may have some converts due to Faithfull’s association with the Stones.

Post-Ramones, Joey (RIP) became a scene maker, especially through his yearly birthday bashes. As you can see, this one had an amazing line-up. After Joey’s passing, his brother Mickey Leigh continued the momentum and has maintained the yearly series. It’s an amazing show, year after year, as it always has been.

Robert Gordon has had multiple lives in the business. Starting out as the voice of the fashionista punk band Tuff Darts (his vocals on “Slash” and “All For the Love of Rock’n’Roll” on the Live at CBGB’s LP are the highlights of an otherwise mediocre release). Quitting the band just as they were about to be signed, he denied his past and went the rockabilly route, in my opinion besting out some of the better known bands, such as the overrated Stray Cats. His solo albums and those with the late Link Wray are classic. They helped keep the fire alive and inspiring others. Once, he was married to Manic Panic’s Snooky Bellomo. Meanwhile, he is still touring.

When this later version of the Hoosier seminal bar rock band the Gizmos played at Max’s Kansas City, there were very few in the audience on the Tuesday night. Well, as I remember it, it was a bloated drunk woman who tried to dance with the band onstage, a guy passed out at the bar, their manager, and me (not counting staff). It was actually a very fun show, and was recorded and pressed to an EP titled Never Mind the Sex Pistols, Here’s the Gizmos (still available on Gulcher Records in CD form with nearly an hour of extras). When you hear someone clapping on the 7-incher, c’est moi.

If I remember correctly, I was invited to this show by Doll House (hence the crossed off names). Unfortunately, I never did get to see the show, nor Doll House. And the only time I’ve seen Cheetah Chrome other than numerous Dead Boys shows and one with the Skels, was playing with Spacely (RIP) and Jerry Nolan (RIP) at the Johnny Thunders Memorial show during the early 1990s.

I did not see the Mad Orphans play, though I met the two leads (then a couple), Cynthia Sley and Ivan Julian, at a taping of Videowave, a cable access television show. Previously, both had been in seminal New York bands: Cynthia with the Bush Tetras and Ivan with Richard Hell’s Void Oids.

SST was one of the leaders in SoCal hardcore, and I’m grateful to have been on their mailing list to get all those great groundbreaking albums at the time. Because of that, when all these bands and artists came to New York, I was well aware of who they were, and their possibilities. I’m not sure why I didn’t attend these shows (probably was away visiting my then-girlfriend), but it was a loss.

With tongue firmly in cheek, the Undead rose from the body of the Misfits, with Bobby Steele (now an ultra-conservative Tea Party follower, fer chrizzake) at its head. No, I didn’t see the Undead, but Bobby’s then-girlfriend, Lori Wedding, posed for the front cover of FFanzeen mag wearing one of our tee-shirts.

Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, my native turf, was nuts about either disco or the Rat Pack, depending on the age of the listener. For me, it was the Ramones, of course, but I never did fit in there. Anyway, somewhere in the area, usually at the Walker Theater on 18th Avenue and 69th Street, or at the Rex Manor in neighboring Bay Ridge, there were often shows catered to the audience of my parent’s generation. Sometimes it would be Jerry Vale or Pat Cooper, and for this particular show, a Rat Pack tribute. Okay, this isn’t a punk flyer, but it’s odd enough, don’t you think? Oh, if I have it correctly, Liza’s impersonator is a drag queen (I wonder if the audience was aware of that?).

Ah, the Elgin. You hadda be there (and, unfortunately, I was). This is a part of New York’s punk history that is almost never discussed, for some reason (not even mentioned on the Elgin’s Wikipedia page). Barbara MacKay, of the gawdawful band the Hot Nuts, tried to make the revival film showcase Elgin Theater into a punk rock palace in 1977. Posting flyers around town lying that Blondie was going to play at the opening (probably hoping they would come anyway), she attracted a modest crowd (including me) to the multi-band opening night. It was awful. The sound was terrible, the bands ranged from hippie to prog, hard rock to pop (including Sweet Star, John Collins, the boring Harry Toledo, Brute Force [not the British “King of Fuh” singer], Kongress, Grand Slam, and White Gold). Heck, there was even some flame swallowing. There was no consistency, and I’m sure the bands felt as ripped off as the audience. The Elgin was gone within the month, and the Chelsea digs is now a dance repertory space.

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