Thru a strange series of events, iniated by bassist PAUL HOOD of the TOILING MIDGETS, I am reunited with NEGATIVE TREND guitarist CRAIG GREY for two shows over the next 2 days..I have 12 hours to learn and relearn 12 songs before the Portland show tonight…and perform then again sommorrow in SEATTLE at the FUNHOUSE..
IT WAS VERY LAST MINUTE, not something planned ..the original singer ran afoul of the law or something, couldnt leave the state of California..how street cred is that?..anyhuzen..the band was in a pinch for someone who could step in in a pinch and carry on the tour dates..here in the Northwest…it was kinda kismet…
SO thats the SKinnY…I am playing with NEGATIVE TREND in Portland…. TONIGHT NOVEMBER13TH at the EAST END WITH toiling midgets,lucky 13s,coco cobra and the killers,
And up in SEATTLE tommorrow NOVEMBER 14TH..at the FUNHOUSE WITH the THUGGS and FEEDBACK SEED
I have never done anything like this before..as part of Litquakes”PORCHLIGHT” storytelling series, I just talked to a packed house,..no band,..no guitar…just me and a microphone telling stories about my past….you can find this marvelouss-ness at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ3ighMoATk about all these little 15 minutes of fame that keep finding me…like the u-tube video made by (now famous) cameraman VANCE PIPER in 16mm which has sparked all this renewed interest in my NEGATIVE TREND era. I should post it here since the genie is out of the bottle and its all over facebook and myspace pages…anyway, my son Mak came with me and I managed to talk about some sensitive subjects with the large crowd there..it seemed less embarrassing..
..I had about 4 or 5 beers in the green room then just went out and talked to the people..about memorizing PENELOPE HOUSTON’s phone number and how it came in handy when I was arrested because they thought my acne medicine (tetracycline) was drugs…about finally finding out WHY and HOW the SEX PISTOLS took such an interest in NEGATIVE TREND…about maks suspension from school..about how my mom could never utter the words PUNK ROCK instead always referring to it as “THIS CRAZYNESS” and about the saga of my famously broken arm…just talking ’bout my life..and people laughed and cheered..it was awesome
I got to meet up with some of my musical contemporaries. ..the lovely Penelope Houston, Hank Rank of CRIME..and spend sometime downstairs in front of the old MABUHAY GARDENS with STEVE DEPACE of FLIPPER and NEGATIVE TREND fame..a great drummer with some great stories and some intertwining history we shared…it was real good to catch up with him and his story of the first time he saw me perform..I apparently I immediately broke the 4 tables in front of stage and pushed people off the chairs and smashed the chairs over the broken tables and sent drinks flying and crashing everywhere..and that was just THE FIRST SONG!!!….good times
Anyhuzen, it was fun and looking back I guess I was a little nervous right before going on…I feel like it was a new dimension to add to my resume..STORYTELLER…I will gladly do it again when asked or when LOVERLEGENDLIAR (the book ) comes out..
….hear the music at http://cdbaby.com/cd/rozz the BELFAST COWBOYS was my next musical endeavor as I transitioned out of NEGATIVE TREND in SF 1978…bands were improvising and reforming constantly as the first wave of band were evolving…becoming interchangeable…the SLEEPERS W/ROZZ and NEGATIVE TREND W/RICKY performing on the same bill at the gay community center…THE NEGATIVE DILS ,..and even the NEGATIVE DILLENGERS …containing members of the DILS,AVENGERS, and NEGATIVE TREND…I had done the opposite and put together a band called the BELFAST COWBOYS with three new-to-the-scene-and-gone-just-as-fast members…with the notable exception of drummer BOBBY BARRAGE…who went on to form NO ALTERNATIVE (named after the BELFAST COWBOYS song) with JEFF REES and JOHNNY GENOCIDE….
BELFAST COWBOYS was taken from a song by and obscure english glitter blues act called THE PRETTY THINGS..it was a song off thier album SINGAPORE SILK TORPEDO..There was no significance to it and no one in the band was irish..the band went into peter miller studios and recorded what is now known as “ThE PoP sessions” for 50$ in 4 track….
the 9 song 19 minute masterpiece was never released…and when the BELFAST COWBOYS played live…somehow it became a party band…none of the musicans from the recording played in the live incarnation…instead it was JIMMY WILSEY and DANNY FURIOUS from the AVENGERS,..DENNY DIGREGARIO from TRUE BELIEVERS, myself and a plethora of gorgeous band girlfriends dressed up rockabilly, undulating as (back up singers?) THE BELFAST COWGIRLS….it was a spectacle of massive porportions which culminated with me going directly from the stage to the ER one night LOL,..not so much
the shows were punctuated with mad crazy covers of SLADE,KISS,BAY CITY ROLLERS and the “cowgirls” pouring shots of everclear in little paper mouthwash cups for everyone crowding around the front of the stage…the BELFAST COWBOYS provided a “Lets party,fuck politics” counterpoint to bands like the GERMS and DEAD KENNEDYS ..whom we played with at the infamous DEAF CLUB (a club run by and catering to deaf mutes…who could feel the thudding bass of PUNK music and LOVED IT) in the MISSION DISTRICT………………….BELFAST COWBOYS were a hit…yet none of the material from the “PoP SeSSioNs” was never played at those legendary shows…as heavy and hard as the BELFAST COWBOYS recording was…the live band was a campy lightheaded excursion down memory lane featuring RONETTES songs and a cover of SHAUN CASSIDYS “THATS ROCK AND ROLL”…cmon everybody get down get with it ..LoL
time passed and I was back in Portland..in the early 80′s..When THEATRE OF SHEEP was blowing up….I remembered the demo and what a sonic blast it was…I gave the 4 track master to TOM ROBINSON and had 100 cassettes duplicated of the 19 minute recording…I xeroxed some artwork and put the cassette in PARK AVEUE RECORDS (where a perponderance of the TOS “CATHARTIC AQUACADE” tapes were selling) as “NITECRAWLERS 78″…with no fanfare…sold a few…didnt really think about it again…
Time passed and THEATRE OF SHEEPS zenith neared…and the overwhelming drama of the SUPERNOVA and demise of TOS took center stage and aside from a few cassettes left in a box of memorabilia with a NITECRAWLERS 78 logo on them…the “PoP SeSSioNs” by the BELFAST COWBOYS ceased to exist….
then in 2000 ..this guy from WHITE NOIZE RECORDS started bugging me and coming around….he was a big NEGATIVE TREND,SLEEPERS,UXA,AVENGERS fan…all that old school SF stuff…he kept pressing me for material…I said “I have this”…and gave him a cassette of “thePoP SeSSioNs”….”Its not NEGATIVE TREND..same era though…it was a side project I was involved with…”
well,..he loved it…he thought the material was awesome …and wanted to release it…he kept coming around with grand schemes…and trying to network others from that scene thru me…I got more and more annoyed…I finally told him “Look, Im a suddenly single parent,i cant gig,.got a messy divorce to pay for and rent and bills that are overdue…I want cash…you can have all rights to do whatever the hell you want with it…own every note of every song…but I dont want to wait around for royalties or its just another pipe dream..I got real world problems…gimme cash up front and ITS ALL YOURS”…figuring he would balk and go away…
Surpisingly,.. he eventually did give me $1500, and then another $500 after having me sign several handwritten” uni-bomber manifesto” contracts..to own it outright..and I really didnt believe he would ever get it together and release it …but he did..
“ROZZ & NEGATIVE TREND;THE POP SESSIONS “was released by WHITE NOIZE RECORDS in 2001….and quickly won several pestigous awards and recieved glowing reviews…THE BIG TAKEOVER called it “the 3rd best document of the era” behind two AVENGERS releases…the SEATTLE paper reviewing it along side an REM review…like it was some legitimate punk never-before-heard-of masterpiece….that was the last i heard of it…WHITE NOIZE went underground and i knew I would never see another penny…I was just glad I got some cash up front…
then in late 2007…after finishing dates in SF with THEATRE OF SHEEP “PUNK LEGENDS” tour..I performed the material again with an awesome live band (the guy from WHITE NOIZE had resurfaced and put together) at the GENOCIDE BENEFIT at LENNON STUDIOS…the audience reaction to the anthemic M-16,NO ALTERNATIVE,NEVER SAY DIE, and I WONT BE PACIFIED was overwhelming…and I knew I wanted to get that music out there again
earlier in 2007 I also made aqquaintance with music attorney PETER VAUGHN SHAVER…who begin to help me clear up all my musical affairs…we filed to make all contracts with WHITE NOISE and MABUHAY RECORDS null and void…I regained ownership of this material only in the last several months and am now happy to release it on CDBABY as ROZZ of NEGATIVE TREND; BELFAST COWBOYS …ThE PoP Sessions”……9 songs 19 minutes of over the top punk…availble only as mp3 download…the 1000 CD copies gone long ago…I dont even have one
POSTSCRIPT…I just looked on CD BABY and it (http://cdbaby.com/cd/rozz )is up now..my link there..also I saw on CDBABY there is another cd by a Minneapolis band called “BELFAST COWBOYS…A TRIBUTE TO VAN MORRISON.”..oh great…avoiding one lawsuit and stepping directly into another LoL…my life should be a Movie…a movie titled ALLEY OF THE DOLLS of course…!……please consider adding THE BELFAST COWBOYS (mine) to your digital music collection when it becomes availible april 1st….
well after standing in the cold wind for half an hour..getting recognized by every one entering the show…STEVE DEPACE took charge and the lady from the ticket window waved me over and handed me two VIP passes and tickets…YOKO and I quickly scurried in and it was nonstop familiarity..everone kind of sizing each other up and then saying “arent you so and so?..with a little more there (point at gut) and a little less there? (point to balding and/or greying hair….)…everyone had aged ..some better than others.
.SOME even looked better than when the were youngsters GREG LANGSTON of the AVENGERS looked like a movie star…SALLY MUTANT has loss a ton of weight and her face has thinned and she is as georgeous (as her personality always was )these days..my old bandmate CRAIG GREY now has a name to match his hair.. seemed thin and jubilant…PENELOPE was lookin’ DAMN fine..as always…still married..I think??
. meeting RICKY SLEEPERS teenaged son was heavy…brought me to tears a couple of times…finally I pulled him aside and had a talk with him….I know how hard it is for mak growing up in my notoriously dubious shadow…and Im alive to explain things.. looks hauntingly like his pop RICKY..good kid..having a great time
A GOOD MANY of the old crowd fell into the kinda getting paunchy, middle aged and relatively healthy & Happy catagory…PAUL DRAPER,PETER URBAN,VINCE (who is now a woman named domenique.)…BOBBY CLIC,JOE REES of TARGET VIDEO… I think RESA (BELFAST COWGIRL EXTRORDINAIRE) aged remarkably well..so did I ,frankly..the main thing is that were all still alive an kicking..any day above ground is a good day indeed
.I may not have been up there belting out THE BLACK AND RED…but thats thier loss,..coz Im a much better singer now…..I was “THEE VERY WORST SINGER IN THE SCENE “according to Howie Klein , and it almost got me a gig with the SEX PISTOLS LOL.,,,MICHEAL BELFER looks the same …only really long blond hair….
.. as much as it was good to see NEGATIVE TREND be barely mediocre without me…that is a franchise close to my heart ..and I would like to see it snarling,snotty engaging the audience in a compelling provacative way…rather than meandering lifelessly thru once GREAT SONGS…if they contine playing out though Im confident with some polish and energy ..they could recapture the LUSTRE of the old NEGATIVE TREND…without Will though..its hard..smaller venue would definetely help
I heard countless times “why arent you singing?” and “they are sucking hard” and”how fucking lame”…”it be so great if you were singing..why arent you?”..I wasnt asked..and these commentS were from thier friends and peers.”Well,..maybe NEXT TIME..”I said graitiously to well wishers..its weird… I like paul hood.. visiited extensively with PAUL HOOD…he’s a great guy…saw him open for the RAMONES IN 1976..when he was a teenager in a band called the MYCE…And PAUL CASTILLE is a good guy and competent singer…it was just lifeless for some reason…and the audience seemed as disinterested as the band…but they played ..and that was great for that fact alone
but all in all…a great night of nights…more notable was who was not there…JELLO…JENIFER MIRO..of course DIRK is dead…and personally I missed DEBISOU…didnt see GINGER COYOTE…but it was a fantastic gathering of new and (mainly) old faces…my camera batteries were dead..so like I have many times before over the years…I departed during FLIPPERS closing set as did most of the over 40 crowd…
I was chatting with RESA and simultaneously we looked at each other and exclaimed “I cant take anymore FLIPPER ” …though I do like them in a greatful deadish way…with that we both said “jinx” and joined many others shivering outside to say our goodbyes…what fun!..it was….LETS DO IT AGAIN IN ANOTHER 30 YEARS…there will probably only be ten of us left…will just book a room at the ROYAL PACIFIC MOTOR INN and bring accoustic guitars and tamborines
AND AFTER…AFTER AND BEFORE…
One of the more interesting aspects of the Punk pioneers get together was that YOKO had never met any of these people…So when we returned home we combed thru PUNK 77,X-CAPEES, BRUCE CONNERS MABUHAY,HARDCORE CALIFORNIA, and my pictures for images of the people I had introduced her to…as they were in 1977 and 1978…the BEFORE PICTURES…she met the AFTER PICTURES in person….
she was especially shocked at young JOE REES (TARGET VIDEO), PETER URBAN,PAUL DRAPER, and the various DEAD KENNEDYS excluding YELLO (who was a no show) as well as the transformation of luminaries such as SALLY MUTANT and VINCE AKA DOMENIQUE, …
I forgot how handsome that scene was…YOKO fawned over a dashing young PETER URBAN in the X-capee’s book…lot of young sexy punk rock bitches we was…I had forgotten… the music and the girls in that iniatal explosion of the SF77 scene…gorgeous in a primal sorta way…
I was sorry to hear of the passing of photographer/artist BRUCE CONNER who took the single most ICONIC picture of yours truly, perhaps one of the ten most notable pictures of the punk rock era in general…I feel that photograph of the target on my chest,.. and the one with I HATE ART written on my pants (that won the ART FORUM award) are partially responible for my marginal success…they kept my name and image out there over the years in book,gallery shows,magazines and even the news papers…appearing on the cover of the BAY GUARDIAN in fall of 97.THE VILLAGE VOICE NYC in january 2005…RIP BRUCE CONNER…you will be missed
GREG INGRAM, VALE, RESA,MICHEAL BELFER,and PENELOPE to some degree are essentially aging in the DICK CLARK tradition (before the stroke anyway) and look pretty much the same aside from a scant few pounds and barely visible crows feet…I consider myself in this catagory..my strategy was to distract everybody from how hammered I look with the tight red pants and FLEUVOG shoes…this was as close to a high school reunion for me so I took note of every detail…
SMILE LINES and the overall continence of facial feature usually indicate a life of LaUGHTER, or a life of UNHAPPY STRUGGLES…most everyone looked as if they had been living a good life…only a few had BITTERNESS burned on thier brow…
one other thing that gave YOKO the HEEBEE GEEBEES was looking at pictures of the late RICKY WILLIAMS after meeting his son ZACHARY and mom REBECCA….The likeness is absolutely eery…I wanted to take pictures of ZACH but thought it might appear exploitive and inapropriate…he is very handsome and a sweet young man…I didnt realize he was twenty or I would have took pic’s…he looks 13 or 14…
so YOKO saw the AFTER…and now were cross referencing books for the BEFORE….and it is bizarrely perveresly fascinating…there are two other notable stories from the trip I will recant when possible
Myspace blog number 617… PUNK PIONEERS daze! blogworthy moment number 2
story number 2)…..we almost didnt make it to the show at all…it was getting near 8 pm and we were having trouble getting a cab in front of the ROYAL PACIFIC on broadway street…it was after all, a bustling saturday night in one of the most exotic party towns in the world…we flagged and whistled and waved at every cab going by…but all were occupied..dang..diggety dang.
STEPHAN suggested we take a bus to which SVETLANA joked “I cant take a bus ,..I might have cancer! were not taking the bus!” suddenly a big black SUV stopped beside us and the window went down…”Where you going?..Im mellow guy..give people rides all the time..”
“are you some sort of car service?” I asked…”were going to the FILLMORE…on FILMORE and GEARY street” STEPHAN chimed in…
our wildat taxi driver pushed open the passenger door…”10 bucks….thats cheaper than a cab…Im OLLIE..I do this all the time…Im also the doorman at the GARDEN OF EDEN..get in its cool..Im mellow…I like ..go to all the concerts..TESTAMENT, METALLICA, and my cousin is friends with DEATH ANGEL..ten bucks ..save you money and put some gas in my tank”
the young muscular aisan man certainly didnt look like a serial killer…and how many serial killers do 4 victims at once.?..so I slid the side panel door open and noticing a lack of handcuffs or duct tape…helped YOKO up and in following close behind…SVETLANA pushed STEPHAN toward the open front door…”NO..youre riding in front..I might have cancer” and got in behind me on the bench seat….it was a running joke..”what about me!” I said…”this should be blogworthy ” Yoko added…
we were off thru the broadway tunnel with OLLIE trolling us for information…”so are you in a band? I party with all the bands…like METALLICA, and TESTAMENT,..Ive seen them 3 times…do you like to party coz I help people get hooked up..Im mellow.. its all good..I also sell TIMESHARES..work at the GARDEN OF EDEN..I can get anything..if you need to party..I like to help people ..its all good…”
he was so vague …yet came on so strong with his DRUG PUSHING RAP I almost thought maybe the cops were doing some reverse sting…he was young and muscular and clean cut..late twenties…no one responded ..it was kind of an awkward silence…he was unaware he had picked up 4 people that may LOOK freaky-deak,…but we had one who’s twenty years clean and sober, one that just got a 5 year chip, and me and YOKO just like the occaisonal vuuudka and ciggies…and we can buy them at the store
not wanting him to start renegotiating the 10 buck ride now that it was apparent there would be NO drug transaction taking place…I engaged him and feigned interest in the GARDEN OF EDEN strip club…”Do you work tommorrow night…can you get us a discount on cover..its our last night and we’ll be in a mood to PARTY party,ya know what I mean?you got cute chicks there OLLIE?”
“every kind of chick aisan,australian,costa rican,puerto rican..” OLLIE says proudly..
“any russian or czech girls” I ask”’…
“dutch /armenian about the closest..shes really hot”
you like the DUTCH OVEN OLLIE? you like a good DUTCH OVEN? everyone likes the DUTCH OVEN dont they?
“oh yeah DUTCH OVEN is good…I like all the positions ..Im a mellow guy ..like to party..its all good..”
“”yeah its cool..I’ll get you all in for 20 bucks..usually its twenty bucks each..but its cool..Im a mellow guy.. like to party..partied with bands that have come in the club..like uh..TESTAMENT and METALLICA IRON MAIDEN….I was born in 77 ..I grew up on the DRI..DEATH ANGEL..come down and I’ll hook you up..
he seemed appeased temorarily,..but these maverick hustlers will always try to make some sort of score…usually they sell tourist a bunk bag of coke as they exit the cab and then disappear looking for the next mark…this guy was kind of a heavy metal illegal cabbie drug hustling doorman an timeshare salesman..a jack of all trades…I noticed he was distracting himself from driving with his spiel(s)..
I also noticed an open 24 ounce can of pabst blue ribbon peeking out of a paper bag on the console…I reached nervously for my seatbelt and clicked it…”but were not gonna be here tomorrow night ” SVETLANA said confused
by my promise to this jack of all trades stranger…I elbowed her and whispered “its improv,..just improv”
then SVELANA says “were the HAREOLAS”…”were on CHRYSALIS” says YOKO from the other side “PSYCHOBITCH was the first CD”….no it wasnt “I believe it was called SHAVE IT..on that indy label ..”The HAIRY AREOLAS” SVETLANA says loudly again…I nudge her..she looks at me with a wicked smile “you said to improv”
OLLIE is launching into another loop regarding PARTYING AND/OR TESTAMENT,METALLICA,IRON MAIDEN and those close personal friends of his cousins DEATH ANGEL…miraculously we are at the FILLMORE…”LET ME GIVE YOU MY NUMBER..I’ll hook you up after the show” he pleads as we exit the SUV “WE can all PARTY!”
“NO well just see you tomorrow at the GARDEN OF EDEN…I promise…a PRETTY VACANT promise….
this is one of three funny stories written when Yoko,Svetlana, and I went down to SF to see the AVENGERS,FLIPPER,THE MUTANTS and my old band NEGATIVE TREND in the summer of 2008…we stayed at THE ROYAL PACIFIC MOTOR INN and had a hell of a good time…Svetlana and YokO gave me a makeover..buying me SKINNY LEG RED PANTS and very expensive FLUEVOG shoes so I could look good for my old mates