Thursday, March 09, 2006

Culture Clash or Creative Cohabitation?


A lot of the punk hipsters I know would balk at this photo of punk rock hero Joey Ramone with so-called "classic" or "top 40" rocker, Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites. They would believe (and they would be wrong) that Joey and Rick and their bands had nothing in common. Not true. Joey turned up at the Georgia Satellites Irving Plaza show in NYC on a cold night in December, 1988. I had gone to see Keith Richards at the enormo dome in New Jersey. Satellites frontman Dan Baird came along as well because of his die-hard appreciation of Keith's opening band, The Replacements. We got to Irving Plaza just in time for Dan to go onstage. Of course, Rick and Joey had been hanging out all night long chatting it up. Later, Joey joined the Satellites for a rocking version of "I Wanna Be Sedated."
Joey Ramone with Georgia Satellites

Oh - and Ian Hunter was there too.

Ian Hunter & Georgia Satellites

Rock is rock. These particular musicians share an appreciation for each other's devotion to their craft, their record collections and their influences AND The Beatles.

In Los Angeles during the early punk rock years, it was also pretty much a harmonious cohabitation between bands of different genres. While its no secret that the punks (especially the British) loved reggae, in Los Angeles, they embraced rockabilly...that's where X got a lot of their seeminginly unique, stand-apart-from-the-crowd sound - from John Doe's appreciation of American roots music.

X on Lobotomy Night

Stiv Bators, a real punk pioneer moved easily between genres of rock, punk rock, glam and pop. For him, it was all about the costumes - he always rocked hard and humorous.

Stiv LIVE
As a pop singer

Gothic Stiv
Wearing Goth gear

LA based Go Go's and Blasters were part and parcel of the punk scene, but the Go Go's became mainstream radio darlings, while the Blasters held down the American roots thing for their entire career (and still do)

Dave Alvin & his ladies

Of the latter day underground music heroes, Mick Collins, one-third of the 90s garage rock defining Gories floats seamlessly between rock n roll (don't call his thing "garage" ok?), soul, pop and as a DJ, some truly out there house, disco and Euro stuff. But his pedigree is untarnished as far as I am concerned.

Soul Man

And within the Dirtbombs revolving membership, Mick has played with musicians whose talents transcend the genre-typing.

Former bassist Tom Potter was the king of noise as the innovative leader of the 2-piece guitar/drums combo Bantam Rooster a few years before Jack and Meg White took the primitive 2-piece thing to the Grammys. Potter funked out with his Detroit City Council too... one of the few Detroit funk bands that had black guys in them...

Detroit City Council
Detroit City Council, 2004

Tom Potter, 10

Troy Gregory quite possibly the coolest guy in Detroit, easily plays in the Dirtbombs too but has contributed his instrumental prowess to the unlikely gamut of Killing Joke, Prong, Flotsam and Jetsam and the country/folk Volebeats.

Troy in NYC-38

Back in the days when "pub rock" was all the rage (Nick Lowe and his various cronies ranging from Dave Edmunds to Elvis Costello and Dr Feelgood, there was a young band called Eddie and the Hot Rods who had a single called "Do Anything You Wanna Do." The punks embraced it even though it had high production values and a big pop edge. In 1977, when we heard that record, it was the sentiment punks lived by: "Do anything you wanna do."

I think you will agree there's punk sentiment in these lyrics:

Gonna break out of this city
Leave the people here behind
Searching for adventure is the type of life to find
Tired of doing day jobs with no thanks for what I do
I'm sure I must be someone
Now I'm gonna find out who

Why don't you ask them what they expect from you
Why don't you tell them what you are gonna do
You'll get so lonely, maybe it's better that way
It ain't your only you've got something to say

Do anything you wanna do
Do anything you wanna do

Don't need no politician tell me things I shouldn't need
Neither no optician tell me what I ought to see
Noone tells you nothing even when you know they know
But they tell you what you should do
They don't like to see you grow

Why don't you ask them what they expect from you
Why don't you tell them what you are gonna do
You'll get so lonely, maybe it's better that way
It ain't your only you've got something to say

Do anything you wanna do
Do anything you wanna do

Gonna break out of this city
Leave the people here behind
Searching for adventure is the type of life to find
Tired of doing day jobs with no thanks for what I do
I'm sure I must be someone
Now I'm gonna find out who

Why don't you ask them what they expect from you
Why don't you tell them what you are gonna do
You'll get so lonely, maybe it's better that way
It ain't your only you've got something to say

Do anything you wanna do
Do anything you wanna do
Do anything you wanna do
Do anything you wanna do

1 comment:

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

How odd to see the Rods' lyrics quoted after all these years.

I was fortunate to see them twice while their first album was only in circulation. The band played the songs so fast it was all the singer could do to keep up.

And the second time I saw them, after the buzz about the band had spread and there was a considerable line-up to get in the club, the boys came out and chatted up the crowd. Rock 'n' roll was never to be the same.

Rick Wakeman sat in his estate stewing.