Thursday, March 25, 2021

Meeting My Life-Changing Music-Related Best Friends

Text © Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 2021
Images from the Internet unless indicated

Meeting My Life-Changing Music-Related Best Friends

We all have friends who have changed the course of our lives and are considered family. Some have one or two, but I have been lucky to meet and keep many over the years. This is only a partial list, and considers people I have known for over 25 years, so if you are not on it, it does not mean that you are unappreciated. I have edited it for space. This list is alphabetical, not in any kind of ranking order.


Alan Abramowitz aged 15, the year we met (pic: Larry)

Alan Abramowitz
Alan is generally known for two things: being the creator/producer of the ground-breaking cable access show, “Videowave,” which was in its heights from the early 1980 until the mid-1990s (though it still comes out on occasion), and for pretty consistently being late. I met Alan in the summer of 1970, when we were both 15 years old. It was a three-week-long sleepaway camp (H.E.S.: Hebrew Educational Society). On the first day, I picked out my bunk, the top of a bunk bed, and was lying on it when he came over and asked, pointing to the lower half, “Can I sleep here?” I said yes, and we’ve been friends since. Though we had a bit of a rocky start (we annoyed each other), we found our way, especially after we found out we were cousins (his great aunt was one of my paternal grandfather’s four or five wives). He lived about three miles from me in Sheepshead Bay and then Gravesend, and we would bike back and forth. We helped introduce each other to different kinds of music and film. That’s part of what led him to the path of producing music-related “Videowave” (segments of which can be found on YouTube). I worked for him in various positions over the years as photographer, videographer, and floor manager (the guy who was the middleman between the control room and the talent). Through him I met a lot of amazing people, as well. We have had a lot of adventures.

Mary Anne Cassata

Mary Anne Cassata
Mary Anne is an extremely well-known rock writer, with numerous books on the arts, including about Cher, Elton John, and Jim Carrey. She was also head editor of a number of teen-related newsstand magazines that ended up as posters on teenagers’ walls. If I remember correctly, we met by phone, and she started writing for my magazine, FFanzeen in the 1980s. Considering she was a professional writer and willingly wrote for me when I paid no one (I did not have ads so it was not making money, much like this blog), which went a long way in us quickly becoming friends. We hung out quite a bit and I even drove her up to Batavia, NY, once, to meet up with some people, while on my way to Buffalo,. On the other hand, she got me in to not only see the Animals play in 1986, but got me backstage after the show to talk to Chas Chandler (d. 1996) about Slade and interview Eric Burden, took me along to a special USO show where I got to meet Stephen Stills and members of many of the big mainstream bands of the day, and hang out with Cheap Trick, got me into a press conference with Gary Glitter in his first US tour at the Limelight in 1984, and we went to see the Teen Idols Tour (Bobby Sherman, Davy Jones [d. 2012] and Peter Noone) in Westbury, NY, in 1998. Over the years, I also wrote for her publications a few times, such as one on Graceland for an Elvis mag. She was the first person with whom I ever Skyped.


Dennis Concepcion with The Steinettes (pic: RBF)

Dennis Concepcion
Sitting in an auditorium-style class in Queens College in 1976, I happened to mention Simon and Garfunkel to the person next to me before the class. After it was over, the person sitting in front of me turned around, and started to talk about S&G. When we had to leave the room because the next class was about to start, we headed over to the school’s cafeteria for coffee, and we talked for about three or four hours. We became good friends and I joined his clique of phenomenal people (including Mark, Ray, Alice, Suzy, and Richie Shapiro, who became the drummer for Steve Forbert for a while and The Glands – he wrote their infamous “Mutants on Motorcycles”). Even beyond college where we saw each other nearly every school day, we would hang out up at his parent’s apartment near Riverside Drive (his dad was a US Department [USAID] official with assignments in Vietnam during the 1960s and Mauretania in the late ‘70s). I learned a lot a bout photography from Dennis. In 1978, he decided to attend an Expos game and talked me into going up to Montreal with him. It was during this trip that I met the woman whom I would end up marrying. Dennis moved to Queens, where I’d occasionally stay with my Canadian beau when she came to visit, then to Brooklyn for a number of years, and then recently to Alabama of all places, to work – very happily – at the US Space and Rocket Center.

Nancy Foster on the right, Molly Victor on the left

Nancy Foster (aka Nancy Neon)

When I started publishing FFanzeen in 1977, I had heard about this amazingly cool person who ran a fanzine out of Greensboro, NC from various people. I’d wanted to talk to her, but didn’t have a copy of her ‘zine, so I let it go, figuring perhaps at some point… In 1979, I got a letter from Nancy, the very person herself, saying she was coming to NYC via bus, and we could meet at the Port Authority. We connected instantly, even taking pictures at a photobooth to mark the occasion (I kept one scroll of 4 images, which I still have, and she the other). When she shortly moved to New York, we attended so many shows together, me picking her up in her Times Square hotel (net to the New York Times), and we’d travel down to mostly Max’s, often to see the Heartbreakers, among others. With her amazing music knowledge, she also started writing for me: her interview with Walter Lure was the last thing that happened in the back room at Max’s – they closed the door behind her. Nancy also became an insider to the Johnny Thunders crowd. In the early 1980s, she moved back down to North Carolina for a while, and when she was ready to return, I drove down there to bring her back. I stayed a week in her parents’ house (our relationship has always been a close brother-sister), seeing the sights and bands (at Fridays) down there, meeting people like Lynn Blakey (who would go on to Let’s Active), Molly, and the Tucker brothers. When she came back, she became active in the new garage movement, and while I followed it, too, we kind of lost each other due to our busy lives. When she eventually moved to Boston, ironically, we found each other in part due to the Internet, and we’ve been close as fleas ever since. Once again, she is writing for me, this time for my blog. It’s good to have my sister from another mother back in my life.


Bernie Kugel (far right)
and his then-band, Mystic Eyes (pic: RBF)

Bernie Kugel
In Buffalo, among other places, Bernie is a musical cult idol, springing especially from bands like The Good and Mystic Eyes. But he grew up in Brooklyn, walking distance from me, when we met in high school. It was hate at first sight, until we realized we both like comic books. We really bonded when we took an English class together led by Phil Seuling, who opened up the very first comic book store (four short blocks from my house) and helped create the Comic Con. Bernie had the largest record collection I’d ever seen (a miniscule amount compared to now), and I would go over his house and listen. And learn. One day he said, as we were sitting around, “I’m thinking of learning the guitar. Do you know anyone who teaches it?” I did, and told him; that didn’t work out, but it also made Bernie more determined. He moved to Buffalo for college, but we did not lose track of each other, and I’d go and visit him and his girlfriend – now wife (I was best man at his wedding) – Dawn (aka Tink) and met Buffalo’s royalty, like the Davison brothers, music promoter Bruce Moser and his wife (Tink’s sister) Mary, Mad Louie, Dee Pop who would join the Bush Tetras, Yod, Davey, Shelley, and Play It Again Sam’s/Home of the Hits. We’d also occasionally drive over to Irondequoit, a suburb of Rochester, to hang out with Greg Prevost, vox of the Chesterfield Kings at the HOG (House of Guitars). Bernie is responsible for one of the major turning points in my life, by introducing me to CBGB. We went there (me, reluctantly at first) in spring of 1975 and saw Talking Heads (their very first show) opening for the Ramones with all of a dozen people in the audience. After that, we’d go there often, along with other places like Max’s, and come home as the sun was rising, stopping off for some White Castle on 86 Street and Stillwell Avenue (now a PetCo) before heading home. Bernie has always been one of my closest and dearest, and remains so to this day.


Julia Masi
Julia Masi
I believe I met Julia through either Alan, or my then-managing editor, Stacy Mantel. She lived in Bay Ridge, and she started writing for me. In fact, she probably wrote more articles in FFanzeen than anyone else, including myself. Eventually, when Stacy moved on, Julia became the replacement managing editor. We went to a lot of shows. Julia had an easy laugh, a very wry sense of humor, and she was quite brilliant (she now has multiple degrees). She also worked on Alan Abramowitz’s “Videowave” show as an interviewer and host. One of my favorite things about picking her up for a night on the town was getting to hang with her very Italian parents. The first time we went out to see a show, I was sitting at the tiny dinner table in the tiny kitchen, and her father – a really big, intimidating man who made a killer cheesecake), put a glass with some liquor in it and said, “You want to take my daughter out, you have to drink this.” I looked up at him and said, “Frank, I’m 110 pounds; if I drink that, I will not be safe to drive and you would not want to put your daughter into a car with me. I like you and her too much to take that risk, so I respectfully decline.” He looked at me sternly, and then laughed, turned, and yelled to the next room, “Julia, Robert’s okay with me.” Apparently, I was the first one to say no. Julia is a pleasure to talk to, and now she’s an educator and on some charitable and arts boards, such as the Met Museum of Art. I have a standing invite for lunch on the roof, and at some point when I’m back in New York, I’ll take her up on it.

Walter Ocner and Sandra Bossert

Walter Ocner
In the 1980s, I got a phone call from a teenage fan from central Queens. He had picked up an issue of FFanzeen and wanted to come see the FFanzeen office. Sure, Walter, come on over. He came to my apartment in Brooklyn via a two-hour subway ride, and I took him into my messy bedroom. “This is it!” He was in shock, expecting to see an office, rather than the fact that I would sit on my bed and type out the articles and do the layout while watching television commercials (my joke was that I was a “commercial” artist). Despite that and our age difference, we became friendly, and eventually really good pals. He would come over about once a month, and I would make him compilation tapes. Before playing the Dictators’ Go Girl Crazy, I said to him, “You probably may not like this when you first hear it, but give it a chance.” He didn’t, but persisted, and now the ‘Tators are one of his favorite bands. Another time, he was sitting on my bed and I was sitting on the floor leaning against my shelving unit full of LPs. He said, “Have you ever heard of this band called Love? I hear their records are hard to find and expensive.” I reached behind me and pulled out three of them in near-mint condition, and said, “These?” His jaw dropped. “I got them for a dollar each.” He was in shock. Eventually, he started buying his own albums and became a major collector and seller. He will often somewhat jokingly say to me, “It’s all your fault. You ruined my life!” I smile and say, “You’re welcome.” Walter has become like a little brother to me over the years, and I still enjoy our conversations about music and life. Also, I am a fan of his wife, Sandra, and some day maybe I’ll get to meet their adorably cute pooch, Mimi.


Joe Viglione (pic: Rich Parsons)

Joe Viglione
Joe Vig and I became acquainted via mail, the connection made by my fanzine and his, Varulven. Joe is well known in the Boston area as a performer over the years (bands such as The Count, the Auguste Phenomenon, Dimension 10, and others). We would talk on the phone, but due to long distance charges, our correspondence was mainly snail mail. He always addressed the letters amusingly, by adding extra “F”s to FFanzeen or my last name or put my name as Robert Mary Francos. Always cracked me up. In May of 1981, he invited me up to his house on Dragon Ct (the perfect place for someone known as The Count) so I drove up to Woburn for the long weekend. After that, I went up there every May and September long weekends until 1985 (when I became otherwise occupied). I slept on the couch and went into Boston to attend performances, some of which he was performing, such as at the Rat, or shows he set up like at the Paradise, and sometimes just by myself with some newfound friends, like the great Kenne Highland, Donna Lethal, and I saw many sets with amazing rock photographer, Rocco Cippolone, who would eventually start his own fanzine, BANG!. While in Woburn, I got to hang out at Joe’s kitchen with his friend, famed producer Jimmy Miller. That was a blast. Often I would take up my VCR and tape hours of V66 (which became the HSN), a local channel that often played local and independent music videos, sort of a cooler MTV. When Joe eventually moved to Medford, MA, I visited there a few times in the 1990s and 2000s. Now, Joe has his own podcast, still plays music, and produces others’, and releases some amazing CD collections.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Singles/Video Reviews: March 2021

Text © Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 2021
Images from the Internet

Singles/Video Reviews: March 2021

Note that these reviews are alphabetical, not listed in a “ratings” order.


Adrian Younge
Jazz is Dead
Younge takes a few different styles and successfully mixes them together. The song starts a bit like The First Poets, arguably the first – and I believe best – political rap groups, with sharp lyrics over atonal music. This flows into a 1970s style rhythm and sound of bands like the O’Jays, but with a sharper tone and a jazzy piano thrown in (amusingly ironic considering the name of the label that put this out). The lyrics the first part are a bit drowned out by the noise in the mix, but the message still comes through, especially on a second listen. This is the right time for this strong imagery by musician, composer, producer, and ex-Law Professor Younge, considering what is going on across America with the re-rise of a culture of hate of the “Other.”.
Can be heard HERE 


Dots Per Inch Records
I hear a lot of people being nostalgic for the British-pop music of the 1980s. Most of that, I don’t understand. It was all synthetic beats, nonsense lyrics, and downer messaging. A lot of the videos, though, were pretty interesting (Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” for example). If you are one of those, you are going to love Jack Whitescarver’s output as much as I did not. Yes, I found the video stunning and odd, but the music is such a throwback to the ‘80s that I almost immediately glossed over and wanted to go turn on a garage band (perhaps the Tryfles or the Outta Place?) or some Heartbreakers (JT, not TP) to cleanse my palate. Please, if the ‘80s were your thing, you’re probably going to love this, and you should give a listen. It comes from their debut album, The Beach.
Can be heard HERE 


Arms of Kismet
“Potter’s Field”
Wampus Multimedia
I have been listening to AoK for a few releases now and have always enjoyed them. So, why should this be any different? The ballad here is light and airy in tone, with an almost dreamlike rock of the cradle in the breeze. It has a ‘60s garage tone, without the farfisa, relying on a triple time waltz of schmaltz. It’s not as zoned out as some meditation music, due to its razor sharpness buzz, but I found it soothing and quite beautiful. There is a lot thrown in there, from harmonious and soaring choruses to the electronic sounding reading near the end (apparently, it is taken from the final comments of Louis XVI as he was to be executed). Definitely worth a listen if you like garage influences with a modern car in the structure.-
Can be heard HERE 


Ashley Monroe
Mountainrose Sparrow/Thirty Tigers
Off her fifth studio album, Rosegold, this single is a bit confusing to me. Hailing from Nashville, the video looks like it would be a nice country pop song, but the music itself is merely a modern, overproduced pop ballad. It brings nothing new to the table. Don’t get me wrong, Monroe has a good voice, as far as I can tell; I have no idea if it is autotuned, but this is the kind of sound (not that ridiculous T. Pain electronic tone) I find with a lot of modern recordings, which I try to avoid as much as possible. Being off her nearly half-dozenth full release, I am going to assume she has a following, and my opinion hopefully will not matter a hill of beans, but this is the kind of material that lead to why I stopped listening to country. If this is the style of material she is releasing, I don’t need to hear more, but wish her well.
Can be heard HERE 


Haunted Shed
“Umami Bomb”
Strolling Bones Records
Athens, GA, has always been a den of quirky musicians, from R.E.M. and Pylon to Love Tractor. Haunted Shed, led by Etienne de Rocher, certainly has an unusual, almost electronic psychedelic sound. In fact, they remind me of a more modernized version of bands that came off of the International Artists label in Texas, especially like Red Krayola’s The Parable of Arable Land: a lot of noisy sounds with electronic eccentricities and standard instruments as well, with a high studio magic. The video is as odd as the music, which is apparently about food, but the lyrics are extremely hard to make out. This isn’t casual composition you can necessarily dance to, but it is nicely subversive while still keeping some rhythmic elements to it. I must say, by the time the video ended, I was definitely getting into it all.
Can be heard HERE 


Manolo Redondo
Violette Records
Redondo is from the Alps, but lives in Paris. Despite that he sings in perfect English for those who feel more comfortable. He has a casual, singer-songwriter style, with just a whiff of a pop feel (in this case a good thing). Written as an aftermath of road trips in places like Paris, Mexico and the Mojave Desert, his tunes are poetic soundtracks to movement and life, as well as, indicated by the title, trying your best. It has a sweet tone with an almost melancholy underbelly of hopefulness. This is from his EP, The Lost and Found.
Can be heard HERE 


Mason Lively
“Happy Home”
From the slide guitar in the opening musical phrase, there is no question that this is deep cowboy-boots-Stetson-hat country. At a slow ballad pace and a nice classic nasal twang, Lively keeps up the tradition of a 1980s stye before it gave way to a pop influence. Lively presents us with a marital (or at least co-habitation) break-up with a blues riff and soaring chorus to give us a tale of heartbreak. Like I said, classic country. Luckily, he’s got the chops for it. Personally, I kinda stop listening to country in the 1980s when it developed a pop fusion, but this harkening back makes me reminiscent for some good ol’ boys (and girls) sitting around with gee-tars, howling at the moon in love pangs. Don’t read this wrong, it is a powerful song that belies a sound that is both a throwback and with a new twist, with a bridge that echoes a bit like it came off a Jim Croce record. This is from his eponymous second album.
Can be heard HERE 


Megan Wyler
“The Calling”
Nowever Records
This is Megan Wyler’s first release in seven years, having started a family and focusing in on that. Her voice is superb in this liquid ballad about “a kind of dark exploration around the disorientation of loss and where that takes you,” she has said. There is a strong rhythm that flows though the song with her voice lilting over it, moving up and down the scale smoothly. The tone reminds me of the style of Claudine Longet (sans accent), with a slight whisper, but the song builds to a surprising and stirring climax with Matt Sweeney’s guitar swelling and a bit dissonant as a counterpoint to the sorrowful sound up till then. It’s a beautiful piece.
Can be heard HERE 


Sound as Language
From the album Completed Songs, JJ Posway (Scooterbabe) presents a singer-songwriter introspective and moody ballad piece with acoustic guitar for melody and overdubs for harmony. I have listened to a couple of other songs off the album, and this the better one. Light and airy, with more than a hint of navel-gazing, Posway slides through the song on a field of gloss, like skating on a pond under the moonlight. The song is very listenable, with a twinkle in the eye. If I got it right, the song is about not wanting his partner to feel bad if he dies (unless I misheard the soft-spoken lyrics), but even with the slow pace, it is not moribund.
Can be heard HERE 


Tom Jones
“No Hole in My Head”
S-Curve Records/BMG
He may be getting’ up there (a couple of songs from his new album, Surrounded By Time, include “I’m Growing Old” and “Lazarus Man”), but even after all these years, Jones does not fail to both surprise and stretch as an artist to make himself relevant. Taking cues from his acting career (remember how great he was in 1996’s Mars Attacks!), the video sets him up to confront some authority figure as he rocks out while fronted by a sitar. The song and the video show defiance, anger, and positing that, well, Tom’s the man. I love the chorus of “There’s no hole in my head / Too bad!). It’s all about personhood and the willingness to stand up for yourself. Best Jones song I’ve heard in a while. The album also sounds interesting, which includes covers by Dylan (“One More Cup of Coffee”), Cat Stevens (“Popstar”) and the classic “Windmills of Your Mind.”
Can be heard HERE

Friday, March 5, 2021

Doin’ the Head Boogie with CHINGA CHAVIN [1977]

Text by Lincoln D. Kirk / FFanzeen, 1977

Intro and live image by Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 2021
Other images from the Internet

Doin’ the Head Boogie with Chinga Chavin

This article about Country Porn lead singer Chinga Chavin was written by Western New York rock historian Lincoln D. Kirk, and was printed in FFanzeen Number 2, way back in October 1977.

A previously unreleased interview with Chavin by myself was published last year on this blog (HERE). At the time of this article, Chavin had only released one eponymously titled album, Country Porn and later would have Jet Lag, and years later, Live and Politically Erect. – RBF, 2021. 

* * *

What’s this? You say you hate country music? But you do dig smut, don’t you? I thought as much. Well then, good buddy, allow me to introduce you to Chinga Chavin’s Country Porn, the world’s first X-rated country band.

X-rated country? Doesn’t sound like something that’ll go over big in the Bible Belt, much less country fairs, John Denver Rocky Mountain  hideaways, the Grand Ole Opry, or even beer-brawl Texas roadhouses. But that won’t stop Nick Chavin. He’ll hit all those circuits anyway, knowing full well he’s setting himself up as a target for rednecks waiting in parking lots across America to tear him limb-from-limb., for verbally raping their virgin kid sisters’ ears with his explicit raunch – after all, it’s happening to him already.

Chavin’s demented combination of rugged individualism, hucksterism, and salacious pornography can be traced back to his years as a teenage pervert in Juarez,. That fabled flesh-hole, across the border from his hometown, El Paso, quite probably the most debauched of all wide-open Mexican border towns (Juarez, that is; the El Paso Chamber of Commerce as been known to get awfully nervous when people allude to the two cities in the same breath!), serves as the inspiration and origin for many of his outrageous lyrics. To hear those who were there tell about it, New York’s modern-day street-punks are practically model of strait-laced gentility compared to the denizens of Juarez’ golden era. Pre-teen sex, bestiality as night-club entertainment, and other fun depravities most people only read about, watch in porn flicks, or fantasize about could easily be had for a price, and not an overly high one at that. To be sure, for most Texas teens in the ‘50s, these pockets of paradise were rarely more than temporary outlets, places to sow wild oats and to taste the pleasures of manhood, a very occasional thing at best. To Chavin, Juarez became an obsession (“love at first sight,” he’s characterized it), and fond memories festered in his warped psyche long after he went respectable and became a high school English teacher in the San Francisco Bay area, living the good life in Marin County.

But then along came the 1970s. Charlie Rich’s “Behind Closed Doors” opened the floodgates, causing an uproar over its supposedly “dirty” lyrics. Nevertheless, despite bitter denunciations, country and pop fans lapped it up in the millions. In its wake, a rash of bedroom songs invaded first the country airwaves, then peaked over into Top 40.

Keep in mind that the young honky-tonkers  who thrilled to barroom weepers and cheating laments in the ‘50s have long since grown up into staunch conservatives, to whom country music is the last bastion of true, red-blooded, God-fearing, moral Americanism in the media. All those songs about warm and tender bodies, making love in the hot afternoons, and having daydreams about night things are ruining their teenage children’s morality, breaking up marriages and families, causing a decline in church attendance, and eating away at our democratic institutions. And you think you’ve got it tough being a punk? Try being a Christian parent, what with sinners like Billie Jo Spears, Barbara Mandrell, Bill Anderson, and Mel Tillis seducing your youngsters and loved ones into a life of lust and slavery!!

But, let’s face it. Even with all the Ruby’s taking their love to town, the afternoon delights, the blankets on the ground, the girls who get prettier at closing time, and similar manifestations of decadence run amok, all these songs of illicit sex and forbidden pleasures are pretty smut-less. The strongest four-letter words are still “hell” and “damn,” and even these can still get a record into trouble (Farron Young’s “Here I am in Dallas” was banned on dozens of country stations simply because of the vehemence with which the former singing cowboy repeated the relatively innocuous line, “Where the hell are you?!”). The actual sex act is never mentioned in any of these songs (the lovers generally just considered it, or just woke up following their dastardly deed). Besides, sex in country lyrics is generally dignified as a daring, meaningful expression of love and tender emotions instead of pure animal lust. IF there’s no “true love” involved, the singer is usually beset by enormously crippling guilt pangs. All acts considered “deviant” by a random panel of evangelists are strictly taboo, and sex in general talked about rather than done. So much for smut in country lyrics.

Into this setting steps Chinga Chavin, to whom the very idea of porno lyrics in an idiom which continually tries to clean itself up is enough to change the entire course of his life, from reputable to purposely offensive. Even his name is extended to be offensive, “chinga” being Spanish for “fuck you.” Even his guitar is depraved, being constructed out of a toilet seat. This guy is all the evil, filthy things that so-called evil, filthy AM-country isn’t. Forget that idealized, romantic balladry – you won’t get it from Chinga. This pervert says everything straight out. Lyrics like, “She wore my ring around her neck/But she wore her legs around mine” (from “Tit Stop Rock”) ain’t something you’re gonna hear on a Ray Price record!

If you suspect the Nashville-music press is ignoring his existence, you’re almost right. Country Music, perhaps the top mag in the field, did make the mistake of reviewing his album and has lived to regret it. But the porn press has done much to publicize Chinga, almost to the point of landing him major-label contract (from – believe it or not – Motown, who backed down at the last minute and signed Pat Boone instead; true story!). Indeed, he was an underground hero, particularly in San Francisco, before he ever committed a note to vinyl. If nothing else, his exploits have made for what is known in the press as “hot copy.”

You see, Chinga’s the sort who would play a concert in a divinity school without toning down the pandering obscenity of his lyrics and stage act. He would and did hire porno film star Gina Fornelli to bump, grind and reveal her world-famous mammaries – while dressed in a nun’s habit! He wasn’t asked back. Then there was the time he played San Quentin, fondling his dancer’s boobs as he sang with a plastic dick on his nose. He caused such a riot among the crowd of ultra-horny inmates that he almost found himself staying in prison as an unwilling guest of the State! This Chinga Chavin fellow is so low, he didn’t even soften his act when his own, very-mainstream mother was in the audience. Now that’s nasty!

If some of this garbage seems to stretch credulity a bit, if you think I’m making this up, send $8.95 (I know that’s a lot, but put things in perspective; it was also the list price of the soundtrack of A Star is Born, which has about as much redeeming musical value as Chinga has a redeeming moral value!!) to CP Products, [New York address that is no longer valid – RBF, 2021], and ask for album CP-666, Chinga Chavin’s Country Porn. (Don’t look for it in your local stores, cos they won’t have it!) If you’re into unmitigated trash, it’s worth every penny.

No expense was spared! Chinga attempts to supply you, the consumer, with a worthwhile product, one that will bring you hours of disgusting entertainment. Chinga brought in no less a record-industry-respected figure than Michael Brovsky, the man who brought you Jerry Jeff Walker and similar namby-pamby (in comparison to Chinga, at least) “outlaws,” to professionally produce the album. The engineering is first-rate, thanks to the facilities of Quadraphonic Studios – one of Nashville’s finest. Augmenting regular Country Porn members – Chinga, Beaver Bob Herman and Blue Berry – are some of country’s most awesome sidemen. If names like Kenny Buttrey [d. 2004], Norbert Putnam, Bobby Emmons [d. 2015], Bobby Thompson [d. 2005], and Chip Young [d. 2014] don’t mean anything to you, look through the personnel listings in the country bins of your favorite record stores and count how many times these names pop up. And on steel guitar, Chinga managed to procure the services of the man whom many worship as the greatest steelman of them all, Curley Chalker [d. 1998]. Helping out on background vocals is no less than Dobie (“In Crowd,” “Drift Away”) Gray [d. 2011]. This ain’t no low-budget quickie, nosireebob!

Musically, it’s more country-rock than hardcore country. Hold it – I didn’t mean to conjure up Eagles and Poco images with that term “country-rock.” Imagine a middle ground between rockabilly and Merle Haggard. Take it down to a Texas sleaze tavern and throw in some R&B and Tex-Mex, give it some Nashville-tinged gloss, and you’ll get an idea of what sort of country-rock this is. The music is performed pretty much straight, all the better to emphasize the discrepancy between Chavin and “proper” country music. There’s only one drawback – poor Chinga can’t sing to save his ugly ass (there’s a photograph of his ass on the inside cover, such is how I know it’s ugly!). But while his voice lacks all flexibility and he has the gosh-darndest ol’ time trying to carry a tune, he does have this sardonic leer-turning-to-sneer in his voice that is simply perfect for the under-the-counter rancidity of his lyrics.

And, after all, it is the lyrics that you as a punk are more interested in than the music, right? Things get off to a great start with “Talkin’ Matamoros First Piece O’ Ass Blues,” in which Chinga rewrites his glory days at Juarez. Our hero recounts the loss of his innocence to a “cute little Chicano whore” in one of the album’s most explicitly, humorous, and smoothly produced (mariachi trumpets, castanets, and all) tracks. To fully appreciate it, you really have to hear the way Chinga says things like “Psst, hey meester / How’d you like to fuck my seester” and other deathlessly poetic lines. On the other hand, “Cum Stains on the Pillow (Where Your Sweet Head Used to Be”) is an almost poignant love-lost lament which, with a few lyric revisions, would be just right for a Tennessee barroom jukebox.

Probably the only song which could get any airplay at all is the trucker song, “Get It On the Run.” You won’t find a radio station in America, though, with balls furry enough to risk their FCC license by playing the rockin’, rollin’ “Four A.M. Jump,” with its all-time irresistible singalong chorus, “We’re gonna jump, suck, lick, fuck / And hump all night… / Till we ball away the blues.” And what a Capella doo-wop group wouldn’t love to shake their middle-class/middle-age audiences up with a few sounds of “Sit, Sit, Sit  (Sit On My Face)”? Don’t overlook the R&B stomper “Head Boogie” (“Get down and poach them eggs / Three minutes soft cooked / and well done” sure ain’t no Julia Child cooking lesson, friends and neighbors!!).

Two cuts deserve special mention. “Asshole from El Paso” is Chavin’s biggest hit, so to speak, though no one gives him credit for it. Seems an old University of Texas frat brother, Kinky Friedman, heard Chavin do this parody of “Okie from Muskogee,” added it to his (Kinky’s) act, and now everyone thinks it’s a Freidman original. But Kinky is strictly a lightweight when it comes to porn-country. If you want to hear how lines like “We keep our women virgins ‘till they’re married / So fuckin’ sheep is good enough for us” should really be delivered, forget Friedman, and rely on Chavin to show you the true way.

Speaking of “the true way,” perhaps the most controversial of all Country Porn favorites is “Cum Unto Jesus.” Here, Chinga  takes on that most sacred of all country cows: fundamentalist evangelism (simplified for all you atheistic punks out there, that means “religion”). As Bobby Emmons plays “Rock of Ages,” that scurrilous heathen Chinga renders a sermonette from the Anal Robert Show, with a devastating attack on country-gospel music. This wicked sinner, Chavin, apparently hopes to draw his listeners with him into the flaming pits of Hades, claiming our dear sweet Savior actually encourages us to engage in perverted sexual activity. May the red-hot fires of eternal damnation forever punish Nicholas Chavin and all his propensity for darin’ to disseminate the blasphemous chorus, “You’ve got to cum for Peter / Cum for Paul / Cum for Mary, too / If you cum twice / Jesus Christ will bless you.” It’s enough to give a Bible-toting Christian a vicious hardon, I tell you. Anyone who listens to this heinous record will surely perish from the face of the Earth! Satan, himself, must be turning the record presses for this diabolical lump of vinyl. Hallelujah!!!

Believe me, this guy China does have a way with smut. So even if you don’t dig country music, you owe it to your immoral [sic] soul to check out Country Porn. 10-4, good buddy!!