Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Goodbye Naughts...



The Rolling Stones Ready Steady Go Special, 1966. Best Live Stones Footage Ever (in three parts).

The Stooges around the time of the Uganos recording (photo by Peter Hujar).


Danny Fields' tape box for Stooges Uganos (w/Velvets rehearsal on the other side!). 
There's nothing about Arthur Lee in today's post, I just like this photo.
When in doubt, run photos of Bebe.
As the end of the first decade of the 21st century closes in, it's time to make some sense of what happened in the last ten years. By the time I've done that, the roaring 20's should be here.  One thing is for sure, the world I once knew, and inhabited, is long gone. For lack of a better word, "bohemian" life in NYC is a thing of the past. Priced out by high rents, the city that was once a playground for the cool and the crazy is now a mall for the entitled. I came here in 1977 with $200 in my pocket, and had a job and an apartment within a week. What would I do if was eighteen today? I have no idea. I guess life, or at least social life, has moved into cyber space, which leaves old timers like me more than a tad alienated.  I think the outbreak of autism just may be the human race mutating into the type of creature it will have to be to survive in the future. The skills we don't need (human relations, face to face contact, etc.) have atrophied, welcome to product driven man. Each day is more and more like living in a Phillip K. Dick novel, except I'm not much of a Dick fan. I'm more of a Graham Greene type, and the subjects he addressed-- loyalty, duty, etc. seem almost quaint in the modern world.
Maybe it was bound to happen, you can only arrange three chords so many different ways, but Rock'n'Roll has become something akin to Dixieland, i.e. something old folks get together to do on weekends, a generation to dumb for rock'n'roll has grown up and taken the reins of pop culture, and most of the people I knew and associated with rock'n'roll are dead. Which is a long winded way of saying, I need a break. After 28 months of at least bi-weekly blogging,  I'm taking a month off to let my mental battery recharge. I'll be back at the typer around the second or third week of January.
One thing never changes, and that is the Stooges are still the kings of rock'n'roll and the touchpoint for whatever is left of the stuff. Buy yourself a Christmas present and get Rhino Handmade's Stooges: Have Some Fun: Live At Uganos, despite the quality of Danny Field's hand held cassette recording, we get to hear the band at one of their peaks, coming off the heels of recording Funhouse, they're white hot, and this disc is a must. They've got shows booked for 2012, who would have thought the Stooges would be around after 45+ years, having buried all their contemporaries (and half their band) they're like the eternal torch for rock'n'roll. For a review of the Have Some Fun check Blog To Comm  (scroll down a bit).
Those other mainstays of R&R mentality, for better or worse, The Rolling Stones may never play again, in light of Keith Richards wonderfully vitriolic Life, but then again, even they can't hold a candle to the modern day Stooges.  They haven't sounded right since Bill Wyman left anyway. I assume Bob Dylan will tour until his vocal chords snap, good for him. I must admit, I like the matador get up he's been wearing.
It's that time of year when I start missing the people-- Bob Quine, Kelly Keller, Bill Pietsch, Dee Dee Ramone, Rockets Redglare, so many others, who were part of my day to day life. Luckily for them, none of them had to think about Facebook.  See you in the new decade.

41 comments:

Joe Bonomo said...

Salute, Jim.

Doc Cowboy said...

Great sentiments. Being a few years younger than yourself, I can't own up to having lived in the same New York. I moved to the city in 90' and stayed through 09'. If I did miss the great days of NYC culture, I can live with the fact that I caught the tail end of a breed of character that has all been crushed in the current day. The weird store front churches and apartments, the dope bodega's, strange afterhour's clubs, and gridlock free alphabet city still served as a home for a stunning group of outsiders and freaks. I had a lot of laugh's, and great nights. Did a lot of stupid things and felt really alive as well. I met a lot of great people, quite a few hero's, and many friends. And quite a few sadly missed now as well. I found many of them dwindle in the last few years, some of them moving out to save their spirit and soul from the life of wage slavery. That would be myself as well. I found I had turned into a full time service worker who owned a couple of cool guitars. And a constant dull pain behind my eyes from the increasing banality of the new breed of hipster. Lured to the city on a diet of "friends" and "real world", I couldn't comprehend what they were doing here, and exactly how much money their parent's spent to make that happen. Less idea's and soul---more credit and stuff. It is amazing how much the city changed in the 2 decades I lived there. Being in exile up north, I often miss the city. In much the same way I did when I left it.

I'm sure the dadaist's of the 30's must have said the same things.

Tom Heyman said...

Really like ed this post. Summed a few things up very nicely. Boy do i hate this time of year.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your month off.

Your blog is one of the best out there! You provide much entertainment in this barren product driven world!!!!

Anonymous said...

How true about NYC! I moved here in 86' and it is a different world today. The biggest problem is the lack of affordable housing. When I moved here I was able to get a rent stabalized apartment on 13th Street for $700. You will have to search far and wide to find an open rent stabalized apartment to rent today in any of the 5 boroughs. To make matters worse the rent stabalization laws are due to expire in June 2011 and with the Republicans back in control in the State Senate we are in serious trouble. Sad to say but NYC is controlled by the real estate industry and it's lobbyists. It's all about the money. Just look at our mayor, Michael Bloombucks for further proof if you needed any. -Barry Soltz P.S. Don't take too long of a vacation. Your blog is the only one I read religiously.

Jake said...

Enjoy your break. And when you come back, I'd love to see a Hound roundup of Louis Jordan.

Jed said...

Hound, your posts have helped make a dark year tolerable. Keep your light shinin'!

Anonymous said...

Well said, sir. (applause) Enjoy your month off, Hound, I figure rock 'n' roll ain't dead as long as you're bloggin' about it...you make me dig out records I haven't played in years - and they always bring a smile to my face.

amy said...

Thanks for this Jim. I sometimes imagine everyone else is briskly keeping step with the times and I'm out of touch from living in another country. You remind me I'm not alone in feeling...alone (except for those Dixieland weekends, hoo boy, we do have a grand time when we all get together in our striped shirts & armbands).

Have a good break!

MJG196 said...

I love your photo of the Unganos tape!

professor loco said...

Could be you've got a case of Rockin'-itis. You may get well, but you won't get better.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Man. Embrace the abyss... and have a Merry Christmas. Thanks for all the great writing and music.

- George Bailey

Gramercy7 said...

I find myself almost entirely in agreement with Hound's sentiments about NYC life then and now. But: If today I were an free-spirited 20-something rather than a grizzled near-60, wouldn't New York still be an exciting alternative to life in Topeka, Akron or Birmingham? Aren't there ANY young people still bringing some degree of creativity, rebel spirit, etc. to this money-besotted burg of ours?

gnatp said...

Take a much deserved break. Interesting and worthwhile writing takes hard work, you've earned it.

Anonymous said...

"There is infinite hope--but not for us." -Franz Kafka

US Creek said...

The alpha and omega. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hey, let me just add my voice to the chorus of folk letting you know we appreciate what you're doing here. You've put me on to a lot of cool stuff over the course of the past year or so, and that counts for something, at least to me. It's dark out there, getting darker all the time, but there are still a few lights to be found... Enjoy your break.

three dots said...

Jim, thanks for posting such tremendous stuff throughout the year. Every time I visit this site, I discover someone or something mind-blowing, all delivered with great style.

Cheers,
Jim Duffy

Jerry Lee said...

That cyberspace crap gets on my nerves sometimes too, Hound. Memphis sure ain't NYC, but it's a helluva lot cheaper to live here, and it still has a lot of soul. The pizza doesn't come close to L&B or Lombardi's, but there's tons of good BBQ. And you can stop in at Sun almost any time you please. Call ahead if you're coming to Jerry Lee's, I'll stock the fridge with Lazy Magnolias.

PapaSean said...

I agree with you about the state of the "world" we're in...I've learned a lot coming here to thehoundblog, and it's much appreciated. Oh and yeah, get some rest Hound.
Thanks,
PapaSean

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog, its the greatest. I love it even when I disagree w/ you, which does happen. The obvious amount of effort you put in is appreciated and its an amazing resource, and I love your style.

Don't be despondent about the state of NYC. That world is gone for good, but how could it last for ever? Why should it have ever happened in the first place? Tho NYC is now in many ways a better place for many people (even for some people you may not disapprove of), no one can deny that much has been lost. But rather than mourn the loss, you can be thankfull it ever even existed and that you got to be there.

RnR too. As a living art form (or whatever you want to call it) it's been a generation gone already. Having been born in '67, I only caught the tail end myself. There will be good bands and revivals but its gone, like not only dixieland but r&b, honky tonk and whatever else. One more genre of the past with its older white male afficionados. Its always us older white men isn't it. But you got to get it while it was happenning, and lived it too, one of the lucky ones. Not to say it was only luck, you mustve made it happen for yourself, but you know what I mean.

But thanks again for the blog and for chrissakes never take it down.

allen vella said...

Thanks Jim for all the great writing. We always appreciate your posts, and I am forever indebted to the Hound show for opening up so much for me.
As a native, I hear your frustartions and loss for the city we once knew. I thought I'd never leave, but I can see my days are numbered here..there are other universes to explore.As for the state of rnr today, well thank God for records, tapes, cd's and memories...and thank God for the few guys out there still trying to keep it real simple. Enjoy your down time..look forward to reading you in the new year, all the best., allen

Dave said...

Enjoy the break, Hound, you've certainly deserved it. You've got the best damn music blog out there, one which has opened my eyes and ears to so many great artists from yesteryear. I'll also partially blame your blog for helping to empty my wallet with many purchases the last 12 months. Don't ever give it up: it's like a beacon of musical sanity. And when you do come back, I'd like to read your thoughts on Louis Jordan, Amos Milburn, Harmonica Frank Floyd, Doctor Ross and the New York Dolls!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!
i've just got into it religiously, don't take a break nooowwwww haha. but seriously thanks dick loads, its my favourite piece of cyber x

J. D. King said...

Rest up, mon ami.

I arrived in NYC in '77 w/$500, paid a month's rent and security deposit, then spent a month smoking weed, wandering around NYC before getting a minimum wage job at an O'Henry's photo developing booth - that I got fired from in a few weeks.

Earlier this year I visited NYC for the first time in five years. Not the same place, a playground for the rich. Still, better'n fuckin' Remsen.

Garloo said...

Recharge your batterys and I look forward to some good reading/listening in the "roaring 20's".

Anonymous said...

Well you can't go wrong with pictures of BB from the sixties. As Sinatra said "booze, a broad or a bible, whatever it takes to get through the night." cheers

Paul said...

Hound, it isn't just NYC - the London I loved is disappearing in front of my eyes, with the 100 Club under threat right now and huge chunks of Soho getting eaten up all the time. Fuck it. We had it, somebody else can have something else. In the mean time we have great music, great books, great movies, and a certain solace to be taken in the inevitable rotting of the visible world. So I'll just read some Patrick Hamilton or Nick Tosches, pour a drink, watch The Third Man again and remember Jim Dickinson, Alex Chilton, Ike Turner, Dennis Hopper, Billy Lee Riley, Sam Phillips and the rest of the grateful departed. Thanks for writing your blog, it's the best thing out there.

Marti said...

Hound, you are doing the world a public service!!! Enjoy your well-deserved vacation times. xoxo Marti

StephenX said...

Hi Jim,
Yes please lay down your weary soul for a break, you more than deserve it!

I..hmm..what can I say. Allen Vella pretty much took the words out of my keyboard.
"I am forever indebted to the Hound show for opening up so much for me."

Blessings for a great New Year, JM.

Anonymous said...

YOu can only do so much with 3 chords indeed! It has been a long time since rock and pop music just turned into a pastiche of the past. Rock is dead as far as I'm concerned but there is still a lot of great blues and soul coming out of the South. Thanks Hound for continually excellent blogging. I have seen the Stones 2 or 3 times in the last 10 years and you are right it is the absence of Bill Wyman that has the Stones not sounding quite like the Stones. I never quite figured it out. I always thought it was seeing them with 30k other people in some enormodome but it's the bass. Get some rest and charge the batteries. The new Lightnin' Hopkins on Ace is doing me some good. "I'd like to dedicate this next song to the whole world.....the women especailly"

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books said...

Indeed and then some. I'm sorry it took me a few weeks to read the post, I've been busy hunkering down myself.
I grew up seeing Iggy play as a kid...he was borned 15 miles from my hometown where I again live after 25 years in Manhattan. I left the city two years ago and came right back to where it began. Just wanted to say there are still a few garage bands in Michigan...the neighbor kid just won the Battle of the Bands! I hope that makes you feel a bit better, but for the most part, I'm afraid I have to concur...but ain't cha' glad you went through it? I sure am...and wrote a similar lament just about the same time you did! Here it is. Jim Linderman http://dulltooldimbulb.blogspot.com/2010/11/living-all-way-through-rock-and-roll.html

sptizez said...

It's the best blog about music there is. Came for the Rev. Julius Cheeks and Sister Rosetta, stayed for the blues and rock'n'roll.

Fast Film said...

I'm glad you articulated that the emperor has no clothes. The current touring Iggy and The Stooges have the sole insano/intensity cred left while still remaining in tune and on the beat. Out there and playing like they're still hungry.

Anonymous said...

Sur l'├ętui de guitare de a lee,c'est un dessin de RON COBB ?

Cliff Lee said...

The worst thing about New York City is seeing those cot damn Yankees hats everywhere. Makes me damn near wanna spit on somebody.

Anonymous said...

Hound,

Thanks for all the great writing. Looking forward to your return; enjoy the break.

I'm glad to say I saw NYC back before they Disney-fied it. Spent the summer of '88 in Queens, was a temporary (they called it "casual," if memory serves) mail carrier for the Forrest Hills post office. Quite an eye-opener for an Okie teenager whose idea of a "Big City" was Dallas, TX.

Sorry I missed your radio days but have most of those airchecks d/l'd as .mp3s and listen to you while working. Magic stuff.

Love your blog, take care.
Lee

Jimmy said...

Yep best blog out there Hound.

Now, isn't it time you returned ;)

joe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Barry said...

Your comment re: RocknRoll=Dixieland, how true...I work where alot of families come in. The parents are the ones in the band t-shirts, the kids have some video game character tshirt and their heads are down txting away.Back in high school that would've seemed like a Rod Serling script to me...

viagra online said...

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