Monday, May 21, 2012

Live In London Ontario....Playlist May 17/2012

Playlist May17/2012.....Live In London Ontario

An all live show comprised of various live recordings at various venues from sleepy London Ontario. Some of the sound quality may not be the greatest, as many of this week's tunes were be from the original cassette tapes made many years ago....enjoy and go out and see some live music here in sleepy London Ontario. I'm tired of being the only one at some live music shows....

1. Dark Carnival....Ain't Nothin' To Do....recorded live at Call The Office 10/12/90 and features Stooges Ron Ashton and Scott 'Rock Action' Ashton along with our fave diva, Niagara on the screeches. It was a great show and we got to hang out with Ron Ashton interview appeared in What Wave zine as well as some major cool pics (see below and drool) of the band. And we got to tell them who originally did 'My Best Bette' (Mr Kenne Highland) as they had found the song on a compilation tape and loved it so much they covered it at the show, yet had no idea who did the song.

2. catl....Church On Sunday....recorded live at Call The Office 3/16/12.

3. Hi-Tones...That's Alright Mama....recorded live at The Spoke 1/13/12 as part of CHRW's Wired Fridays.

4. Lucky 7....Rock'n'Roll Radio....recorded at Call The Office 2/23/89. This combo played at many clubs here in London...The Firehall, Leadbellys and probably Mingles. They came from NYC and featured Barry Ryan on the guitar, presently Robert Gordon's touring guitarist as well as a member of late 70's NYC punk combo, The Victims. Also in the band, on accordion, keys and vocals was Kenny Margolis, famous NYC studio cat who was also a member of Mink DeVille's legendary well as currently being in Cracker.

5. Ronnie Dawson...Rockin' Bones....recorded live at Leadbellys 3/23/89...The Blonde Bomber from Texas did a 2 night stint here in London, I went one night and Rena went the next...and a FUCKING AMAZING show both nights!!! This particular song was a request from yours truly as he cut the original version that The Cramps borrowed. Really cool guy who signed many of my records and had a smile on his face the whole show!!

6. Ronnie Dawson....Congratulations To Me...recorded live at Leadbellys 3/24/89...a double shot of the Blonde Bomber!!!

7. Blood On The Saddle...Let's Have A Party....recorded live at Key West 12/17/86 in front of a small crowd. Singer Annette (original member of The Bangles) wasn't in the best of moods for this show, but MAN can she belt out a tune!!

8. Uranus....Uranium Rock....recorded at The Embassy 3/22/82 and broadcast over CHRW. We had guitarist Jack on a coupla weeks back for the 30th anniversary of this broadcast to talk about those days. And that's Uranus in the pic below.

9. The Fleshtones....Hexbreaker...recorded live at Call The Office 11/22/90 and we started upstairs in the dressing rooms and marched down the stairs with the band as they liked to start the party upstairs and bring it onto the stage. Possibly the most fun band in the entire universe!! You can read all about them in Sweat, by Joe Bonomo as he gives this legendary combo their just tribute in print.

10. Chesterfield Kings...Loose Lip Sync Ship...recorded live at Bullwinkles 5/29/86 and the only time these guys ever came to London.

11. The Fuzztones...Cinderella...recorded live at Key West 4/5/87 to a hot sweaty packed crowd. I was right up front with Psychedelic Pete, mere inches away from Rudi and the boys as they ripped through their set. We didn't find out till many years later, the bass player was none other than John Carlucci (of The Speedies) and presently in The Beat Killers, a killer combo who are in Europe right now. And below is a pic of how close we were to a sweaty Rudi....we won't talk about the underage that Rudi left with that night...

12. The Gruesomes....I'm A Bloodhound...recorded live at Key West 1/11/87. This was the first time we brought these kids into London, and it being a sunday night in January, we were a little concerned that no one would show up. But, the joint was packed and rockin' as Gruesomania had hit London and the boys were well recieved! Think they stayed for several days at our place after this show as we had lots of cartoons, junk food and videos for the boys to enjoy! The first of many many visits by The Gruesomes to this town and our place.

13. Light Bulb Alley....Money....recorded live at Call The Office 5/4/12 and these guys are now labelmates of The Gruesomes on Ricochet Sound from Montreal.

14. Bad Bad Bad....Fucked Up...recorded live at The Black Shire Pub 3/29/12 right after they came to visit us live on Radio What Wave....way cool 2 piece from Halifax!

15. Light Bulb Alley...Pepper Spray...recorded live at Call The Office 5/4/12 and this song is on the latest garagepunk hideout download, We Love Trash.

16. Das Furlines...Boys Are Boys....recorded live at Call The Office 6/5/86. Das Furlines were an all female combo from NYC who were basically a tribute to The Monks, the German band of X-US Army GI's from 1966. One of the wildest shows that involved total crowd participation and the conch!! You hadda be there!! This combo featured Fuzztone keyboard player Deb O'Nair as well as NYC crazy woman, Wendy Wild. And, this was the only time the band was recorded live...right here in sleepy London Ontario!! This was well before their appearance in People magazine and their bogus entry in the 1995 Rolling Stone Record Guide which had them coming from the Black Forest of Germany and releasing many many records. Nope, just a coupla compilation appearances.

17. Link Protrudi and The Jaymen....The Stroll...recorded live at Key West 9/25/86. Essentially The Fuzztones doing all instros ala Link Wray....

18. Boy From Nowhere....Lift Up Your Hood....recorded live at The Brunswick, probably early 90's. With a nice little intro regaling the finer points of The Brunswick Hotel, situated in downtown London, conveniently located across from the bus terminal. A demonic version of DMZ's tune done with sledgehammers to the head! Indeed, The Boy could rock with the best. Bassist Brian Young is currently a member of The Canadian Lyres touring band....they back up Monoman when he hops the border into Canada.

19. UIC....Cropdusting....recorded live at Call The Office 3/16/85. There's also a youtube of this song (as well as others from the same show) which features a bunch of youngsters dancing around like fools, self included! And yes, i still dance like a fool 27 years later! Below is Murray beating the living daylights out of his kit in front of the UIC flag!

20. The Diodes...Time Damage...recorded live at Call The Office 11/18/11. The second time the re-united Diodes have come to London and both times, excellent shows!!

21. The Hook Up....65 Has No Blues....recorded live at The Spoke 11/25/11 as part of CHRW's Wired Fridays.

22. The Fine Print...Remember....recorded live at Brennan's Beer Bistro 11/5/11. A GREAT local combo who don't play out enough.

23. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet....Who's Afraid of Alison Hymer/Having An Average Weekend....recorded live at Call The Office 7/17/86. First ever appearance by this now legendary combo to London....a very typical London crowd...maybe 10 people out to see them. Listen to the lack of applause after Average, that's just me clapping. Luckily for sleepy London, this trio came back many times and packed the house!!

Outta time but only the tip of the iceberg for live recordings from London Ontario...hope you enjoyed the show. Thanx for all the phone-ins, emails, facebook comments etc! This one was a blast to prep, as i went through a ton of tapes, some that i was hoping to use didn't have the greatest sound quality and hence, were nicked from the show.

Back atcha next week with a bunch of new stuff and as always, some surprises!

Here's a link to the podcasts that are up for one week only:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It Coulda Been Different!

Not that there was anything wrong with the scene here in London Ontario, but it coulda been different! We had the Cedar Lounge, an old hotel centrally located in the heart of the city that was a home to the growing punk/new wave/alternative type scene in the late 70's and early 80's

Here's a picture looking north from King St. You entered right below the Cedar Lounge sign and walked into a partially enclosed area where you could see the band and most of the club. There was usually someone standing there, hand out, asking for the 2 buck or whatever it was cover. In the early days, there was this spastic geek who would be dancing and grooving to the tunes and would be so into the music he'd often keep you waiting for the tune to end before taking your cash. Or even acknowledging that you were there and waiting to get in. It certainly added to the oh so cool ambience of the place. That along with the loud music, smoke (not always of the nicotine type), beer and people actually up dancing and having fun while the band is playing. But it coulda been different!

Sure, we had our local faves like Uranus, The Demics, NFG, The Zellots, The Sinners, Crash 80's, Regulators, Second Thoughts and many others in the first wave of late 70's bands to form in this city. It was a long way from the crap cover bands who worshipped stadium rockers Aerosmith, Foghat, Journey and other unmentionables who filled seats in just about every other bar in this city. Seats indeed as your ass would be glued down to watch this shit as you downed your weekly pay. Unless it was a disco bar and that was even worse with the dress code in effect. You can't come in here, your jeans are frayed! And the smartass retort would be 'my jeans ain't fraid of nothin' which was better not to say. But it coulda been different!

We had tons of bands from all over the place visit London in the early days of the punk rock scene; Teenage Head, The Diodes, Simply Saucer, Joe King Carrasco, Psychedelic Furs, Eddie and The Hot Rods, DOA, Subhumans, UK Subs, Anti-Nowhere League, 999, Ramones, The Stranglers, B-Girls, Viletones, The Ruts and TONS more. So many more that it would have been impossible to see them all. But we tried and failed and still had lots and lots of fun. But it coulda been different!

There used to be a poster, it was beat up as it had been on the wall of the Covent Garden Market for years. Not the new Covent Market, but the old concrete monstrosity that had the covered parking lot above it. A place where  you could look out and take pictures. In fact, here's a picture of The Cedar Lounge from that parking lot.

This picture was taken facing west from the Covent Garden parking lot, looks like maybe the third level and the street in front of The Cedar is Talbot St. What is now a wide open area with a some large concrete balls on it. Maybe that signifies The Cedar Lounge was the only place in London that had balls. Whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean. Here's what that area, sometimes referred to as ground zero looks like today. That's NFG paying homage to ground zero this past summer and somehow, the large balls didn't show up in any of the pictures that i took. That could mean something too....

But back to that beat up poster. I can remember seeing it a couple of times, but stupidly never took a picture of it. Others commented on that poster as well and we all agreed upon one thing,  It could been different!

That poster was for a band that didn't make their gig at The Cedar Lounge. It was no fault of the band's. Nope, it was the Toronto Police force or whatever name they were billing themselves at that time. The time being the late 70's. The band on the poster were visitors to police headquarters. Not by choice or by invitation. Nope, they were being questioned as murder suspects. One of them in particular had more than a passing resemblance to the suspect in the case.

The band, The Cramps. When The Cramps were supposed to play London, they were but one of what we thought were a zillion up and coming bands in what we thought were an endless stream. Nope, it was but a window that opened long enough for a bunch of loonies to escape, learn to play some musical instruments or create some art and then the window closed again. Hasn't been open since and probably never will be.

I didn't become a total Cramps freak until about 1980, well after the band was supposed to play here. I first heard The Cramps on the radio show Young Fast and Scientific on CHRW. Hosted by Al Cole, it was easily the best show on the that station at that time. The only show that i regularly listened to and used it as a springboard to start Saturday night's adventures.

It wasn't easy finding records in London back then, but Records On Wheels was THE place to go for the so called underground sounds and i picked up the Drug Train single there and haven't been the same since!  Here was a band that finally summed up all that i was 60's punk via Pebbles, rockabilly via Johnny Burnette and a WHOLE new set of bands to try and find! Yep, The Cramps set me off on a record finding mission that still hasn't been completed up to this day. And hopefully it never will be.

Just lately i picked up The Cramps boxset of singles on Munster Records and spinning these records is just amazing! They have such a wide dynamic range and the vinyl is so noise free for those really quiet times that it just blows me away. Here's a picture of the sleeves with our man Bryan, centered and smoking as always.

But it coulda been different if The Cramps had actually played London. It just might have sparked a few like minded souls into forming a band in the mode of The Cramps. Now that would have been something!  A rockabilly/60's punk combo in London Ontario!! A band that would get others interested in the same things. Ya, it coulda been different!


Since you've read this far, here's what we're working on at the moment. We're going to be re-publishing What Wave #22 in an updated form as What Wave #24. Originally released in 1996, WW22 was a history of the local scene here in London Ontario. We're looking for corrections/additions/etc and you can post these to facebook on the Radio What Wave facebook page. All of the relevant pages of WW22 are in  photo form on this facebook page. Here's the link:

Feel free to add comments or whatever to the above photos. We need all of this info and it's going to take all of us to get it done properly. Release date is Oct 26/2012.

Why Oct 26? That's because it is the opening night for a big visual exhibit at The Forest City Gallery here in London. The exhibit is Underground Graphic Art: London Ontario 1977 to 1990 and will feature the fanzines, comics, posters, etc from that era. And we're going to have an  opening party on Oct 26th with some of the bands mentioned in the above blog...NO, not The Cramps. So far Uranus, The Zellots, NFG and The Enemas have agreed to play opening night. Nothing's in concrete at the moment but this is going to be a bash that you don't want to miss! So put your boots on baby, cause we're going to a party....

Marki and Rooster at The Cedar Lounge in the early 80's.....

All photos are copyright What Wave archives so please DO NOT reproduce without know who i'm referring to.