Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Coachmen [Thurston Moore's Pre-Sonic Youth Band, 1980], by Elodie Lauten

Text by Elodie Lauten © FFanzeen fanzine, 1980
Introduction © Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 2015
Images from the Internet

This review was originally printed in FFanzeen, issue #5, dated August/September 1980, page 30. It was written by award-winning Poet/Postminimalist Musician/Scenester Elodie Lauten.

I’ve never seen the Coachmen live; hell, haven’t seen Sonic Youth (d. 2011), the band Thurston Moore is infamous for, but I did get to sort of hang out with him and then-partner Kim Gordon when I worked as the floor manager for the cable access show Videowave in the ‘80s (see clip at bottom). They seemed a bit distant, but pleasant.

As for the Parisian-born Elodie Lauten (d. 2014), well… we didn’t have a great relationship, honestly.  After this piece, she wrote one more for FFanzeen on, I believe, Chubby Checker that was so stream of consciousness, it was unreadable, not even as poetry. Yes, I was a Neanderthal when it came to stuff like that, and could not appreciate it back in the early ‘80s. Perhaps I would now, if I read it again. When I asked her to rewrite it and why, I became an enemy of the/her state, as it were, and she would bad-mouth me in public, as I was told by someone who had talked to her (honestly don’t remember who, though). I was a punk, and I wasn’t hurt by it, but all these years later, I wish I would have handled it a bit better from my end. She was quite accomplished in the Arts, and it is worth checking out her Website (HERE).

Anything in [brackets and italicized] is written by me, in 2015. – RBF, 2015

John [J.D. King]
When started in rock’n’roll: 1977.
Foods: Nova [lox] and cream cheese on bagel (tomato and onions).
Drugs: Beer and vodka.
Instrument: Fender Guitar.
Favorite song: “Gee Whiz” and “The Hustle.”
Politics: Left.
TV program: “Leave It to Beaver” and “Dick Van Dyke.”
Job: Watchman.
Ideal job: Talent scout.
Favorite type of girl/guy: Smart, non-vindictive.

Bob [Pullin]
When started in rock’n’roll: Year and a half ago.
Favorite idol: Tibor Gergely [Hungarian-American artist of children’s picture books].
Drugs: Alka-Seltzer Plus.
Instrument: Telecaster bass.
Favorite song: “Marquee Moon,”
Politics: Not very.
Religion: Not very.
Job: Illustrator / art supply sales.
Ideal job: Children’s book illustrator.

Thurston [Moore]
When started in rock’n’roll: 7/25/58.
Favorite Idol: John Garfield.
Foods: Coffee rolls.
Drugs: 3-D.
Instrument: Fender Guitar.
Favorite song: “Stir It Up.”
Politics: Spartan.
Religion: Roman Catholic.
TV program: “Little Johnny Jewel.”
Job: Masterdisk.                                                   
Ideal job: Bank robber.
Favorite type of girl/guy: Movie stars.
Describe yourself: “New York Rules.”

Dave [Keay]
When started in rock’n’roll: Beatles.
Favorite Idol: Martin Scorsese.
Foods: Burger King.
Drugs: Alcohol.
Instrument: Ludwig drums.
Favorite song: “Sister Ray.”
Religion: Catholic.
Best friend: Fear.
TV program: “Rockers ’80.”
Job: Book store.                                                    
Favorite type of girl/guy: American.
Describe yourself: American.

FFanzeen: I compare you to the Beach Boys – the part that the vocals play in the Beach Boys is done in your band by guitars. What do you think of that idea?
Coachmen: That’s nice, thanks; the Beach Boys are favorites.

FFanzeen: So, what are your songs about? Reality? Fantasy?
Coachmen: We’d like to do more love songs. They’re kind of tough to do. Smoky Robinson does them – soul; music is all about love. Lately, most love songs seem rather cynical.

FFanzeen: Are you a democratic band?
Coachmen: Yeah. We improvise and feel around and figure out our own parts to an arrangement. It’s all pretty constant and open as far as change and progression go.

FFanzeen: You seem a very New York group. Are you stars?
Coachmen: Well, New York is home. We’re not stars, really.

FFanzeen: Such a casual image. Are you anti-stars?
Coachmen: No.

FFanzeen: What’s a good description for the Coachmen?
Coachmen: Well, we’ve always been a garage band. Experimental. The intent is music to dance to, so… some of us are still a bit shy…


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