Punk 77 is one of my favorite websites. Its comprehensive. However, a few months ago, while scrolling through their US bands section, I saw there was NOTHING there on the Alley Cats. I was in a real Alley Cats mood for a while, so I dropped the folks at Punk 77 a line, some info on the band and a photo, and to my delight - the Alley Cats are now a part of Punk 77's US bands section! DO check out Punk 77 - there's some new stuff up there right now that I think you'll really like - they caught up with the Slits and its great that you can find out what's new with those ladies. I so enjoyed seeing the Slits at the Whisky. Nothing like a little punky reggae.
Before I go on with the other cool sites you should check out, I wanted to let you know of a GREAT cover of the Alley Cats "Nothing Means Nothing" by the Memphis band River City Tanlines fronted by the awesome rock lady Alicja Trout. Her own Contaminated Records label put it out. You can give it a listen at her myspace page.
Last Fall, when I came back to LA to shoot a feature film, I hoped to start seeing all my old pals from back in the day...sure enough, I started to see them. Terry Graham told me that Alice Bag had moved to Phoenix. What a bummer. Well, there's still her fantastic website, alicebag.com where she has an amazing collection of flyers and other memoriabilia scanned, as well as a growing collection of interviews of LA Women in Punk. I was so thrilled to see new interviews with the likes of Lisa Fancher of Frontier Records, fellow photog, Dawn Wirth, and indie filmmaker goddess, Allison Anders. What's the most beautiful thing about Alice's website is her insight and words of encouragement to people who read it...she's talking on one level about memory and punk rock, but over all, she is talking about life.
I did get a chance to see and catch up with Pandoras bass player Julie Patchouli who lovingly maintains a Pandoras website and was so kind to give me a scan of a photo I gave her about 20 years ago. Here's that photo of the lovely Pandoras.
There was some wonderful quality time from Christmas onwards with my dear friend Jackie Sharp, a principal of the cool San Francisco collective from the 70s and 80s, Target Video. Not only did we hang and catch up, we braved a power outtage by watching "Magical Mystery Tour" on my laptop's DVD player. Oh the wonders of battery-powered players! We could not have done that in the 70s. But, that's not the highlight...we watched a lot of DVD's, including Don Letts's documentary, "Punk Attitude" and the DVD package includes Dick Rude's take on LA Punk. Thanks for adding that. There should be MORE though! Jackie also showed me some of the Target shows that are now being released on DVD - the infamous Cramps at Napa State Hospital, the Screamers live at Target and so many other bands that Target shot in their own warehouse or outside, ranging from Devo to the Bush Tetras and all your LA punk favorites. I really do wish they had a website...but staying with Jackie, I saw the Kinman Brothers for the first time in many many years, and got caught up, although vicariously, on the continuing adventures of the Mutants and I keep checking their website for all these great reunion and surprise gigs. The Mutants, Avengers, Flipper and Dead Kennedys are playing what we call the Fab Mab Reunion in a couple weeks at the Fillmore in San Francisco. That's April 8. It may already be sold out... but check it out - all the links are on the Mutants website.
My old pal, Kid Congo Powers has just released two new records - that's right TWO NEW RECORDS and you can read all about them on his cool website, Kid Congo Powers dot com. The label that released both his solo record and the new Pink Monkey Birds record, New York Night Train also conducted a thorough oral history interview with him, and they're both found on Kid's site.
Michelle Flipside covered her own corner of punk rock in the South Bay (where Pleasant and us at Lobotomy covered Hollywood) with the super cool Flipside Fanzine. Michelle has created a great searchable Flipside Fanzine site and I highly recommend giving it a read...it will give you hours of entertainment and kicks in the memory bank. Like Alice Bag, Michelle saved a lot of flyers and has scanned them and put them on the site.
If you want even more hours of great website reading, PLEASE check out the LINKS column at the right side of this page. There are a lot of interesting sites out there... I recommend two highly interesting and outspoken message boards - Goner Records and also GaragePunk. The people who post on those two boards hold nothing back AND you also will get a clue as to the cool shows going on all over the world. Finally, when you're on the Goner site, browse their online record store...you can get a lot of records there that you can't find anywhere. It was the only place where I could find a replacement for my favorite record of 2005 - Jack O & the Tearjerkers "Don't Throw Your Love Away." I keep giving it to people because: 1) it was the BEST RECORD OF 2005, and 2) EVERYONE NEEDS TO HEAR IT. Why don't you buy it?
Oh - that's Jack O in the center of the photo below - it was a rainy afternoon in Memphis and Jack is with Harlan T. Bobo and King Louie for an impromptu photo session of their band, Loose Diamonds. It was the morning after the last night of Goner Fest. We were all a little worst for the wear n tear...
Ain't no one more punk than King Louie.
ps: Happy Birthday Jay Dee Daugherty