NME

ARTICLE ABOUT Alice Cooper FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, JULY 17, 1976

It is a pleasure to present this review of an album in the Alice Cooper catalogue that I enjoy a lot. This is definitely not the Alice Cooper of today, but the Alice Cooper that were more experimental in his musical output and was all the better for it.
As the young, but very wise, Ms. Phillips says; this is an album full of intelligent and humourous lyrics. In my personal opinion, one of the very best created in the 70s. Everyone should have this in their collection.

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ALICE COOPER: Alice Cooper Goes To Hell (Warners)

By Kate Phillips

I like Alice Cooper. (You have been warned.)
I like all the grand old men of rock (Alex is another) who haven`t much of a vocal identity (and many of whom can`t sing either), who can`t really be discussed in “rock” terms at all (thank heavens) because what they are is showmen who just happen to be using it for their perpetual shows (because it just happened to be around at the time) – who don`t, in short, have to pretend to be young (yawn) and outrageous (yawn) and meaningful (double yawn); because once you`ve admitted you`re frankly corny, and sentimental, and out for a good time (a few laughs, a few shrieks, a big chorus and the audience singing along) – then you`re safe, you can`t be accused of failing to rise to any challenge (except your own) and then, if you want to imply anything a teency bit sinister, a touch naughty or subversive… well, no-one can ever be quite sure (can they?) whether you mean it or not.
Alice`s last effort, you recall, was about a Nightmare; therefore, with the calm logic of “outrage” (you have to get a bit more outrageous every time) he now moves on to an account of his descent into Hell.
Exhibit A: the back cover – slender, youthful, unprotected, black-clad figure trips down to the long white marble staircase to the infernal regions (naturally, Alice`s Hell would be reached by a white marble staircase).
The visual image (note also front cover: Alice as Devil with green face) is one of the ways he makes up for sounding like somebody different on almost every track – Lennon on the sad ones (“I`ll Never Cry”) Jagger when he bawls (“Didn`t We Meet”), Lou (backed up by Wagner and Hunter again, of course) on “I`m The Coolest”.

This last is a description of Himself by Alice`s Maker – “Everybody knows who`s really cool – Me” (“I`m The  Coolest”) – the Big Guy who`s dragged the kid down to this awful place with no TV and no Budweiser to account for his wicked life – “You`re something that never should have happened / You even make your Grandma sick” (“Go To Hell”).
Trouble is, you feel Alice can`t make himself truly Repentant enough to get out of this hole – “I`m a dirt-talkin`, beer-drinkin`, woman-chasin` minister`s son… Golly gee, it`s wrong to be so guilty” (“Guilty”) – though he argues hard enough in “Give The Kid A Break” – “Come on, you know I got what it takes / Can`t you give me a break / Sure thing kid, when hell freezes over”.
I like the first side of the album better than the second – “Go To Hell” is done with great relish, the words of “I`m The Coolest” and “Give The Kid A Break” are very funny, and “Guilty” reminds me of “I`m Eighteen” – but then, that`s judging it as an album, and I don`t think that`s the best way to look at it.
I don`t know how much of this (all or nothing) is part of Alice`s new show (the one he`s not performing in the States at the moment because he`s in bed with anaemia, poor sinner) but (as with Alex`s albums), it`s hard to listen to without imagining Alice on stage – and if you imagine that, why, even black-Pan`s-People-on-the-Osmond-show routines like “You Gotta Dance”, or the undeniably soppy “Wake Me Gently” (“I don`t wanna stay / I wanna leave / I wanna go / I wanna go home”) could be just fine. (I told you I was partisan.)
“I`m Always Chasing Rainbows” loses its sickness potential and becomes what they used to call “great theatre” and “Going Home” is an emotional finale in the best stage musical traditions.
Or in other words OKLAHOMA! (where the wind comes whistling down the plain).
Remember?

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits 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: Paul McCartney, Twiggy, Stuart Sutcliffe, The Flamin` Groovies, Ian Hunter, The Who, Eric Clapton, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Jefferson Starship, Weather Report, Roxy Music, The Crusaders, The Ramones.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
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.

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ARTICLE ABOUT The Ramones FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, JULY 17, 1976

Quite an interesting article from this band`s earliest days. These days they are everywhere, as it is high fashion to wear t-shirts with this band on it by people who have never listened to their music. It is indeed a strange world.
Enjoy!

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`Waitin` for World War III` blues

By Max Bell

Joey Ramone is wandering around the empty Roundhouse, looking vacant and clutching a brand new camera under his arm like a teddy bear substitute. A slow trickle of other Ramonites follow in his wake, yawning. Enthusiasm isn`t one of their strong points, perhaps because they look a mite nervous underneath those sub-Fifth Dimension hair cuts.
You have to admit they are pretty weird. Four guys straight out of the teenage wasteland hanging loose while waiting for the advent of World War III. Four kids who came out of Forest Hills, New York suburbia, who all wanted to fight in Vietnam but ended up playing rock `n` roll instead, “cuz there`s nothin` left on the radio ta listen to no more.”
I`m not sure if they provide what I want to hear on my radio either, their interpretation of the rock ethic being akin to having your brain pulverised by a bloody mallet, but they got spirit. Waiting for their sound check, bass player Dee Dee is already complaining about the lack of power leaving his stack and the English sound crew aren`t taking the slating too kindly. The grudge will later culminate in a screaming row between band and console at the concert.
See – The Ramones don`t take the realities of the electronic medium into account: their idea of playing is to plug in with the amps juiced to maximum level and don`t let nothin` come in the way of their fingers and your ears. They perform so it hurts. Ramone rock forbids the audience to pass pleasantries while it goes down. In return Johnny Ramone leaves the stage with gore-soaked hands most nights, flesh cut to ribbons for the sake of taking your lobes somewhere they were never intended to go.

They write songs about murders, hustling male prostitutes, and mundane nihilism. The most optimistic vignette in the Ramone lexicon is to do with sniffing glue:
“Now I wanna sniff some
glue
Now I wanna have somethin`
to do
All the kids wanna sniff
some glue
All the kids want somethin`
to do.”
The only overtly classy thing about the Ramones is actually their manager, Danny Fields, a sweet-natured PR whose previous credits with the business include keeping Jim Morrison sober and trying to break down the curse that surrounds Iggy Stooge. Even he`s got his work cut out with this lot, though. It`s rumoured that a Ramone won`t do an interview unless Danny is present to explain the long words. Some people say that Fields has to read out their press to them as well.
This isn`t altogether fair. Guitarist Johnny and drummer Tommy, the usual spokesmen for the group, are the sort of guys who would have left school in the fourth year. It`s doubtful whether Dee Dee and Joey ever got that far. They have that kind of New York subway. Bowery boy and Queens madness graffitied all over. They sound like the characters from Top Cat: Dee Dee is Brains, Joey is Fancy, Johnny is Chu-Chu and Tommy is Benny.

Still, what they lack in normal intelligence they make up for in cleanliness which puts `em several steps closer to God than all those smelly hippy bands. When I interviewed them at the Kennedy Hotel there was a queue for the bathroom. Dee Dee is reckoned to consume three showers per day (“Nuts to da woiter shoitage”) and the only times I ever saw him he was drying his hair. They make the Dolls look positively grubby.
The room is cluttered with punk ephemera: leather belts and garbage pulp mags full of archly self-conscious interviews with Big Apple street runts trying desperately to out do each other. The Ramones are a definite part of that schtick manager Danny has several fingers in both Punk and 16, and those mags like The Bay City Rollers, so you can tell where they`re at.
Dee Dee is attempting to slip into something tight, a tee-shirt that Danny gave him with Mae West on it. He purports not to know who Miss West is, which I find easy enough to believe: “Ain`t she da ugliest chick ya ever saw?” he quips. “Dat`s why I wear it. I dunno who she is, but she sure is ugly.” The interview was conducted in the presence of Dee Dee and Johnny, and most of it plays back like the scripted version of Steinbeck`s Of Mice And Men; no prizes for guessing who Lennie is. Danny was there too to prompt his siblings.
I ask where exactly they play now, with Sire Records pushing for acceptance outside New York in an effort to manufacture the first punk outfit who are popular away from the unrepresentative environs of their home town. It`s significant that no comparable band, with the exception of Kiss, have ever made it pay out of the urban sprawl. The Punk syndrome so far has been characterised by its built-in auto-destruction, so according to the schedule The Ramones have one year in which to bank their takings before another sensation replaces them. Today your love, tomorrow Mink De Ville or Blondie.

Johnny is adamant that they are an exception to this rule: “We play outa New York too. We did a two thousand seater with Johnny Winter at Waterbury, Connecticut. That`s our biggest concert so far, and tonight.” Dee Dee:
“I had ta dodge a lotta bottles there. I wanted to get the hell out. Are the kids gonna throw things tonight? Will they like us?”
While I`m searching for an answer to this heartfelt question, Johnny inadvertently puts his elbow on the master switch for all the lights in the room. Dee Dee jumps up like a bat out hell.
Danny: “Did you did that? Who did that? Now we`ll never get the T.V. on again.”
Dee Dee grunts quietly while Johnny fiddles around with the switch. The lights come back on and Dee Dee beams. “Did I do that?”
Johnny: “The audience was old but it`s starting to get younger, the kids `re mostly…”
Dee Dee: “Nuts.”
Danny: “The kids who go to concerts at the beginning of something are living on their own anyway.”
Unlike their predecessors, The Ramones, through the cagey auspices of Fields, have secured a five year `real deal` out of Sire Records and obtained quite a bit of advance money too. With full promotion they have a substantial advantage over The Dolls on their Mercury days, and much better gear.
Dee Dee: “We spent a fortune in equipment.”
The Marshalls they`re using at the Roundhouse are rented however.
Dee Dee: “We wouldn`t use that crap.”
Johnny: “But we have the same stuff at home.”
Dee Dee: “We have the best. Before our contract we had nuthin`” (he starts to shout dangerously like Brando in On The Waterfront). “NUTHIN`.”

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He returns to fondling his beer can, combing the tangles out of that cute sheep dog fringe, and staring at the T.V. which has the sound turned off.
I start going into a daze, trying to remember the facts The Ramones number on behalf of their credibility: like how Tommy was run over by a taxi-cab; how the missing link Ritchie had to be locked up in a mental institution; how they used to rip off T.V.`s and throw them off thirty storey roofs; how they give away lethal baseball bats after every gig. And how they`re still only twenty three and twenty four!
Johnny tells me about The Dolls. “They`re from a previous generation of bands, they were already breaking up when we started. Anyhow, they never really made it out of New York by going on the road. Still, we got a lot of inspiration from that scene.”
Field butts in tactfully: “Don`t write them off, they`ve reformed with a new guitarist. They could be back, and besides their importance was to provide a ready-made market for this kind of music.”
Brains raises himself from the realms of apparent slumber: “I tink dey were de best and…”
Johnny interrupts “For the audience, the clothes, those devoted followers are still there.”
Yeah but they had a lot of drug problems. Do you take drugs? I ask nosily.
Brains: “One of `em died. Dat`s a big problem.” He chuckles contentedly at this bon mot.
Danny offers me his soda water by way of an answer, but Dee Dee is still mumbling “…a nut for a manager.” He pulls up his comic shirt to reveal an ugly flesh scar about two by six with thread marks you file your nails on.
(The actual story on The Dolls at present as related to me by Sable Star (travelling with Greg Shaw, the Flamin` Groovies` manager) is that the lads are starving on government security. Meanwhile Johnny Thunders, Sable`s ex-beau along with Nickee and Dave Johansen had joined up with ex-drummer Jerry Nolan and erstwhile Television anaemic Richard Hell to colate The Heartbreakers. Confusing innit? Unfortunately their other guitarist, Walter, once of the Demons, is dying from a brain tumour.)

We move on to who writes what – all songs being credited to the band as a unit. Johnny responds cautiously: “We all write `em. We`re influenced by old hit singles: Freddy Cannon, Buddy Holly, Presley, Roy Orbison, Peter Lemonjello, and Joey likes Peter Noone. There`s more recent things – heavier rock. MC5, the Stooges (Fields also managed them a few years back and Lou Reed. He must be some kind of masochist). The album took a week to finish. Three days for the music, four for the vocals. It was cheap.”
So where does the image come from?
“That`s how we are. We`re nice too but I guess we are sick and deranged. We`re mean… uh… we try to be mean, there`s a lot of built-up hostility and, what`s the word Danny, oh frustration from life. I hope we ain`t burnin` out though. We have a lot of energy. We rest all day and sometimes it don`t get used up.”
I remind them of the follow-up to their image, the fact that they`ve been represented as dumb in the papers. Johnny says it takes intelligence to be original but Dee Dee is far more emphatic on the matter:
“We don`t go around hittin` people but we used ta. Anyhow we may not be the brightest guys on the world… but I don`t think I`m no mutant weed.”
Johnny: “People say Joey`s dumb, cos he don`t talk too much” (Dee Dee, appreciating this idiosyncrasy laughs uproariously). “We don`t sit around and look at the walls. The words on the album don`t mean nuthin`. We put `em in because they rhyme, it`s total nonsense. Same with the lyric sheet. So people could read and get familiar with good lyrics, otherwise no-one would understand them.”
See, they have no pretensions to being anything other than is obvious at first sight. Because they`ve been on the level I ask what kind of music they hate most:

Johnny: “Can we say anything, Danny?”
Danny: “Just say jazz.”
Johnny: “Oh, not as much as disco.”
Danny: “Don`t you hate jazz more than disco?”
“No, I hate disco more, but jazz is really grating.”
Dee Dee: “Jazz is like bein` dragged through the walls.”
Johnny: “In a way our music is similar to disco with the lines repeating over and over and the beat. I don`t like folk music either.”
As it`s almost time to leave for the concert I prompt Danny into telling me why he ever agreed to manage The Ramones: “It was like The Doors. After five seconds of seeing them I knew I wanted to work with Morrison, and The Ramones have that too. After five seconds I knew I was in the presence of something original. They will be playing in big places soon. Maybe a lot of people hate it but a lot of people love it and those people are going to make them big.”
Dee Dee, who is nearly falling off the edge of the bed by this time, raises his eyes momentarily from the silent screen: “I dunno about that. But I like playin` big hotels.”
On the way out to the car Joey reappeared through a crack on the door. As he stumbled out to the limo all eyes in the hotel turned towards him but he was blissfully oblivious. Fields was looking flustered by this time, particularly as it seemed to take a lifetime to load them all in the car, not usually a difficult operation. Finally it was decided that Joey was indeed too tall to squeeze with any comfort in the back seat. Danny pulls him out crossly and motions tetchily at the front door. “You sit in there Joey,” he sighs.
The driver is wondering what exactly he`s let himself in for. He`s not the only one.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits 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: Paul McCartney, Twiggy, Stuart Sutcliffe, The Flamin` Groovies, Ian Hunter, The Who, Eric Clapton, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Jefferson Starship, Weather Report, Roxy Music, The Crusaders.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
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 Ian Hunter FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, JULY 17, 1976

Having a re-think here. As some of you know I will always print articles with the 5 most read bands/artists on this blog. Today these artists are in an all-time perspective: Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow), Deep Purple, Lemmy (Hawkwind), Steve Howe and Ian Hunter.
This is part of the reason for the article printed today.
To shake things up and make it easier for other artists to be featured I will change this list from now on to be the 5 most read artist/bands in the last year, counting from whatever date that I post something. I hope this will inspire you to share articles with your favourite artists.
And the ones leading the pack right now are: David Bowie, Lemmy, Paul Kossoff (Free), Pink Floyd and Marc Bolan.

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Hunter opts out of suicide plan…

Removing his shades to reveal those innermost thoughts, our man discourses on America`s problems and some of his own.

By Charles Shaar Murray

“I`m not into committin` suicide for rock and roll. I`ve thought about it on numerous occasions, but I figured, `Well, no, man…`”
Ian Hunter, upper facial sector fearlessly bared to the elements, whatever elements may be lurking in a hotel room at three in the morning (This means that he had his shades off – Ed), is simultaneously demonstrating the elegance of his sprawling technique and his skill at the noble and arcane craft of speaking coherently with a minimum of blood in his alcohol stream.
“`…if you`re going to be a miserable bastard, you might as well be a miserable bastard in relative comfort`.”
These days, Our Mister `Untah may be a bit too old and a bit too rich to maintain his membership in the International Punko Society, but when the majestically snotty head waiter barring the door of the hotel restaurant refuses to admit your genial reporter, his celebrated subject and their respective lovely wives on account of Ian is wearing a singlet and jeans, it would seem that age and money do absolutely nothing to bridge some of them old `60s gaps.
And to think that Ian once recorded Sonny Bono`s “Laugh At Me”, a song written after El Bonola got tossed out of a dumb L.A. nosheteria because of his unpruned follicles.
Talk about ironies! Talk about twist endings!
Anyway, we get served someplace else, talk about this and that, get ferociously pissed and return to the hotel to discuss the other thing; said other thing being I.H.`s nifty thought-provoking new album`s worth of toons, “All American Alien Boy.”
Those of you who haven`t yet obtained a copy thereof please rectify said omission instantaneously or sooner; you can finish this when you get back and you`ll find it a lot clearer.

“AAAB” is a living-in-America as opposed to being-a-tourist-in-America album, and like the album, Hunter`s conversation reflects his alternating delight, confusion and horror at his adopted home (“If you took all the ladies out of Bath and York and put `em in San Francisco you`d have the most magnificent place in the world, but it`s full of weirdos”).
He`ll rap on about American politics (which subject had previously aroused in him the most profound absence of interest) with, I`m afraid, more energy and lucidity than sophistication, and then toss a hand-grenade at the departing back of the topic by pointing out, “I tried to keep it light because what does a kid who lives in Warrington care about American politics?
“Everything`s different over there. The garages, the supermarkets, even the milk. They put poison in the bacon…”
I yawned. To this day I`ll swear it was the wine.
“Stop yawning when I`m talking!” responds Mr. `Untah, and proceeds to recount an occasion when your friend and mine Lester Bangs stitched him up by waiting until the assembled company “had got completely spaced and then all of a sudden out of the blue he asked, `What do you care about the poor people?` Oh, Christ. I knew exactly how that was gonna come out in print…”
Truth to tell, I`d contemplated no particular verbal ambush or journalistic mugging – but Ian had set himself up so nice. “Well, what do you care about the poor people?”
“That`s personal. I mean, if you`ve been to St. Louis and you`ve seen Martin Luther King Boulevarde in February and you`ve got any feelings at all… it`s weird, man, seeing people in light summer coats when it`s 20 below, standing around in doorways.

“They try and go into the shops where it`s warm, and they get kicked out. The dogs shiver in their sleep. I was on Martin Luther King Boulevarde just after they`d cleared part of it; they`d just put a lot of black people into a new complex, but they weren`t allowed to take their dogs and there were a lot of wild dogs hangin` about.
“It was real ironic that this was on Martin Luther King Boulevarde, which was supposed to be a tribute to him, but it was derelict. The dogs were sleeping in the gutters and shaking from the cold. What do you do with that?
“I couldn`t even write a song about it. That`s bursting into tears time because you feel like a prat that it ain`t happenin` to you, and you feel that you should go out there and give `em ten grand, but I didn`t. I`m remarkably stupid on that level, because I don`t really react until two days later. Believe me, I`m genuine about this: I really suffer for that.
“But not half as much as the people who have to live it. I mean, I live all right. If we genuinely cared for everybody who didn`t have nothin` we`d be dead within a week from the sheer agony of that carin`. It`s a weird world; very primitive, very middle ages. The word `modern` is obscene.”
I recalled talking to Bowie after his Trans-Siberian jaunt three years ago, and D.B. saying that 75 per cent of Russia`s population were still living in the 13th century.
“Well, that just about sums David Bowie up. He`s a remarkably stupid person when he`s talking on an international level, because he don`t know anythin` about anythin`.”
But he loves talking in those terms.
“I know, but he just talks through `is arse. It`s just that the word `modern` is so weird. I`ve always found that the height of pretention – `modern`. When I was workin` on demolition in Northampton, we were renovatin` a place which had been a newspaper office, and we found papers from 1812. It was just like today`s paper. They had H.P.: it was like 13 quid for a Welsh dresser and a table and four chairs and it was like two quid down, two bob a month. The prices were different, but the write-ups were exactly the same.

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“They burn witches now just like they burned witches then. That`s why I observe more than participate. I ain`t got much truck with people, really…
“That`s why I`m more resigned; that`s why I can`t summon up, perhaps, the energy that Bowie would have. I could be wrong, I could be terribly wrong, but I just don`t think it`s all worth bothering about except to see that I`m all right, that I get through. I haven`t got suicidal tendencies or anything; it`s just that it`s absurd, so enjoy yourself in your own little way, `cos the crusaders of the `60s… oh, God, you oughta see `em. They`re all writin` books now. It`s pathetic!
“All the revolutionaries sayin` `Oh, we didn`t mean it. Actually we did attempt to incite a riot.` Rolling Stone was founded on the fact that they didn`t…”
Ian Hunter tells himself and others that he`s not concerned midway through a rap wherein mention of any of his recent songs leads into discussion of matters political, social, religious, economic or ethical.
He writes an album three-quarters devoted to such topics (“On the last album most of the lyrics were invented. I hate writing like that; I much prefer to have a headful of lyrics which just come out.”), is an avatar of defiant punkhood, and makes an album with only two hard-rock tracks on it, will declare himself unimpressed by the Feelgoods and The Ramones but enthuse about Sailor.

He will declare himself shocked and surprised when critics cite Dylan references when discussing “AAAB,” an album so redolent of the Zim`s mannerisms that the comparison has arisen spontaneously from every single person to whom I`ve played it; who keeps his bread (but definitely not his head) well down under them floorboards; who will self-consciously short-circuit an idea out of sheer self-deprecation even when it`s more than worth following up and then almost instantaneously become criminally self-indulgent with something that`s little more than the conceptual equivalent of a leaky bucket.
He will take himself seriously when he should be taking the piss, and bring himself down when he should keep on keepin` on.
Still, Ian Hunter has purpose, passion and perception; he has enough sophistication to know when not to be sophisticated; and he controls his ego rather than vice versa. Plus he has a conscience and a sense of humour.
After all, he ain`t committing suicide for rock and roll. Which is just as well at a time when (as Ritchie Blackmore once said) “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits 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: Paul McCartney, Twiggy, Stuart Sutcliffe, The Flamin` Groovies, The Ramones, The Who, Eric Clapton, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Jefferson Starship, Weather Report, Roxy Music, The Crusaders.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
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 Ted Nugent FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, JUNE 19, 1976

This album was originally released in september 1975, but I guess it wasn`t released in the UK before the summer of 1976. Strange to think that in those days you couldn`t get hold of an album until it was released in your country (or pay hugely by buying it on import). As we know – these days the albums get “leaked” on the internet even before they are released. How times have changed.
A very favourable review of a album that still remains one of the greatest “guitar-oriented” albums out there. There are some really classic stuff on this one, so if you haven`t already got it – buy it! It is well worth your money.

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Hell on earth and a lorry-load of dollars

TED NUGENT (CBS)

By Max Bell

Once upon a time the idea of liking Ted Nugent And The Amboy Dukes was considered remarkably unhip. Poor old Ted and his boys were the butt of many a knowing jest, usually based around their supposed ineptitude and crass handling of some of rock `n ` roll`s… uh… more simple trademarks.
I always liked The Dukes myself; sure they were a rotten band, but occasionally Ted produced the goods on schedule and confounded his critics by revealing some potential lurking beneath that morass of Detroit sick grunge.
“Marriage On The Rocks”, if you ever see it, is something of a minor league classic. I picked it up for a few pesetas in a Spanish supermarket five years ago and I`ve been trying to convert the odd passer-by to its manifold merits (with nought success I might add).
Ted`s second period regeneration has been even more fruitful in terms of albums, fruitless in terms of actual success.
“Call Of The Wild” and “Tooth, Fang And Claw” are really fine examples of spreading a few ideas a long way and remarkably dense little numbers in their own way.
Recognition seemed to be a long way round the corner though until now.
Minus the Amboy Dukes moniker, but plus a host of renewed confidence, the diamond coated Nugent has finally cracked the egg and got on the good side of his public mirage. If you say you like him today no-one will show you the closet. Times change.

For those who listen “Stranglehold”, the eight-minute extravaganza opening side one, is a veritable melee of guitar prowess, killer riffs and stirring seventh wave crescendo chords.
The replacement of Vic “Bolognese” Mastrianni by Cliff Davies has added another dimension to the rhythm section, an area of Ted`s entourage which was sadly lacking sparkle previously. Here he`s left to his own devices, migration axe laid on thick and slow, moody charged energy.
He is working the same territory as John Cippolina and Gary Duncan, a vintage string of cavalry bugle call and response mechanism that leaves most competition flat on their respective floors.
The final spiel from Ted on death is a superb advert for his own madcap excess. Muscular showmanship from a man who fights off assassin squads with a burst of Gibson-drenched buckshot.
“Stormtroopin`” (Nugent`s knowledge of the English language doesn`t encompass the letter G`) continues the American high frequency signal destroyer.
Laid back is not a term often found in Ted`s handbook. Davies` heartbeat slick rock percussion, Rob Grange`s foil bass and Derek St. Holmes additional rhythm guitar all undercut the main man who makes every British flash outfit sound old and tired.
Large doses of chauvinistic macho spitfire dribble all over the disc. Lyrics about guns, arson; nothing too nasty except the vocals.

Now a H.M. group is only as good as its vocalist and here the boys fall down with the occasional thump until Nugent hauls them up again.
“Hey Baby” owes a whole lot to Free and their ilk though it lacks Rodgers and Co`s mastery of the on-off motif. They don`t so much stop and start as never let up; gets a mite wearing after a while.
“Just What The Doctor Ordered” is a similar slice of front line boogie, nothing unusual but guaranteed to get any alive audience in the world tearing down the walls.
If they`d had Nugent at Jericho the fracas could have been over immediately. He makes some acceptably horrible noises.
On the other side “Snakeskin Cowboys” (what a flair for the catchy title) is directed to the front stage murder platoons who dig this sound in the Mid West and South where Ted is already a legend.
Actually the lyrics are dreadful, but that doesn`t matter much. In the old days The Dukes battled with such philosophical problemata as “Why Is A Carrot More Orange Than An Orange” and it got them as far as zilch gulch, no paddle.
Nugent`s guitar style is all about eliciting a certain response, probably violent blood-letting hysteria, and he succeeds in unblocking most frustration taps with his standard block bar rhythm chords. The rock and roll plumber strikes again.
Nugent no longer needs to indulge in money-spinning Jack Elam leatherette guitar battles to earn his keep.
Recently the band have been supporting the largest combo in this universe, Aerosmith to you (more popular than either The Stones or Zeppelin, let me tell ya, in the States). Choice indoor gigs like an 86,000 indoor Detroit stadium. Hell on earth and a lorry load of dollars.
Prediction: by the end of this year Nugent and Bob Seger will have joined the ranks that separate small fish from huge monsters. This time he`s sharpening his teeth on broken glass.
I think you`d better get Ted Nugent before he gets you.

TedNugentFront

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits 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: Michael Chapman, Roger McGuinn, The Beatles, ZZ Top, Bob Marley, Sly and the Family Stone, Eric Burdon Band, Genesis, Streetwalkers.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
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 ZZ Top FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, JUNE 19, 1976

This is a nice one. This article reveals where the inspiration for some of the moves that they later filmed for several of their most popular songs/videos came from. I like these tidbits of information that you sometimes find when you dig in a bands history. The journalist didn`t like this Texan band, but I dig them. In many ways they have had the same trajectory in their career that Heart had. First they did their own thing, then they had some years with a more “commercial” sound bringing them fame and money along with the hits. Later they went back to their roots and have stayed there since.

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Traumatic Texans` culture explained

Everything`s big in Texas. ZZ Top are very big in Texas. ZZ Top are also very loud in Texas – naturally. Later this year they`re going to be very loud in Britain. Stann Findelle reports.

From the very first time Z.Z. Top played the Whiskey, in 1971, to their delusionary tour commencing this summer during which the average house size will hold 50,000 foaming fandangoers, their music has probably been one of rock`s loudest snores – snoozin`, boozin`, and three guys who seemed to know one whole chord apiece.
Their sound has carried the blushing young listener clear over the pain threshold without the slightest mercy or remorse. So what did we ever do to deserve these gutter punkos in pointy boots and matching heads?
Some rockers call their guitars axes. It`s rumoured that Billy Gibbons manhandles a rewired axe handle used by Lester Maddox to keep darkies out of his restaurant. But, heckfire, thousands of people are showing up for this music. They can`t all be relatives of the roadies. Backstage, after a typical hard-core, three-encore blitz of the forum (just a little ol` place at 18,000) the band seemed less hostile than expected, wiping their brows clean with some coldcuts. There are no drugs in sight. And not a disparaging word to be heard save for the usual anxiety of the management who believes Z.Z. are consistently getting the cold shoulder and the hard backhand from the press.
“We`re not at all concerned with bad press,” reports bassist Dusty Hill. “If we were, there wouldn`t be time for anything else. All we`re interested in is the people,” immediately dismissing yours truly as some kind of cro-magnon species.
Drummer Frank Beard chimes in: “We just want to play. Period.”
Well, enough neanderthals shelled out in excess of 10 million for concert tickets last year (according to Performance box office charts) and their albums have sold more than three million units, so they`re playing all right. And somehow, the critical barbs don`t feel so pointed when you`re insulated with that kind of dough.

To be equitable, we dissected the group`s alleged lyrics to discover what quantities of healthy creative tissue might reside within what looked to the casual critic to be a monstrous musical tumour. Thus the consultation with Mr. Stephen Peeples, a Tex-Mex suitcase-in-his-hand researcher who dove right into the spleen of Texas, Houston, where Z.Z. hides away from prying eyes.
He found that while the “music is blatantly derivative, the lyrics are 95% original, and written about off-the-wall experiences of their wide open environs.”
This was quite a shock for me, as I`ve never been able to comprehend a single word below all the static electricity the Toppers generate on stage. Seems most of it has to do with women, wine, women, gambling, women, growing up in Texas, women, whorehouses and oh yeah, women.
Mr. Peeples believes that Texas` 60`s psyche subculture played an overtly outrageous counterpart to the Berkeley manifestations. Lead singer Billy Gibbons had a psychedelic raunch and roll band called Moving Sidewalks during this period in Houston, while Beard and Hill assaulted Dallas bars in a similar group.
Gibbons started Z.Z. in 1969 and replaced his former two supporters with Hill and Beard.
One of their culturally inspired tunes is “La Grange,” a tale about a Chicken Ranch brothel in south-eastern – yew guessed it – Texas. Lenny Bruce used to do a satire about a man being caught by his wife making love to a chicken. But this wasn`t nearly as subtle.
Gibbons growls the nasal passages at the beginning of this “classic”:
“Rumour was spreadin`
`round
in that Texas town
`bout the shack outside La
Grange
(you know what I`m talkin`
about)
just let me know
if ya wanna go
to the home out on the range
– they gotta lotta nice
gals)…”

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Gibbons` lyrical beating around the bush must seem all too quaint to those of us accustomed to more overt flesh peddling. However, when the virgin ears of a Houston reporter caught the drift (in spite of the minor chord noise) of “La Grange,” he tried to get the tune banned and the place closed.
He failed on both counts. It seemed “La Grange” was too much of an institution in Texas, second only to the Alamo in visitors per annum.
Beard recalls: “It was the Waldorf of whorehouses. The customers weren`t allowed to cuss or look drunk. When a boy gets to a certain age, he becomes a man there. You gotta be 21 to get in. There was an old coloured woman to check your fake I.D. at the door.”
“There`d be a line o` girls sittin` on a couch and they`d all have their legs crossed the same way,” Beard continued, implying that he and his friends all had their eyes crossed the same way simultaneously. “They`d be swingin` their legs together in time, like clockwork, and the customers would be sitting on another couch across from them like shy guys waiting at a high school dance to cross the floor to the lovelies.
“Everyone knew about La Grange,” Beard leered. “A sheriff later broke a few of the prude reporter`s ribs.”
More healthy disrespect for the journalistic profession, I note.

And now more Texas sociology:
“In those days, if you weren`t on a de-virginisation flight, an alternative activity among Houston`s teen-age men was a pilgrimage to the street to vie with your buddies as to who could pull off the most “insane stunt.”
Gibbons wrote “Master of Sparks” about one of these confrontations.
“There was this old black man named Slim who worked on one of the big farms outside of the town. He was an expert welder, and he made us a cage on wheels with a bucket seat in it. We loaded it on an old pick-up truck and drove it with a kid strapped in it at 59 miles per hour or more.”
I`m beginning to realise where Z.Z.`s music is really coming from.
Here`s Z.Z. discussing some of their attempts at jazz:
“We spent three days trying to work the riff into every tune we do but it just wouldn`t fit.”
Gibbons offered “Dusty and I are working on some different vocal directions, like some fifths in our harmonies.”
The members feel they`re living in the “shadow of their reputation.”
“We haven`t played Europe yet. They`re not familiar with our concert style. We might feel a little more free. Not that we`re not free in the States. It`s just we won`t be facing the same kind of prejudice when we play Europe this year.”
I give the tasteful people of Europe about three minutes to develop their prejudice. For me Z.Z. Top still spells, a big zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Still, they`ve got a lotta fans… specially in Texas.

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King of cassettes in the mid-70s. 

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits 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: Michael Chapman, Roger McGuinn, The Beatles, Ted Nugent, Bob Marley, Sly and the Family Stone, Eric Burdon Band, Genesis, Streetwalkers.

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: geirmykl@gmail.com
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.