Say what you want about Sid being a shit bassist, he would have made a fucking great front man. Just look at him! And give the RUGGED MAN SONG OF THE WEEK™ a play over there while you’re at it. Horrible live recording, but he had the goods as a rock vocalist.
According to ancient punk lore, he actually came very close to fronting a band. Twice. The Damned asked him to audition when they were first getting together. Sneaky Dave Vanian had other plans, and sabotaged the rehearsal so he could try out first. Seems Vanian (or an associate) told Sid the band had canceled at the last minute, while Captain Sensible and the boys just assumed Sid no-showed.
Then one day, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood were discussing who would make a good lead singer for this new band Malcolm was going to manage. Vivienne suggested one of the Johns who hung around the shop all the time, because he had a great look. Malcolm assumed she meant John Lydon; she really meant John Ritchie – AKA John Beverly, AKA Sid Vicious.
Would the Pistols have had the same impact without Lydon’s brilliant, confrontational lyrics? Arguably not. Still …
BONUS: Here’s an interview Judy Vermorel conducted with Sid for her book, Sex Pistols: The Inside Story. Like most 20-year-olds, Mr. Vicious is in turns insightful and moronic.
This looks fun! Careful, this is the red band trailer.
READY OR NOT follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband’s (Mark O’Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival.
Check out “Twink” miming with The Pretty Things for a bewildered French TV audience. Ever heard of Twink? I hadn’t, so I poked around on Google. Nicknamed after a British hair product, Twink was a mime, drummer, close friend of Syd Barrett, and general scenester of the London psychedelic underground. He played drums with an early version of T. Rex, with Syd Barret occasionally, on one Pretty Things album, and with the Pink Fairies. In the early 70’s, he was in Hawkwind with Lemmy. His band The Rings were on the ground floor of the London punk scene in ’77. Some refer to their lone single, “I Wanna be Free” as England’s first punk record. It’s not very good compared to what was about to come from the Damned, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Clash, and Jam.
What led me to this video was my fondness for The Pretty Things, a very good British r&b band who never made any headway in the U.S. Their guitarist, Dick Taylor, had been in an early version of the Stones. Like the Stones, their forays into psychedelia were not always memorable, as you can hear above. You can hear them at their best here and here. Their raucous version of Roadrunner is my favorite cover of that song.
Dimitri Shostakovich wrote this (2nd movement, Symphony #10) as a musical portrait of Stalin, who had harrassed him directly and indirectly throughout his career. This is pure malevolence, published after Stalin was safely dead. While Uncle Joe was alive, DS was mostly confined to putting out government approved, “socalist realist” garbage, while keeping much of his “real” work private. Occasionally he could put one over on the Soviets and follow the letter of their requirements while mocking them. One cool thing is that in the finale of this same symphony, he has a theme based on his initials, DSCH, vie for dominance against the Stalin theme from this movement. DSCH wins. Artistic revenge at its finest. “He who laughs last, laughs longest.”
The conductor seems a little too into his hair, and I’m not sure why he appears to be grinning during this grim business. But you’ve gotta give him credit, his musicians are playing the hell out of this. He made his reputation whipping these young Venezuelans into a respectable unit. He’s since gone on to greener pastures in LA.
In his second punk documentary, filmmaker Danny “Looking for Johnny” Garcia takes a deep dive into the life and legacy of the Dead Boys front man. Included in STIV is some rare footage and lore about Stiv’s surprising career before and after the Dead Boys, as well as the hilarious stories and hijinks one associates with the punk legend who died at age 40 in 1990.
Those crazy Russians. I wonder how much vodka had to be consumed to create the sport of professional slapping. Nothing works the politburo into a tizzy like 2 shirtless dudes slapping the shit out of each other. Fast forward to about the 2:30 mark for the action…