Max Bell


It has been a while since I`ve been active on this blog. Time to move things along again. Since you last heard from me I have received mail from two of the original writers of the NME, giving me their blessings in regard to this project of mine. Thank you – it really means a lot to hear that all the work I have done here is appreciated. As one of them said so fittingly: “It is a labour of love”.
Since I last updated this blog there have been some changes in world power, at least in the USA, and who better to mark this than rock`s own political right-wing man – Ted Nugent. He may be too extreme for a Norwegian Social-Democrat like me, but he made some interesting records in the 70s and I give him credit for that. But not too much credit – so here is “only” a concert review.  😉
Have fun!




By Max Bell
Pic: Pennie Smith

I wasn`t supposed to review this but the bloke who was had a headache. After I left Hammersmith so had I.

Well…was Ted Nugent as ferociously frightening as when our writer witnessed him manhandle his way across Texas? Did he incite his fans to levels of stomping malevolence hitherto unseen in England`s brown and parched land? In short, was he the most outrageous rock`n`roll individual to ever slip into a Gibson and riddle the stalls with hideously demonic heavy metal in the constant search for the fractured ear drum?
Or was he just bloody silly?
Before Nugent did his pieces we had to sit through Dirty Tricks and latecomers to the bill Lone Star, a new hard rock band that a lot of people are saying nice things about. It was the loudest collection I`ve ever heard. Both bands were plagued by a constant whirring fizz from the left hand side of the PA.
Lone Star played a reasonable high energy set, promise of greater potential. Dirty Tricks were just `orrible. I`ve never seen such a dismal rehash of English unemployment rock tedium. Competence and volume, four/four riff cliches, a singer who actually wants to look like Rod Stewart. The guitarist`s amps, speakers, strap, volume pedal all failed. He carried on regardless, throwing down the gauntlet of excess. Pshaw!

The whole evening was overkill city. By the time Nugent came on the kids were already totally diz-busted by a diet of HM crunch, kept dribbling by the break-neck assortment of inter-band record filling.
Ted`s criteria for success was going to be a battle of volume. It was, and he made it.
Apparently the rest of the tour is being recorded for a live album. I reckon they`ll burn these tapes fast.
Afterwards Nugent said it was the worst gig he`d ever played. Still, Ted went down the proverbial electronic storm. He trampled the audience into a state of complete nervous exhaustion. Far be it from me to hold any reservations in the area of dangerous decibels, but after half an hour I felt defeated.
Nugent`s steamrolling abilities were confirmed, but occasionally he gave us an indication of something more interesting nesting within his fingertips. If he`d slipped in some more of his tasty stuff the whole event would have been more bearable.


Set coup de rock explosions, “Stranglehold”, “Hibernation” and “Great White Buffalo”, all trundled along apace. Nugent proved his old trooper professionalism too when the bass amp spluttered to a standstill of indignant silent entrenchment. Ted improvised a rather good “Cat Scratch Fever” and none guessed the off-the-cuff taking-care-of-biz going on under their noses.
The feedback during “Great White Buffalo” was dangerous. There`s no place further Nugent can take the frequency without driving his following beyond the line. Small wonder all the band wear ear plugs on stage. In future cotton wool, hearing aids and aspirin will be compulsory survival kit for band and audience alike.
Much of the material was filler for the tooth, fang and claw comin` out of hibernation speed kills moments of panic. If it was a duff set, it was certainly heavier than either of the Stateside concerts I`ve seen and the reaction didn`t indicate any dissatisfaction on the part of the paying customers. Christ knows what he`ll do with Liverpool and Birmingham.

Me? I`m staying in a corner over Ted until he steps out and delivers the HM tour de force that moments like “Stranglehold”, “Pony Express” and “Breast Fed Gator” indicate he has up his sleeve. From what I`ve heard, “Free For All” promises to go somewhere towards distilling his pearls into solid mud.
Ted`s great cos he plays the cause and effect game for keeps and anyone who disagrees better get outta the way. I wish he`d turn it down occasionally mind, I mean three Nugent gigs in a month is enough for even the staunchest devotee.
Till then ambivalence is the best policy.
Can I `ave me ears back, Ted?


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With a great, big thank you to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Hot Rods, Phil Manzanera, Tom Jones, Elliott Randall, Jefferson Starship, Richard Ingrams, Joe Albany, Doo-Wop Article, Soft Machine.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Blue Öyster Cult from New Musical Express, October 18, 1975

I like the writing style of Mr. Bell, making this an excellent report from the frontlines of the BOC tour with added interviews as a bonus. The band are still actively touring in a “tour that never ends” and I hope to get the chance to see them play in Norway at the start of August 2016. You either get it or you don`t with this band. I like them a lot! Enjoy reading the article!


The Triumph of Insanity

It seemed like something was rotten in the State of Georgia. Something that needed checking out. But relax, it`s OK. Violence, rock`n`roll and schizophrenia are reassuringly alive and well. And here`s Max Bell`s report from Klu Klux Klan Kuntry on the BLUE OYSTER CULT on the eve of their long-awaited British visit.

The last time I saw Sandy Pearlman he was sitting on the floor of an Atlanta hotel room having just guzzled several bags of takeaway ribs from Ma Hall`s Southern Fried porched diner. Maybe he ate himself to death, I don`t know, but he certainly wasn`t there in the morning; just a heap of charred and chewed bones plus a few fragments of tomato-stained meat smeared over the counterpane.
Pearlman likes eating. Buck Dharma says he likes it even more than the Blue Oyster Cult, which is where we come in.
Atlanta, Georgia is adopted Blue Oyster Cult territory, the home of Coca Cola, the city with the highest cancer rate in the U.S.; it`s also Ku Klux Klan Kuntry which fits in neatly with BOC`s underskin of Colonial influence nurtured from the dusty archives on Providence, Rhode Island and Lovecraft`s rotting manuscripts in Brown University.
The exclusively white, “snob”, end of Atlanta`s famed Peachtree Street boasts some of the finest English settlement buildings in the world on Colony Square. But despite this Anglo ambience, the standard conversation still consists of three questions: “How ya doin` today? Take care d`ya hear? Have a nice day y`all, okay?”
Such mechanical good manners make it tempting to answer with the inanities: “Rotten. Shan`t. Get lost.” But since a lot of people wear guns next to their smile badges, it`s easier to settle for a deft grunt.

However, enough of this. What we`re here for is to witness the heaviest band in the States (in terms of subject matter if not sound) at a time when it seems increasingly important to see them vindicate the championship belt of twilight insanity.
The Blue Oyster Cult have already cancelled three British tours (although now they`re due here in a few days` time) for no other apparent reason than that their live album was selling like hot cakes in the U.S. – 20 with a missile on Billboard and Pearlman predicts that the next album will break seven nationally.
Why should it be necessary to see them vindicate the championship belt? Because that live album was almost universally panned in America, often by their staunchest supporters. Someone, somewhere along the line had to be wrong and I wasn`t keen on the idea that it was me.
Critics who should know, Cognoscenti, Mike Saunders and Lester Bangs, both self-elected doyens of the heavy metal afterworld, were getting the knives nice and hot. The Cult had blown their bolt,, become stagnant tools in the hands of power-crazed Oberfüehrer Pearlman, and yes we would let these guys carry our girlfriends` satchels.
Too bad for a band with an umlaut and a reputation for coming on like a concrete fix in the afterglow of Hiroshima. It may be fine administering clever albums, but only cutting it live up there on stage gives the mystique any real credibility.

So I was worried. Georgia is a long bus ride if you`re gonna see your favourites go under in disgrace. On the eve of the BOC`s major European tour I was hoping for at least a sliver of solace, just so the folks back home wouldn`t end up thinking they`d wasted October`s beer money on reckless pursuits.
Well, someone was holding out. But it wasn`t the Cult. Because I saw with my very own eyes the most positive rebuke possible to any number of snide untruths.
Yes, the Cult won.
Yes, this is one of the most infallible live shows ever devised for getting an audience off by the shortest sensible route… in through the ears and out the soles of the feet.
Outside the Stones Who league, a particularly English syndrome anyhow, I cannot imagine any other band promoting such a spontaneous response as the one I saw at the end of aforesaid bus ride. Moreover, the above mentioned are forefathers of a movement that won`t last for ever, whereas BOC are aimed at a different generation.
The Cult`s formula works in the heat of the moment; there`s none of the expectancy that you get waiting for “My Generation” or “Brown Sugar” to come up because they don`t have hits as such. There are preferences, obviously, but the show is balanced destruction.
The proof was in the auditorium where 15,000 teen archers were blitzed, digested, devastated and all the other things BOC are presumed to inflict via their base metallic arsenal. Not since the arrival of General Sherman had the Peach State been so effectively turned over.

Forget all the cliches about cooking, boogie and “This is a track off our last album.” The Cult are simply dirty, explosive urban league operators out to dazzle and by the time they`ve finished everyone is on his feet, no-one is on his knees.
As a venue the Omni Sports Theatre is horrible, fine for baseball acoustics and not much else. At first the sound problems nullify any enjoyment in what`s going down on stage.
“Stairway To The Stars” implodes, a slow motion replay with the volume off. Sandy Pearlman paces around the console muttering blue murder while mixers mix furiously for a reasonable balance and the rest of us twiddle our thumbs.
During “Harvester Of Eyes” it`s apparent that the synthesiser opening fails to get much past Eric Bloom`s fingertips. Allan Lanier spits out his fag in disgust and gives the equipment a good boot. Wham. Must have worked, `cos the audience rise as one at the wave of aggression channelled off that stage.
Bloom, resplendent in jet black hari kari costume straps on his stun guitar… “Just last week I took a ride. So high on eyes I almost lost my way”… and Dharma escalates the solo into open mouths. The crowd are drained and elated, and this is the second number.
Pearlman stomps time on his right foot and smirks through the compulsory shades. His whole attention is fixed on watching the 24-hour adrenalin flow seeping off the platform and making sure it stays that way.

Now the juice is on and “Dominance And Submission” gets into some real Cult fantasy. Bloom strikes a neon leather Rodin pose and sings about that unfortunate car ride. The Bouchard brothers, Albert and Joe, notch onto a neat, sullen beat, buzzing the song to death throes with all the vicious love of a gang war chainfight in a Brooklyn car lot.
Of course the aura is a joke, no-one but an imbecile would build a lifestyle round this kind of sickness, but then only an imbecile could fail to respond to the invention.
A poisonous “Flaming Telepaths” manufactures equal overkill but half the kick is laughing with the Cult. They are tactless, no argument, but they are also extremely funny in a nasty kind of way. When Bloom reaches the line “And the joke`s on you” the stage darkens. A hideous answering chuckle reverberates through the entire hall and sparks cartwheel from his fingers.
The effects used throughout are surprisingly few; sparse but effective.
If you think you know what to expect from a rock `n` roll concert, think again. That was just the chaser. During “Cities On Flame” Bouchard takes lead vocal at an agonisingly slow melting pace, his voice resembling a berserk buzz-saw eating dinner.
The pocket version white-suited Dharma steps out for their re-tuned Yardbirds tribute, “Maserati GT,” once known as “I Ain`t Got You” and then slots straight into ten minutes of unbearable riff magic – “Buck`s Boogie” – which is all right by me because he may well be the best hard rock guitarist functioning today. He has none of Townshend`s athleticism or Jimmy Page`s flash frisson but he burns the hell out of every precise lick and he`s only five foot two.

Just as the audience is at breaking point the Cult all file off stage, leaving one spotlit Bouchard storming his kit for the original amusing drum solo. Albert laughs his head off as well he might because he looks ridiculous; leather hot pants, top hat, striped socks like a perverted Hamburg Scoutmaster indulging the dumbest stately battle on throbbing skins.
Once the Mutron synthesiser is turned on he really fools about, skimming rolls off the wall in some gruesome imitation of a sheet metal worker banging rivets into your head.
Just when the crescendo is at the level where the band left off they race back and kick into “ME 262″… “Hitler`s on the phone from Berlin, says I`m gonna make you a star.” The audience is delirious and the riot cops are nervous. Off goes the bomber warning, Lanier switches from keyboards to rhythm, and suddenly all five of them are in a line playing guitar. Five screaming dizbusters switched into the ultimate rock fantasy and the new definition of heavy metal.
Bloom slides over the piano Minnelli style, smoke engulfing the stage and flames jut into the pit setting fire to the lap of some unfortunate in the 20th row. The fire marshal races towards the exit but he can`t get there because Bloom is growling “See these English planes go burn” and they won`t let him through.
There`s more murky excitement generated in this one moment than we in Britain have seen from a visiting band in a long time. It makes “On Your Feet” look insipid. It`s irresistible.

Off stage, the Cult are the very antithesis of their projected heavy duty image. For starters there`s their height, or lack of it. Eric Bloom is potentially the toughest, punk stare and grounded air ace junk jacket. Actually, even he is friendly and small: “I often have to apologise to fans for not fulfilling my reputation. Sometimes I think we ought to bust a few heads and rape the chicks who hang around.”
It becomes obvious during the next two days that constant touring is wearing down the band considerably. After one publicity visit to a local record store where they have to sneer to order and autograph records menacingly, Bloom corners me on the way out to the car: “See how mundane all this bullshit is, doing the same thing day in, day out.”
Albert Bouchard is even more emphatic: “You just wouldn`t believe how bored I get playing the same songs every night. I want it to change all the time.”
All this puts my impressions badly out of synch. On the Sunday Cult share the bill with Uriah Heep in Knoxville, Tennessee, to a smaller crowd of 3,000 and it`s possible to ascertain traces of a group going through the motions.
After that gig we hold an interview in the hotel with a cavalcade of groupies frothing outside the door. Eric Bloom slumps down crossly:
“Got any Machiavellian questions? Would you guys like to kill your mother? The apocalypse is coming huh! That Lester Bangs is an asshole. He won`t talk to us anymore but if I ever see him again he`s gonna get outta my sight. Asshole.”

What`s eating Eric?
“Those critics who say we`re a tool of Pearlman and Murray Krugman. OK, they got us off the ground…” Cut to Albert Bouchard on the window sill “… and they channelled us towards heavy metal but we still come up with the ideas. We`ve never been their gimmick.”
But if Pearlman walked out now would the Cult continue, bearing in mind that he writes a fair percentage of the lyrics?
Joe Bouchard pours out his Christian Brothers brandy into a tooth mug and takes a stiff snort: “The opposite is Sandy`s big worry. A lot of our popularity has to do with the way we play live. He`s not as necessary as he was.”
Allan Lanier pitches in thoughtfully: “He was a useful exposure to influences, he had this energy… he found us when we were so poor we couldn`t afford to go to the beach. He opened certain doors and he was in the band. Then we didn`t say he was our manager. Now he`s definitely our manager but he`s not in the band. He works in an office and he just isn`t as exposed as before.”
The description of a bureaucratic Pearlman is pretty hard to take and only partially true. In addition to being their manager he also handles Handsome Dick Manitoba`s Dictators and is constantly looking for other creative outlets to vent his madness on.


If Murray Krugman hadn`t said no to The Tubes their names instead of Al Kooper`s would be on the credits. He`s very pissed off about that, I can tell you, though as far as Lanier`s concerned he can do what he likes: “More power to him. His riff is to walk in on raw potential and say `I can give you this, get you that.` Sure it`s a gimmick but so is everything else in rock.”
What`s the gimmick?
“That it`s a business. That we didn`t get to England because of the money… a lot of politics. Columbia wanted their own agency handling us to underwrite expenses.”
And then the Cult are doing so well in America that coming to Europe wasn`t a wise move until now. They have other reasons for wanting to do well here though. Lanier`s Henry James story of the yank who needs to put one over the culture superior renaissance elders over the pond is a real emotion to many thinking Americans:
“On a personal level it is very important to go and do great in England and France. The typical American ego of going back to the roots and impressing. Also it will be such a relief to play for an audience with a different programme of responses. We`re all agreed on that.”
And they are, even Joe Bouchard who so far has been the only one prepared to find some satisfaction in their Stateside mission.

Bloom has the strongest anti-viewpoint: “If we look bored that`s `cos we are bored. I often sleepwalk through a show, I know I`m gonna be good anyway.”
Joe interjects on cue: “I dunno, I kinda enjoyed Atlanta.” “Well, that was different. We hadn`t played there for two years. But Knoxville… what are we doing here? The place is dead, man.” Bouchard hastily: “But the kids are never disappointed. They can`t afford to be.”
Much of the enervation lies in not having produced a studio work since “Secret Treaties” from which to mould an act, hence the fact that there`s nothing new in the equation. They`re not too thrilled with the live album either, despite Pearlman`s assertion that it made “Live At Leeds” look like “weak tea.”
They say they`re fifty per cent satisfied with it, though Albert rates it less: “I`m really pissed off with it… didn`t even want to do it, but they committed us too early. After the last night I was so fed up with the engineers that I threw my guitar into the amp after “ME 262,” which is immature but that`s the way I felt.”
The violent atmosphere they`re supposed to promote is getting them down as well. Ask Eric:
“We all have our chains and mirrored ceiling of course, and swings in the living room.”
Albert: “Well, I do have an extensive comic collection.”

Lanier has the coherent answer: “Being on the road it`s hard to pull through with the image psycholitically (he hates flying for instance). I want calm homely surroundings, like watching Johnny Carson or playing Beach Boys` records. We`re all schizophrenic. I compare it with Brian Wilson. He couldn`t swim and was a lousy hot rod driver but it`s all a hallucination of repressions. America is so redolent with violent images.”
Bloom has another version: “Growing up in New York in `58 there were real hitters at school and I was a little guy. If I wore a leather jacket I got stepped on, now I can do all that without my mother stopping me.”
“Yeah, you`re a cheap snot.”
“OK, but I enjoy it, it`s fun.”
One of the reasons why they have to live up to something false is to do with their own refusal to give out lyric sheets, hence people often fail to understand the acute tongue in cheek content. The Cult don`t believe in the kamikaze Avengers trip themselves and certainly don`t foster it off the boards:
“How can we be our size and be serious about it? What do people get attached to about us? We`re not so into impaling the audience as Black Sabbath so you have to be funny unless you feel possessed by strange spirits. If you were serious you`d just become a massive ego out there.”

Lanier seems anxious to keep the star allure absent from his life:
“Do they think we`re all barbarians over there? Do those stories about Patty Hearst and Manson fascinate people in England?”
Bloom, who is Jewish, sticks his neck out and cuts in with a remark of his own which has nothing to do with the conversation:
“One of the problems is that so many rock writers are Jewish. We were banned from Circus magazine `cos the editor`s Jewish and thinks we`re all Nazis. Then Lester puts that we are all Jewish which is crap.”
Albert slides onto the floor with a loud guffaw:
“I`ll bet Abraham Lincoln was Jewish, he liked negroes and stuff. Yeah, Abe Lincoln.”
Two Southern Belles walk in and plonk themselves at Eric`s feet. I wonder how much the group can grow in terms of popularity? An unfortunate question:
“Well, we`re all past puberty.” Funny guy, eh, Dharma? “Sure I`m planning on it, but the business gets more disgusting the further you go into it. So many rock stars are divorced from real life.”
Lanier agrees that there is a particularly English class syndrome which involves rich rock stars buying mansions in the country and then giving reality the two fingers. He bats around the proposition that the biz is sleazy and in the grip of a definite middle class stranglehold:

“There`s no charm or inspiration left. When you begin you`re naive, y`know. The long haul is just, `Great, will my mum give me some cookies to take on the road?` But then I don`t agree with the people who say rock`n`roll is arrested adolescence and that one day you`ll grow up.
“There aren`t many live phenomena that people go out of their houses to see. Rock is one of the few, and also theatre `cos TV is so awful. But even so the old concept of downtown as a place for meeting in clubs is dead. We`re all stuck in front of television.”
On to new material, of which the Cult have plenty. At present there are two separate plans. I heard snippets from both. One is the new band album yet to be recorded but which should be mixed in England and released in February. This has the working title “Fire Of Unknown Origin” and includes three or four Patti Smith songs which were written with boyfriend Lanier.
The rough cuts I listened to were the title track, “True Confessions” (Patti singing harmonies), and a very heavy Dharma song, “Don`t Fear The Reaper.” They all sounded like something of a departure from usual Oysteroid style and they were all goodies without any softening up on subject matter:
“It`ll be bold, brave, sexy, very sensual, a lot more human than we`ve been before. `Secret Treaties` was a political dissertation but we won`t do any more pamphlets or broadsides. There`s still going to be a lot of good old death songs, though, `cos we like `em and there aren`t many things you can write interesting songs about. It`s hard to get politically involved with Ford in the White House.

“The album will have jagged edges and be like us, evolutionary of course. We will all lose two incisors and one toe.”
Pearlman and Albert Bouchard are working independently on another scheme called “The Soft Doctrines Of Imaginos” which continues in the vein of “Astronomy” and keeps the Lovecraft character Desdanova alive.
Numbers include: “Immaginos,” “I Am The One You Warned Me Of,” “When The Party`s Over,” “Siege And Investiture” and “Del Rio Song.” From initial hearing it sounds like it could be the first important concept album, a new horizon altogether.
“When The Party`s Over (Magna Of Illusion)” is wipeout. A song about a mirror endowed with destructive qualities and the influence to set countries at war, a tyranny and mutation magnum opus that ends with the advent of 1914. Originally the Cult weren`t prepared to tackle the idea. Bloom particularly because he has to cope with Pearlman`s lyrics which are all straight non-rhyming prose, but they`re being won over.
Maybe the biggest compliment you can pay this band is that they`re totally unlike anyone else when it comes to the execution of interesting themes: Lanier`s theory for that is highly tenable:
“We don`t want to be so much ominous as radically different. See, rock is getting very traditional. The 70`s are crazy. In the 60`s poverty was noble until people realised what they were paying for gasoline. Suddenly it isn`t romantic at all to be poor so the music is very conservative.

“You can`t be static though, that`s why we like the polarisation of those who like us or hate us, or just like one album and not the rest. We`d never put out a record similar to the others. We never have done, and we have presentation ideas that lead up to making the stage show appear to be a hallucination, as much like cinema as possible.
“How are we going to do in Europe though? I imagine there`ll be such a big push people will be sick of all the hype.”
Unlikely. There are enough of us over here who`ve waited too long for that to be true. Besides, any band who employs the touring legend “Blue Oyster Cult – On Tour For Ever” and has Nuremberg on the date list must be worth checking out. Then there`s such a hiatus in excitement that we need all the BOCs and Springsteens we can get.
Even as I write the tarmacs are being prepared for the arrival of the 1277 express so go and see for yourselves and let no-one tell you you should have been there. Because you should.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: The Who, Eric Clapton, The Tubes, David Bowie`s Mum, Thin Lizzy, Bert Jansch, Van McCoy, Budgie, Gerry Johnson.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT The Tubes from New Musical Express, October 18, 1975

What a great debut album this was! If for some reason you haven`t heard it, now is the time to go to Youtube and have a listen. And afterwards find a place where they sell the album and buy it- this one deserves to be in anyone`s collection. The production, the musicianship, the songs, the stage show – this band had it all from the start!


THE TUBES: The Tubes (A&M)

By Max Bell

It`s best to be wary of deliberately “funny” rock records, especially ones from new bands who are claimed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. For instance, if anyone tells you that The Tubes is/are very good parodists and extremely hilarious you can assume one of the three following possibilities: (a) that person is jaded, (b) he`s lying, (c) he`s very easily amused.
Having said that, let`s examine this month`s phenomenon for what it`s really worth, laying odds of two to one that The Tubes will indeed be vying with Springreens as the act most likely to this year. Apart from the promotion campaign the “I laughed `til I cried” backslapping, and the buzz surrounding their appearance, do they really have anything to offer?
W-e-e-ll. I recently saw a video film of the band at work and wasn`t unduly excited.
They played and sounded sloppy, most of the fun was sunk by its overkill quotient, and in the audience there was too much nervous sniggering of the “I know I`m supposed-to-like-this-but-I-don`t-really-although-it`s-unhip-to-admit-it” variety. On the other hand, the spectacularly ungullible Mick Farren says that their cabaret extravaganza is “OK”.

Since then they`ve definitely improved, because the music here is one of the more impressive features – as it has to be in the absence of their excessive visual experience, which utilises all the rock-glitter cliches for their own ends. That in itself is nothing new. Mouse and the Traps were pretty adept piss artists when everyone was still into beads and kaftans (cf. The Turtles, Wild Angles, Bonzos, Barron Knights, Zappa etc.) More recently, The Dictators tried to pull a similar number and failed miserably, much to several people`s acute embarrassment.
So on with the show and “Up From The Deep” with its pointedly cynical only-in-it-for-the-money lyric:
“Tell me how you want it / That`s how I`ll have our guitar player, Roger Steen, play it.” Betcha chuckling fit to bust a gut. Pleasantly spooky orchestral backing (Dominic Frontiere) conjuring up watery images and more than good synthesisers and keyboards from Mike Cotten and Vincent Welnick. There`s partial continuity on all the tracks, and this one ends in fine style with William Spooner and Steen trading some powerful bridging guitar.

“Haloes” is deliberate verbal indulgence in the CSN&Y earnest dullard mould, with more deft melodic touches such as the rippling guitar that accompanies each end line and Al Kooper`s clear show-off production. The very fact that someone as supposedly staid and establishment as Kooper can become involved with The Tubes says a lot for their aspirations and abilities (still, Al must have had a sense of humour to ever get mixed up with Blood, Sweat and Tears). Again, the soap opera arrangement is paramount (hope they can play like this live).
Side one closes with the slightly predictable “Malaguena Salerosa”; castanets, mock Andalusian sentiment, dramatic strings and all. It`s funny if you think singing in Spanish is sufficient cause for merriment.
“Mondon Bondage” is a highpoint in The Tubes set, and lends itself admirably to their way with props (the luscious female Re Styles breathing heavy into rope `n`rubber mag titillation). Lyrically, it sucks:
“I`ve been tied up so long, there`s no escape… I could run off to Jamaica, If this bondage I could break”
Alright lads, you can go now. I do like the demonic power licks, TV takeaway muzak and crass echo on the drums, though; also the strangulated 3rd. Reich post-Bowie vocal from lead vocalist Fee Waybill (bet he gets a lot of mileage out of that name).

Because of the lavish production, confident packaging and “how-did-we-ever-do-without-`em” permancence of their presentation, it`s often easy to forget that this is only their first album. By any standards the music is good, and there are frequent flashes of real inspiration to indicate that they are an exciting prospect, potentially as interesting as Roxy Music (who they`ve already outpaced in the States).
The self righteously aware satire “What Do You Want From Life” is one reason why they can`t just be another hype (it owes a lot to The Mothers). “Boy Crazy” is another. This should become some kind of anthem for permissive sisterhood everywhere it inverts the usual boy meets girl hogwash that passes for soda pop rock `n` roll into flunked eight grade sex-hungry heavy metal. Full marks for being the world`s first band to put an inter uterine device in a song and make it effective.
Tubes` piece de resistance “White Punks On Dope”, is ultimately their best, and simultaneously their most objectionable number. Who really relates to this specifically Californian rich kid rap except specifically Californian rich kids? It`s the old Ziggy/Iggy/Bingheimer legacy and sounds exactly like an “Alladin Sane” outtake:
“I go crazy `cause my folks are so rich / Have to score when I get that rich white punk itch.”

Note that it sneakily manipulates what it pretends to despise (albeit cleverly and will ironically appeal to the ennui-striken shell-shocked victims it describes so accurately. Prairie L`Emprere Prince`s crazed drumming, the catchy chorus, expertly timed double fade and fake raucous laughter finale cannot disguise the fact that this is a grand preconceived put-on.
Sure, there`s room for a group able to expose the chicanery prevalent in rock music by doing the same things well and making them look dumb, but it`ll have to be done a lot more carefully. A few steps removed from The Tubes is a band doing something similar to an audience of bored trendies in an expensive niterie while the rest of us push our noses against the window. San Francisco here we go.
If you don`t want rock to metamorphose into customised cabaret, have fun with your new Tubes album and leave it at that. They aren`t yet all they`re cracked up to be, though for starters this is super glossy. The cover is ace in true Pirelli calendar style.
I think they`ll make a load of bucks.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: The Who, Eric Clapton, David Bowie`s mum, Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, Bert Jansch, Van McCoy, Budgie, Gerry Johnson.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Kiss from New Musical Express, August 23, 1975

Once more we have proof that critics really don`t know a turd from a diamond. We all read record reviews, but ultimately you have to listen to the album yourself to decide if you like it. “Rock and Roll All Nite” is one of Kiss’ most well-known songs, almost like a signature song for the band. Many of the other songs on this album are among the most popular among their fans today – songs like “She”, “C’mon and Love Me” and “Room Service” are still in high regard.
Have fun with this review!


Record Review

KISS: “Dressed To Kill”

By Max Bell

This record has unscented anti-perspirant smeared over every groove. It doesn`t sweat, it doesn`t move, it doesn`t even make me feel particularly violent.
In other words Kiss have gone the way of all flesh and cleaned up. If this change in direction goes much further though they`ll end up dying a desultory death.
Main problem is that bossman Neil Bogart has carefully extinguished the buzzing, sub-manic, nod-out doze of “Hotter Than Hell” and substituted pristine clarity. New, but not improved… ie., “this guitar goes in that channel.” Worst of all you can actually hear the lyrics, which on a Kiss album is the last thing you want.

Seems that as soon as they made a conscious effort to reveal their I.Q.`s, Kiss lost their real claim to fame (making straightforward rock so dumb it was good). The urgency is gone, riffs are thin on the ground, and ears are still intact. Besides, it`s too hot to jump up and down.
No more deranged HM and gluttonous dual lead. There`s even a tasteful classical guitar intro to the stunningly titled “Rock Bottom”. In the barely passable league we`ve got “Two Timer”, “Getaway” and “She”, while the last single, “Rock-And-Roll All Nite” is only pleasantly retarded. Most of the time Kiss sound like a Rubettes Silverhead hybrid. About as heavy as a flimsy negligee.

I conclude that this is one of the most expendable, vapid formulations of the time-tested excursions into nowhere since Lord Rutherford tried to stick the atom back together again. And being one of the only people in this office who liked their previous two albums it comes as some disappointment to be presented with such tired, mill-grist by way of the third.
If this is progression, I don`t like it. And by the way, whoever organised the sleeve, lose ten points for getting the band names totally out of synch.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Les Perrin, Robin Trower, Guide to Reading Festival, Judy Collins, Third World, Max Merritt, David Bowie.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Aerosmith from New Musical Express, July 26, 1975

Embarrassing moments in a music critics life could be the name of a blog where this review would be one of the most prominent. The album was later ranked #229 on Rolling Stone`s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. “Walk This  Way” and the album’s title track are part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame`s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.
The album is also their most commercially successful studio LP in the US, with eight million copies sold.
Someone liked this album, but certainly not Mr. Bell.
Have a fun read!


Record review

Aerosmith: “Toys In The Attic” (CBS)

By Max Bell

“Toys In The Attic,” is Aerosmith`s third record. No one here knows that much about Aerosmith, except that they`re a straight-ahead Eastern seaboard band with roots in New Hampshire, Boston and Manhattan who concentrate on emulating the R&B raunch of the 60`s allied to the supposed improvements of today. That`s what it says here, anyway.
Their strength (derivative simplicity) may well turn out to be their downfall as far as sustained success goes because, though “Toys” is rifling high in the U.S. charts, we`ve already heard this brand of hard rock more than enough – to wit the recent inroads made by the likes of Queen and Golden Earring.
The title track bursts right in as if it had been playing for several minutes. A clever touch with plenty of The Who in there.
Lead singer Steve Tyler looks remarkably similar to the dreadful Freddy Mercury, but he sings O.K. so we`ll let him off. Anyway, Aerosmith keep the influences nice and obvious at first until you realise that what you`re experiencing is actually incestous deja vu.

“Uncle Salty” has failsafe boogie riffs, clean dancing beat and a dual guitar – cracked chandelier tension provided by Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. It palls after a time…like most of the songs. Jack Douglas has produced a thick, strong mix around sophisticated material but, as a whole, the experience is immediately expendable. There`s not enough deviation from a predictable norm.
So: “Walk This Way” and “Adam`s Apple” are interchangeable. Pleasant slide creations and uncomfortably fast sound level – odd bursts of high octane in all the right places. Text-book rock and wasted energy.
Where they chance their arm – like on the rude blues “Big Ten Inch Record” with its refined swooping horns and torch piano melody – they show all the distinctive markings of fair live potential, but one that still leaves nothing fancy to the imagination.


“Sweet Emotion” has guess-the-riff chord sequences and an annoying triangle intruding in the background which only succeeded in making me check if the telephone was ringing. Things take off at last on “No More, No More” (that`s asking for it) where the opening is neatly stolen from “Rip This Joint” but trails off into a sonic burst seizure of its own that comes over into “Round And Round” (not Chuck`s version).
Tyler`s voice here has the temporary quality of a brain-vein-snapping madman. The kind of vocalist who drives the old folks nuts.
They finally blow the whole thing on the horribly gimmicky “You See Me Crying” where someone had the bright idea to slow up the tapes so one imagines one`s stereo is on the blink. The delayed-action orchestration is a dismal failure too – and anyway the original (Spirit`s “Soldier”) was better.
Maybe as a first album this would be a commendable offering but, as it`s their third, Aerosmith haven`t got a lot to shout about.
Their claims that “our music is rough and raunchy R&B with a lot of refinement”, and claims made for them that “they capture the tradition of the Stones” aren`t borne out here.
The Stones were originals of a sort. By the time you get to third-generation bands it`s reasonable to hope for slightly more than the basics – even if they are well done.

Aero toys

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own  webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Rolling Stones, Steve Miller, Jimmy Webb, Paul McCartney, Billy Cobham, Bob Marley, Camel, Decameron.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.