31 January 2009
30 January 2009
16 January 2009
So, the camp that I visit each Summer is going through the archives and posting pictures on Facebook. Here's a classic I found from 1978. Please notice the mesh shirt (how could you not?).
It's so weird that the place I love most in the world has been around so long with so much history! Cheesy, maybe. But even though I only recognize a very select few of these people, it is fun to see all of these pics and recognize the places that are still there. Look at all these Southern Jewish kids! I used to be (still am) one of them!
Title says it all. The original guitartist and bassist (on Raw Power) of what I believe to be the greatest band of all time, The Stooges, died on the 6th of a heart attack. I meant to write about it earlier, but you know. School. Yada yada yada.
Anyway, I just found this tribute by the most interesting contributor of my favorite book, Please Kill Me, Danny Fields:
I wanted to put in a picture of me and Ron at Max's Kansas City, in New York, in 1973, but this space won't allow me to, and so I lost everything I just wrote. He's wearing an Eisenkreuze First Class, and I had a pack of Marlboros in my pocket. I ask you now which was more cool.
Anyhow, Ron was so sweet, and this stuff is all so tacky.
Yes, the press likes a fight among survivors when people die who were not quite headline-makers during their lifetimes, although Ron himself made headlines indeed in all those who loved rock and roll in its last golden age. He INVENTED the sound of rock and roll as we now know it. People who were appalled in 1968, if they are still alive, now accept the mighty contribution made by Ron Asheton and the Stooges as part of their lives. Some variation of what these guys invented is in just about every tv commercial now on the air; a weird kind of vindication, I know, but it usually takes "the world" a good 30 or 40 years to recognize something revolutionary as something that is acceptable, even quotidien.
We all knew the music these guys made was EXTREMELY advanced for its time; that includes many of my colleagues back in 1968, at Elektra Records, to which I signed the band (after a phone chat with the company's president, Jac Holzman, about 18 hours after the first time I ever saw them).
Remember that putatively Platonic (literally, first said by Plato) thing that went: When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake? Well, the origin of that opinion is often argued, but the truth of it is not, ever. And the "Psychedelic Stooges" certainly changed the mode of the music; the Ramones, for example, who changed it again later on in the very same evolutionary process, met each other because they were the only guys in the neighborhood who liked the Stooges albums, and so they gathered in Joey's mother's art gallery's basement to listen to it. It was the anthem of outcasts, that music, just as "I Wanna Be Your Dog" became the anthem of the so-called punk (I prefer to think of it as simply modern, the "p" word [punk, not psychedelic, but maybe both] is rather overexposed and simultaneously misunderstood. Modern will do, because the music is STILL ahead of OUR time, not to mention how despised it was 40 years ago. Today, anybody auditioning for a place in a band where a guitarist or bassist is needed, must own his or her take on "Dog." It was the first song the Sex Pistols learned and played in public, and so on and so on.
By the way, please all be assured that Ron's fascination with Nazi memorabilia made him a Nazi about as much as seeing yet another version of "Dracula" will make you into a vampire, and do give that canard a rest. I wish y'all could have seen some of those leather trenchcoats he had, you'd be eating your hearts out, whatever your religion or politics--with which Ron's great taste had nothing, as far as I could tell, to do.
Nevertheless, that sound it is the preferred vehicle for tv commercials (meaning that all songs should really be under thirty seconds long, but we needn't go into my quirkier opinions at this point..
Whatever, I am so proud of that band, of knowing those guys, of giving them a leg up (as if someone else would not have the next week or month), of being able to hug them all lo these many years later (one would prefer NOT to show pictures of THAT) but I can post the one where we were all younger and cuter if someone tells me how.) And so proud of that music; it will always be great. I thought Bach must have sounded like that to listeners in the 18th century, but let me outta here.
This squalid quibbling about loading his guitars and Nazi medals into a truck is so beneath everything that matters. I'm sure Ron would have preferred a puzzling and clever murder, something like Colonel Mustard in the Library; though I'm not implying that he would have welcomed being murdered, or of finding the Colonel and sending him to the gallows. Still, I'm sure he would have preferred something like THAT to something like THIS. He had you know, besides the grace and talent of an angel, a super sense of humor. His loss is so sad, for art and for humanity. May he astonish the angels as he astonished us.
What a beautiful guy.
Peace and/or butchery, whatever,
That picture up top is the one he's talking about in the tribute. I loved Ron Asheton. He was the only good person in the Stooges, and it's really a shame he's the dead one. Everybody has to die sometime though, right? The music is still awesome.
14 January 2009
12 January 2009
This classified appeared in the LSU newspaper today. So, of course Jen and Mollie called up the man. At first there was no answer, but when Bridgette called, he answered and acted like he had no clue what she was talking about....and then he called the radio station. Here's Jen's account of what he said:
"that since i fucked up by talking about it on the radio we only had an hour to leave and travel to the past. he told me that i couldn't get caught by the CIA or... Bill O'Reilly.
The weapons we need to bring are swords, guns, a knife... or anything that we can carry.
His name is Ignatius Reilly (a confederacy of dunces)
Ignatius also told me that I'll know when it's time to leave when the white deer reached the meadow, and that we have to travel to 1929 so that we can stop the manhattan project and LSD."
She also said that he mentioned Tyra Banks. In addition, when she told him that she knew who the real Ignatius Reilly was, he told her that her knowledge better prepared her for their journey. I hope he was serious.
On a related note, Grace found a blog that details the life of another time traveller. http://johntitor.com/
And I think Sager called Ignatius out again. I hope she asked for an interview. Details later.