Thursday, December 15, 2022

RBF’s Eclectic Excitement Playlist: NSFW Edition – December 2022

RBF’s Eclectic Excitement Playlist: NSFW Edition – December 2022

Text © Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 2022
Images from the Internet

This edition of the playlist are songs that really should not be played in front of general co-workers, little ones, or most relatives due to content and language. I am interested in listening to the obscure music arena than prattling on about it, despite my brief comments These will be of a multitude of genres, from punk to folk, to just out there.

The songs are listed alphabetical by first letter of the artist or group (with a single exception here), and not listed in a “ratings” order. Art is subjective, so I hope you like these as much as I enjoy them.

Note: There is no advertising on this page, so I will not be making anything off the work of others.

California Speedbag
Smog Veil Records

For some reason, I just fell in love with this I kilt my wife song, rough as it is. It came off an anthology album from Cleveland called Pie & Ears, Vol 1. I know nothing about the band. While many of the songs on this list are funny, this one is dead serious, and that’s part of what I like about it.

The Clap
“Disco Jesus”
Kleen Kut Records
As both an atheist and a person who abhors disco, I love this single. It is both joyous and mocking at the same time. How can you not love lyrics like, “You oughta see him do The Hustle / Upon that funky cross.” This won’t make me a believer in either disco or Jesus, but I’ll sing along: “Dance, dance, disco Jesus!”

Eddy Gorodetsky and Tom Couch
“Wop Muzik”
415 Records
“Pop Muzik” by M is a gawdawful song, but was a massive hit at the time, This punkish spoof actually comes quite close to the original, but is hilarious. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a deeply Italian neighborhood? The flip side, “Reasons to be Hungry,” a parody of Ian Dury’s “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3,” is also worth a listen.

Garfunkel and Oats
“The Loophole”
Garfunkel and Oats

This duo is made up of actors/musicians/comedians Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome. Their songs can be political or social criticisms, or about their own personal experiences with sex. What is noticeable right off the bat is that their tunes are wordy, and often sung fast by both of them at the same time. This particular song is both funny and poignant, especially in this current religiously-charged social and political moment in history.

Jimi LaLumia and the Psychotic Frogs
 “Eleanor Rigby”
Death Records
Yes, this was a real group who would occasionally play at Max’s Kansas City. The punk take-off of the Beatles ditty takes a dark song and makes it even darker. A thing of beauty, Jimi’s deep and raspy voice fits the new lyrics, as did John Lennon’s overproduced vocals on the original. The flip side of this single is a great cover of Wayne/Jayne County’s “Fucked by the Devil.”

Rachel Bloom
“Fuck Me Ray Bradbury”
Rachel Does Stuff

Rachel Bloom, who has a perfect voice for this kind of material, rose to fame and won an Emmy for the television series, ”My Crazy Ex Girlfriend.” But this was the one that set off her career, full of bold ideas and no gatekeeping. She sort of carried on where Sarah Silverman left off.

Sic F*cks
“Chop Up Your Mother”
Sozyamuda Records
This is fun punk rock, with Russell Wolinsky fronting, and the F*ckettes behind him, who are none other than scene darlings and sisters Tish and Snooky Bellomo, who run the Manic Panic hair products empire. I have seen the band a number of times, and you can too in digital form by watching the slasher flick Alone in the Dark, from 1982, where the group performs this song and “Rock or Die.”

The Swinging Erudites
“Walk With an Erection”
Dimensional Records
At the lead of this group that spoofs the Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian” is Johnny Angel Wendell, a Boston rocker who also headed the bands Thrills and the Blackjacks. I saw Thrills play CBGB (and drove him and late lead singer Barb Kitson to where they were staying afterwards), and Wendell performing a solo “punk Sinatra” shtick that was hilarious at The Rat in Boston. A man of many talents. Also check out the Erudites’ “Living on My Hair,” an excellent take-off of Bon Jovi.

Wayne County and the Electric Chairs
“Fuck Off”
Safari Records
Infamously now Jayne County, this was a relatively big hit for her. Most of her music is blues rock based with a total punk attitude, with other songs including “Man Enough to Be a Woman” and “You Make Me Cream in My Jeans.” Her contribution to the first wave of punk down at Max’s Kansas City has yet to be reckoned with by many. Perhaps a street sign on Park Avenue similar to the Ramones outside CBGB?

Mike Brown and the Sneakies
“Fuck You”
M Records

This is going to have to remain as an Honorable Mention because I could not find a video for it. It is a break-up song that is both full of angst and the release from it. If you can find it on another non-video platform, it’s worth the search.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Review: Wendy O. Williams: Live and Fucking Loud in London!

Text © Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 2022
|Images from the Internet, unless indicated

Wendy O. Williams: Live and Fucking Loud in London!
Directed by Rod Swenson

Trilion Pictures; Sledgehammer Entertainment; MVD Entertainment Group
55 minutes, 1985 / 2022

Back in the late 1970s, I saw this relatively new band a couple of times at CBGB, led by Wendy O. Williams (a.k.a. W.O.W.) called the Plasmatics. They were wild, including sawing a guitar in half with a chainsaw while still plugged in (noise reminiscent of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music).

Back then, Williams (d. 1998) was known for a lack of clothing that might make Iggy blush, stage presence, and a voice so gravelly you could use it to cover a country road. The Plasmatics were getting quite a name for themselves, and not just from blowing up a car during a show on a Manhattan pier. They broke up in 1983 (they reformed for a moment from 1987 to 1988).

Plasmatics at CBGB (pic by Robert Barry Francos)

After the first demise of the Plasmatics, Williams went on her own journey, including acting (e.g., 1986’s Reform School Girls), and forming a new band – guitar: Michael Ray (who also worked with the Plasmatics); bass: Greg Smith; drums: T.C. Tolliver, including all doing backing vocal duties as well – and toured extensively.

The part of the tour that is represented on this DVD was shot during October 1985, at the Camden Palace in London. Hot off a Grammy nominated album (produced by Gene Simmons of KISS), she moved out of the punk world and into metal, including speed metal on Kommander of Kaos, the album she was promoting on this journey through Europe. This particular show was originally broadcast overseas on Sky TV (I believe it was titled Bump and Grind), and fell into obscurity for years.

At this stage of her career – some might call this her “pinnacle” – she was in top form, both musically and working the stage. Geologist and Plasmatics’ guitarist Richie Stotts may have been gone, but the power trio backing her up were dedicated and in fine form keeping up with her Tasmanian Devil stage antics. To be honest, through the growl in her voice and the speed of the songs, I cannot tell most of the lyrics, but I do not care, it is the performance that matters.

The video was directed by Rod Swanson, which should be no surprise as he managed her career from the beginning, meeting when she was still doing porn (e.g., Debbie Does Hollywood) and live sex shows (fortunately, she got outta da biz before AIDS hit hard). Rather than criticize her, I think this was an important step for her getting used to being mostly unclad on stage when singing. As she once said, “It was just like working in a doughnut shop, except you didn't wear a paper hat”.

Anyway, back to the DVD, the show begins with the blistering guitarwork of bare-chested Ray, and of course it only builds once Williams hits the stage with “Gone Wild.” But it is the second song, “Pedal to the Metal,” where her inner Ramones comes in (right down to DeeDee’s count-off at one point), Williams just blisters. By the third song, she is in total sweat from dancing around on the stage. Considering she was in her late 30s by this point, she goes full tilt out.

The song “You’ll Succeed” sounds more like “You’ll Suck Seed,” reminding me of Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers’ “Born to Lose”/”Born Too Loose” double entendre. “Party Tonight” is a killer tune as well.

“Jammin’” is just what it says: Williams goes backstage to wipe off and remove more clothes, and the band jams for longer than I was interested. As talented as this trio is, and they truly are, like most jamming, it is a “show” with little melody but lots of note fingering. This is the main reason I like the simplicity of the Ramones rather than hair bands.

By the time she gets to “Jailbait,” she is joined by the Lemmy (d. 2016) and Wurzel (d. 2011) from Motörhead for just this song (and if you are in NYC, be sure to check out the Motörhead cover band, Motörbrained).

Amusingly, the camera keeps going back to a guy in the front of the audience who has a huge green mohawk and heavily studded leather jacket who seems to watch the show stoically (though occasionally doing a head bop), not even joining in for the chant-along of “Bump and Grind.” Also, during this song, Williams goes back to form and sledgehammers a television. Like comedian Gallagher (d. 2022) and his watermelon, well, you just have to come to expect that. But Ray playing while sitting on Williams’ shoulders is a nice touch.

Pyrotechnics are used intermittently throughout the show, though not to KISS level, but more appropriate to the venue. It’s all fun, and it smokes up the stage for “Fuck That Booty,” which I thought was the weakest song of the show, though Ray gets to show off once again.

During the last song, “Fuck’n’Roll,” a killer number, I thought about the difference between Plasmatics Williams and this show: for this, she uses way less props, even with the TV smashing. I remember her holding up signs. And while she is still sensual as hell, she no longer rubs her crotch often nor goes topless with electrical tape Xs over her nipples. But it is good to see her chainsaw a guitar again, as she finishes off the show. I always wondered what guitar mavens like Binky Phillips and Tom Guerra thought about that practice. One other difference is that Wendy seems even more comfortable and confident as a singer on stage.

The DVD’s visuals and sound are crisp and clear, most likely shot on the superior European PAL technology. This is a hard rockiin’ set with some punk elements, but Ray’s guitar makes it solid hair metal with a hard edge. Miss ya, Wendy O.

Set List:
Gone Wild
Pedal to the Metal
You’ll Succeed
No Class
Party (Tonight)
Hoy Hey (Live to Rock)
Ain’t None of Your Business
Bump and Grind
Fuck That Booty

Monday, December 5, 2022

THE CHESTERFIELD KINGS Interview: The House of Garage (1985)

© Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 1985/2022
mages from the Internet unless indicated
Facebook page is HERE

A few times a year, weather permitting, I would fly up from New York to visit Buffalo Musicians’ Hall of Famer and friend since high school Bernie Kugel, and would pile into the car of record collector extraordinaire, Mad Louie, the Vinyl Junkie’s car, and head over to Irondequoit, a suburb of Rochester, to make a pilgrimage to the House of Guitars. Besides the obvious front room of instruments, given the name of the place, the back also had a very disorganized yet quite eclectic new and used recording section. But the main reason to head over was to visit the two members of the Chesterfield Kings, who worked there. Andy Babiuk, who took care of the front with all the instruments (and has written books on the gear used by the Beatles and the Stones, and Kings leader and voice/harp Greg Prevost (he also co-wrote the Stones’ book with Babiuk), who skillfully manages the mess in the back.

Greg is a very interesting and charismatic character, with his omnipresent eyeliner and 2-liter bottle of soda (Tab). He’s also a well-recognized collector of hopelessly obscure garage recordings and old television shows.

When we got there, he would be running all over the store at a customer’s request to fetch a recording, or answering the phone. Between, he’s smiles and laughs, and a bit of gossip. He had been there a long time, and eventually retired some years after this interview took place.

This was originally published in FFanzeen No. 13, dated 1985.

The Chesterfield Kings: The House of Garage (1985)

Without a doubt, the leaders of the new garage/psychedelic scene are the Chesterfield Kings. With their self-titled album and single, “She Told Me Lies” b/w “I’ve Gotta Way With Girls,” on Mirror Records, they’ve shown the world exactly how they think music should be a la mid-‘60s raunch’n’roll.

It is clear who they model their live shows after: the likes of the Rolling Stones and the Chocolate Watchband, circa Riot on Sunset Strip (1967), but their music goes beyond that, into an area of relatively unknown classic cult groups that have been cropping up in dozens of compilation albums on labels such as Voxx/Bomp! and Moxie. The more obscure, the better.

The Kings consist of Doug Meech (drums), Andy Babiuk (bass), Orest Guran (organ/rhythm guitar), Cedrick Cona (lead guitar), and as front man, Greg Prevost (vocals/hot harmonica). The Kings is a band who has opened a whole new chapter in how rock’n’roll could and should be played – no holds barred.

Last summer (1984), while vacationing in Buffalo, I headed over to the House of Guitars (the HOG to friends) in Irondequoit, NY, which is a suburb of Rochester. In this humble record and musical instrument store, run by showman Armand Schoenbroeck, who has a few cult albums under his own belt, works Andy and Greg. I didn’t have much of a chance to say much to Andy, as he works in the business front part of the store, but I did get a chance to talk somewhat with Greg.

On this trek, I dragged along two willing cohorts and record collectors, Bernie Kugel, of the band Mystic Eyes, and Mad Louie, the Vinyl Junkie.

What follows is a brief part of the conversation. Actually, I just turned on the cassette recorder and let Greg, Bernie, and Louie do most of the talking. In between constant phone calls by customers asking about purchasing Bruce Springsteen tickets and great music playing on the PA (supplied by Greg), there was a lot of harmless kidding around at the expense of many (myself included), all in the fun of conversation and admiration. Note that “[laughs]” indicates that we were all laughing at that point.

This is technically not an interview in the true sense of the word, but I like to feel it’s informative enough to hold the reader’s interest, and give some insight to at least a fifth of the band.

FFanzeen: Why don’t you have Armand (Schoenbroeck, Mirror Records) help you produce a (garage) compilation album?
Greg Prevost: I could do it, but –
Bernie Kugel: It must cost a whole lot.
Greg: Not a whole lot. Just make up a thousand.
Bernie: You can save it.
Mad Louie: Yeah, since you just blew $400 on singles a month ago. Plus, you took me out to lunch Saturday, so you’re broke for the next 10 years.

FFanzeen: What would you put on it?
Greg: Mostly Upstate (New York) stuff that nobody’s got.

[Phone interruption]

FFanzeen: Looks like you only have about 5 of these CDs [in the store].
Greg: I know. Now it’s like the big thing.
Bernie: The Index album on CD
Louie: Rhino put the
Turtles Greatest Hits on CD. It’s got an extra song that isn’t on the album.
Greg: Did you get
the thing?
Louie: I don’t want a CD player. I heard
the thing and I hate it. It sounds too clear.
Greg: I like those scratches.
Bernie: Yeah, you need them on old records. That’s why when we plug in, we don’t plug in all the way. That’s why there’s so much distortion
[laughs]. Makes it sound like a ventilator or a fan, like that Jades of Fort Worth album. It sounds like someone has a radio playing through the amp, or something.
Voice over PA: Got any Springsteen tickets left?
Greg: That’s all I’ve been hearing. I think it’s time for some sounds [puts tape on PA].
Bernie: Is this the Phinx re-issue album, or the original?
Greg: This is the 45 [“My Baby Don’t Care”]. I didn’t get the album.
Bernie: Miriam (Linna) and Billy (Miller, d. 2016) keep writing about them in the magazine (
Greg: Oh, that’s pretty good, isn’t it? I like that.
Bernie: “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” We were going through this whole thing – I think I was with you, Robert – all these crappy record in the Salvation Army. There were hundreds, and “Sid Herring! They let him make records after the Gants?” I almost spit up my Coke.
Greg: Somebody should find him. I tried, but no luck.
Louie: Probably in a fishbowl.
Greg: JD (Martignon, of Midnight Records in New York; d. 2016) told me he was puttin’ out a book.
Bernie: Robert saw it. It’s out already.

FFanzeen: It’s all [about garage] compilations. It lists every song on every album.
Greg: That’s not bad.

FFanzeen: But with all the albums being released, it’s outdated as soon as it comes out.
Greg: He’ll probably have to update it every week. “A new issue each week!”
Back from the Grave, Vol. 300 this week. [Laughs] High in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 16: Lake Placid, New York, 1963.
Vol. 18: Dumbfuck, Iowa. Boy, Greg (Shaw, Bomp! Records; d. 2004) is really putting out those High in the Mid-Sixties stuff.
Greg: I know. Why don’t they just call them
Pebbles records anymore?
Louie: I think he wants to be more regional. Like Greg (Shaw) always says, “We have the Northeast, the Mid-East –
Greg: South. I really like “The South.” That was pretty – vague.
Louie: “16 Degrees West of the East.”
Bernie: “New York City, from Fifth Avenue to 125 Street.”
[Laughs] Who’s this (on the PA)?
Greg: You don’t know who this is? It’s the Wild Things. “From Santa Claus, Indiana.”
Bernie: The Wild Things. Oh yeah, from the
19th Santa Claus: Early ’63 to January ’64. [Laughs]
Greg: That was good, Bernie. Santa Claus punk records. I’m surprised they don’t do something like that. There’s a lot of punk Christmas songs. ”
Christmas Pebbles. [Picking up Hot Ones by theStandells, from the stacks] You get down to this stuff here; you get “99-1/2 Percent Won’t Do,” “Eleanor Rigby,” followed by Soul Drippin’.”
Greg: Then you know you don’t want to buy it.
Bernie: Primo stuff here.
[Laughs] I like this Michael (Taylor, Bad Seeds) stuff.
[Laughs] You really like that?
Louie: Awful. I told you he likes it.
Bernie: “Zilch, Pt. II.” Aw, that’s a great one.
Greg: Oh, it
is good. [Laughs]

[Phone interruption]

Bernie: [Holding up a Chocolate Watchband album from Eva Records, whose liner notes Greg wrote.] Oh, good liner notes. How much did you get for this one?
Greg: A free copy of the record.
Bernie: Did they actually do it?
Greg: They actually sent me a copy. It was bent in half, but they sent me one.

FFanzeen: I’m so ignorant on so much of this stuff.
Bernie: Well, Greg’s gonna be opening up a school. He’s gonna have a punk summer camp.
Louie: All you have to do is sit there, eat shit, drink Tab, and watch videos.
Bernie: “This is a bottle of Tab I have from ’66. One of the test bottles. Let’s see how it tastes.” Have you seen the Richard and the Young Lions video yet? 
Greg: Naw. I heard there’s one out.

[Phone interruption]

FFanzeen: I hear you’re out touring a lot right now.
Greg: I wouldn’t exactly call it a tour. We just do weekend-type things. It’s not worth playing the middle of the week anywhere, ‘cause nobody goes out. Who wants to play for $300 in some hick town?

FFanzeen: It could be worse. Could be like when the Gizmos played at Max’s on a Tuesday and there was no one there. Except for a couple of drunks and me.
Greg: Really? Outrageous.

[Phone interruption]

FFanzeen: Who did this song (on the PA)?
Greg: “The World Ain’t Round It’s Square,” by the Savages. 

FFanzeen: Have you heard the Tryfles do it? 
Greg: The Tryfles? Yeah.

FFanzeen: They’re a fun band.
Greg: Yeah, I saw them once. At the Dive.

FFanzeen: Didn’t I see them open for you at Irving Plaza?
Greg: Was it that night? No, I don’t think so. I think it was the Lyres, the Vipers, Outta Place, then us, then Green on Red. I remember, I was real sick that night. It was horrible. It was the worst night I ever had. We had to cut the set short ‘cause my throat went out. All the way down (to NY) I had this sore throat, or somethin’ like that. All the way down, I’m drinking like two gallons of orange juice. “Maybe my throat’ll get better.” And by the time we got there, it was, like, three in the morning, and my voice was shot. I kept coughin’. It was horrible.

FFanzeen: Everyone there had a good time, though.
Greg: It was okay, but I don’t know. Then that guy was, like, somebody threw somethin’. Then he got beat up by some guy in the front.

FFanzeen: I remember once seeing Iggy (Pop) at the Brooklyn Zoo (club), and right in the middle of the first song, someone thew some ice at him. He stopped the song and said, “Don’t throw that fuckin’ shit at me, man. That ain’t a request, that’s a command.”
Greg: Really?

FFanzeen: Then he started the song from scratch. He was pissed off.
Greg: This (on the PA) is Monoman’s (Jeff Conolly, of the Lyres) favorite record (“What a Girl Can’t Do”).

FFanzeen: Who is it?
Greg: The Hangmen.
Bernie: This is like an oldie to me. It was one of my first records.
Louie: What about this (next song on the PA)?
Bernie: The Swamp Rats? Alright. 
Greg: “Hey Joe,” on CD.
Louie: Know how many versus they could put on one CD? About 30.
Bernie: What’s that ‘70s thing that the Swamp Rats were on?
Disco Sucks?
Bernie: Not Galacticus [post-Swamp Rats]. No, the other one.
Louie: Yeah, I remember that.
Bernie: Where he does, like, “Somebody Real Famous.” They put, like, some of the songs on an album. It says, “Everything on this album was recorded in a one-track studio in a radio station.”
Greg: They’re real mad about that [fantastic] DJ’s album [pre-Swamp Rat] that Eva (Records) put out. Their manager’s a DJ still, right , and he’s on the radio saying, “Any stores out there carrying this record, we’re gonna smash them all if we come find ‘em,” They’re really mad.
Bernie: What did you think of that
Battle of the Garages, Vol. II album?
Greg: There’s some good stuff and some bad stuff.

FFanzeen: I liked it a lot.
Bernie: What did you hate the most about it, besides my song
[a cover of the Stoics’ “Enough of What I Need”]?
Greg: I don’t remember. There’s this group called Mystic Eyes on there… 
Bernie: What did you think about that psycho-crap on side two?
Greg: I couldn’t hack some of that stuff. Side one’s pretty good, and side two, there was some stuff...

[Phone interruption]

Louie: Did you sell any copies of this?
Greg: The Lyres album (on Ace of Hearts Records)? Yeah, check your Lyres album. Hold it up to the light. Monoman says if you can see through it, like this purple color, it’s real rare. Mine’s like that.

[Phone interruption]

Greg: Know what I found out? Did you ever hear of the Storytellers? “Cry With Me.” It’s this great snotty-fuzz record. They’re from Jersey. And all the guys or most of them are Asbury Park, in Springsteen’s group.
Louie: Really?
Greg: Yeah. Rick Noll was tellin’ me.
[Singing like Bruce:] “Baby, I was pushin’ too hard.”
Greg: This is the best version of “Maggie’s Farm.” The guitar player is great.
Bernie: Who’s this (on the PA)?
Greg: Defiants.” I like the guitar playing. He plays two notes the whole song. Except it does change. I was a bit disappointed when he did the change. Right here. Then he goes right back into the two notes. Oh, up a step.
Bernie: Do you find that there are a lot more independent records still undiscovered out there?
Greg: Yeah, never ending, really. I keep thinkin’ I heard them all but they’re there. Real great stuff.
Bernie: And you thought you could stop with
Nuggets. [Laughs]
Louie: It’s getting to the point where you find stuff repeating on albums.
Greg: Yeah, it’s real bad.
Bernie: It seems the guys putting out the records are getting real desperate.
Greg: Yeah, they are.
Bernie: That’s why you’ve got to get into it here.
Greg: Yeah, I’ll put out 30 volumes to start.
[Laughs] Box sets. 10 album boxes.
Unreleased Independent Punk…January ’65 through March ’65.

FFanzeen: That’s the first box set. [Laughs]
Bernie: “From Bernie’s basement recording studio. We use just a plastic recorder in the corner.”

FFanzeen: “July 7th, 7:30 to 9:30.” [Laughs]
Bernie: Yeah, that’s it.
Greg: “Three-hour live tape.”
Bernie: “Rising Storm arriving for rehearsal.” 

Greg: “Hear them drive up in a car.”
Bernie: “You guys ready to play?” Record goes on, that’s it. “Next month,
Rising Storm, Vol. II.

FFanzeen: They oughta release a record of the guy in Bill Haley’s band who stands there during the applause at the end, just saying, “Bill Haley” over and over. It’s always the same guy.
Greg: Yeah.

FFanzeen: Probably his brother.
Bernie: Yeah, Alex Haley!

FFanzeen: Why do you think they call it the “Roots of Rock’n’roll”? Sorry, ‘couldn’t resist.
Bernie: Heavy metal
[on the PA]?
Greg: The Merlyn Tree. “Look in Your Mirror.” 
Bernie: Where can I find more Stoics records?
Greg: I got a whole lot of them in my basement.
Bernie: Acetates? All unreleased stuff?
Louie: He’s got the master tapes, to hell with the acetates.
Bernie: “Bill Ash
[of the Stoics] is in my closet.” And the guy, Rich Marachalla, whoever they put on the record [“Enough of What I Need,” as co-writer]. [Laughs] 
Greg: That Stoics record is pretty rare.

[Phone interruption]

Bernie: What about this record [picks up 45 of Alvin Cash and the Registers, “Twine Time
Bernie: What does it sound like?
Greg: It’s soul, but it’s good. It’s like James Brown. It’s Doug’s favorite album, our drummer -

[Phone interruption]

All things must pass to others, so at this point, so did we.

Greg Prevost and Kings in-store performance,
Virgin Records, Times Square, NY, with Nancy Neon
(ffoto by Robert Barry Francos

The conversation, you may notice, is quite dated. The timeframe was obviously before CDs became the standard, and it was discovered that CDs were actually cheaper to put out than vinyl. Now we all have large CD collections of the even rarer cuts that could not be afforded to put out on LP form. And while we all agree that the feel and sound of vinyl is something we all still cherish, the material available on more cold and harsh CDs and now digital has become more of a boon and less of a curse. This especially became true among rarity collectors with the advent of CD-Rs.

As a side story, after this interview was published in FFanzeen, a friend of Greg, Bernie and Louie’s was riding the subway in Manhattan late one night after a long squawk. Asleep across the seats, he woke up and saw a newspaper on the floor in front of him. “Is that Bernie, Greg and Louie? What they hell are they doing in the paper?” Obviously, he was looking at a discarded copy of FFanzeen. Freaked him right out.

During the summer of 2001, on the way back from a photographic road trip, I made a stop off to see Greg at the HOG. It was the first time I’d been there in a least a decade. The phones were just as busy and the customers just as questioning for material (this time, for rap), but shooting the shit with Greg was as light and fun as always. And I made sure to assure him that there was, indeed, no tape recorder. And the Chesterfield Kings are no more. Greg has gone solo and now goes by Greg “Stackhouse” Prevost, singing Americana blues, and is still releasing music. On CDs.