Since we're on the subject of Johnny Thunders (from the previous post), you can't fully discuss Johnny until you mention his previous band, the New York Dolls. The Dolls only released two official albums with their original line-up, New York Dolls and Too Much, Too Soon, and like Thunder's career they were best represented by their live performances. The debut Dolls album suffered from Todd Rundgren's stifling muddy production and the recording sounded flat and too tight. When I purchased their first album (in the early 80's?), I heard about their reputation and legendary status and their influence on many of the punk bands in the late 70's, but I must admit I was slightly disappointed and didn't think they lived up to the hype, though this album is considered an all-time classic from the seventies.
A Hard Night's Day is a recording that better captures the sound of the New York Dolls as they record direct to tape, live on the floor, one-take versions of their repertoire (including covers), as a demo for their first album. This one night of instant demo-ing is what is represented on this recording and it was made to present to Mercury Records and to their eventual producer Rundgren so they could select what songs to put on that first record. The result is a great sounding document that was loose, sloppy and clear, a major improvement, in my opinion. Unfortunately, it was a little too sloppy for official release, but it has the added interest of listening to the between song chatter amongst the band members (mainly Johansen). I really like this disc because the Dolls don't sound slicked-up yet for mainstream commercial audiences and I don't have an image in my mind of a group of guys dressed up in drag or glamming it up with high-heel boots with too much make-up. Just sweaty, raw rock'n'roll, like it should be!
NEW YORK DOLLS A Hard Night's Day (2000) Seven Day Weekend Frankenstein Who Are The Mystery Girls? (There's Gonna Be A) Showdown Back In The USA Looking For A Kiss Jet Boy It's Too Late Bad Detective Lonely Planet Boy Subway Train Private World Trash Human Being Don't Start Me Talking Give Her A Great Big Kiss Vietnamese Baby Babylon Bad Girl Pills Personality Crisis
A band that heavily influenced (both musically and spirit) Replacements front-man Paul Westerberg, was Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. The Replacements paid tribute to the Thunders with their songs, Johnny's Gonna Die and Dose Of Thunder. Their early setlists included at least one or two Heartbreaker's covers and in 1987, they invited Johnny to join them on stage.
The Heartbreakers were formed in 1975, when guitarist Johnny Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan split from the New York Dolls and teamed up with Richard Hell on bass. Walter Lure joined shortly after to play guitar/vocals and by mid-1976 Hell left to form his own band, Voidoids. Hell was replaced by Billy Rath. I own most of the official releases of both the Heartbreakers and Johnny Thunder's solo records and since the Heartbreaker's only really released one official studio album, most of my collection are live albums. The Heartbreaker's were at the peak during the mid-seventies successfully touring the UK and stateside, in and around New York City. Their live shows were unpredictable, but high energy and they developed a dedicated following during the 70's punk era. The band kind of broke-up in 1979, but did many "reunion" shows afterwards, Jerry and Walter continued to play with Johnny's bands throughout the 80's, but those line-ups never had the urgency or intensity of the early days. I also have a large quantity of Heartbreakers and Johnny Thunder's live recording and bootlegs, but I hadn't seen S.O.B until I saw it on another blog. S.O.B (Lost Live Tapes 1976-1977) is an ultra rare limited (250) Japanese release that features sets from 4 different shows (2 in UK, 2 in US) and is an excellent document of the Heartbreakers at their best, live...loud, sloppy, and rockin'!!
(If you think the songs are quite similar gig to gig, you're right. Remember, they only recorded one album.)
DISC 1 Max's Kansas CityNew York CityJuly 23, 1976 (Billy Rath's first show?)
1. Do You Love Me 2. Take A Chance With Me 3. I Love You 4. Flight 5. It's Not Enough 6. So Alone 7. Chinese Rocks 8. Pirate Love 9. Born To Lose 10. Get Off The Phone 11. I Wanna Be Loved
Rebecca's NightclubBirmingham, UKMay 12, 1977
12. Chinese Rocks 13. Pirate Love 14. Get Off The Phone 15. All By Myself 16. Let Go 17. Take A Chance With Me 18. Goin' Steady 19. Can't Keep My Eyes On You 20. I Love You 21. Born To Lose 22. One Track Mind 23. I Wanna Be loved 24. Do You Love Me
DISC 2 Portsmouth Polytechnic, UKJune 23, 1977 1. Introduction 2. Chinese Rocks 3. Pirate Love 4. Get Off The Phone 5. All By Myself 6. Let Go 7. Take A Chance With Me 8. Born To Lose 9. I Love You 10. One Track Mind 11. I Wanna Be Loved
The Village GateNew York, NY, USA 12. Introduction 13. Chinese Rocks 14. Pirate Love 15. Get Off The Phone 16. All By Myself 17. Let Go 18. Can't Keep My Eyes On You 19. I Love You 20. Born To Lose 21. One Track Mind
The origins of when I started my hobby of recording concerts can be dated back to a newsletter/magazine subscription that I received in the early 90's to a publication called Tapers Quarterly. I searched some boxes and piles of crap in my room to see if I could find an issue to photograph, but I can't find them, though I saw them a few years ago and I set them aside when we were cleaning our basement. Tapers Quarterly was a magazine that featured articles and discussion about concert taping and the the community of tape trading. Of particular interest was a three-part series that focused on collecting recordings by the Minneapolis band, the Replacements. The author Charles Ford discussed their live audio recordings, live video and rarities/outtakes and the uniqueness of a Replacements concert that I had only heard about. The Replacements were the ultimate live experience, especially in the early days, totally unpredictable, loose set lists, lots of covers and a drunken good time. Not every show was crazy, they could also play it straight and tight, but no two Replacement's shows were alike. I was fascinated and started to buy and trade tapes from tapers from across North America (before the Internet, there was good old fashioned snail mail), trying to collect as many Replacements shows as possible. I received a goldmine of shows from a guy in Minneapolis (thanks Dan!), that really soothed my craving and even today if I see I show i don't have, I gotta get it. This obsession with collecting the Replacements has branched off to other bands and I can't tell you how many tapes and CD's I have of concert recordings, but the Replacements have a special place in my collecting heart.
The legend of The Shit Hits The Fans recording can be read about here. Basically it was a tape that was "confiscated" from a fan's cassette recorder by the Replacements sound man at a show in Oklahoma city in 1984. It was a very limited cassette-only release (10,000?) by the Mats' label at the time, Twin Tone. The show is classic Mats where they attempt to play many covers (a few of their own songs as well) with not too much success, usually giving up after a verse or two. There are better sounding and more amusing bootlegs out there, but something about this recording really captures the fearless, "we don't give a crap" attitude that I love about the Replacements. The sound quality is decent, but this is one of those "love it or hate it" things where I would recommend this for (hard-core) fan's of the band. Newbies should start at their studio albums first, Let It Be and Tim and then have a listen to TSHTF. You'll be shaking your head wondering why they're butchering a bunch of crappy covers by Tom Petty, Bad Company and Led Zeppelin, when instead they could be playing their own amazing material.
This is what you get when you Google-image search...sorry, no money here!
I've been posting to this blog for over three years now, August 11, 2006 to be exact and it gives me great pleasure to announce I have reached a (minor) milestone for this blog. Teenage Dogs In Trouble has been viewed over 10,000 times since it's inception, which means in reality there could be only a dozen or so people that have clicked on this site multiple times or it's getting more popular? If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see a ClustrMap with the heading, "visitor locations". If you click on the map, you can see the locations where the viewers are from (the red dots), the larger the dots, the more people from that location that have viewed. It keeps statistics of how many people in the last 24 hours have been to the site and it keeps a running tally from August and an overall number since 2006. Pretty neat, eh?
The Future? My hope is that the blog has grown and spread it's voice beyond just Winnipeg and Canada throughout the years and that it will continue to snag new readers and get some repeat visitors. I know 10,000 hits really isn't a big deal in the blog universe, because there are thousands, maybe millions of blogs that have that many viewers in a day, but for a small little blog and a local music fan like myself that has a limited amount of "real world" friend's, I'm pretty satisfied. I figure the next 10,000 should come faster if I can post something new every few days or so, as my pet peeve is when website's don't update, I'll try my best to keep this blog fresh and interesting. I know, I go days, even weeks without a posting and I apologize (in advance as well...!), sometimes I get slack and don't feel like writing, so I understand when no one looks at the site at all. If anyone has any suggestions or requests, please let me know. I'm trying to stay away from official major label releases since most of my hassles have been from the copyright police, so out-of-print, hard-to-find rarities are preferred or if I have a particular obsession that week, things will get quite random.
What's that? Not enough action you say? Listen! To celebrate 10,000, I'm posting 4 versions of this blog's title-track/theme song. The name Teenage Dogs In Trouble, is actually the name of a song by my favourite all-time band, the Young Fresh Fellows, from their first album. What's your favourite version? Enjoy!
When John K. Samson was still a member of Propagandhi (and years away from when he formed the Weakerthans), he released a 15 track solo cassette entitled, Slips and Tangles. Basically it's just John and his acoustic guitar, but it's interesting to see the beginnings of his song writing style. It was a prelude of things to come, considering his then present band was mainly hardcore. This rare hard-to-find demo tape was released in 1993 and the title track was later re-recorded by the Weakerthans on their Left and Leaving CD in 2000.
Six of the tracks were also re-recorded and released in 1995 as Little Pictures, a split album with Painted Thin's, Small Acts Of Love and Rebellion. Following the success of Samson's Weakerthan's, in 2006, both recordings were re-released separately by G7 in mp3 format.
As a followup to yesterday's entry, I present, The Beach Boys' Party!, the album format that inspired Sloan to release Live At A Sloan Party, the bonus disc to the American release of One Chord To Another. Though I'm not normally much of a Beach Boys fan, this LP is unique for it's approach and selection of material. Marketed for the Christmas season, Beach Boys' Party was recorded by the band and friends and was meant as a fun loose album instead of a Christmas album, per say, but captured the spirit and spontaneity of a live recording. Although it was presented as a live recording, the songs were carefully recorded in a studio and laughter and chatter was mixed in post-production. The album featured covers by the Beatles, Everly Brothers and Bob Dylan as well as a medley of their own hits, I Get Around/Little Deuce Coupe along with it's surprise hit single from the record, Barbara Ann.
A fun short set of music that is surprisingly entertaining and not to be taken too seriously. Enjoy!
One rarity I've been trying to track down for a while is the U.S. version of Sloan's, One Chord To Another, that included in it's early pressings a bonus disc entitled, Live At A Sloan Party! The band dishes up some alternative versions of their own songs, as well as a selection of covers by such bands as, The Modern Lovers, Roxy Music, The Hollies and April Wine. The background noises and conversations between songs suggest this is a live recording at a party, but in reality (and admitted to by the band), the songs were recorded in the studio and the "ambiance" was dubbed over the music. The background noise was in fact recorded at a party with Sloan members present and the result is loose set of music unlike anything Sloan has recorded since. It's truly a treat to hear the band so inspired and they do a very commendable job with the covers. This is Sloan's homage to the Beach Boys' Party from 1965, which also mixes covers and acoustic versions of originals constructed in the studio with party sounds added later.
On a recent trip to Vancouver I saw two copies of the double-disc version of One Chord at Zulu Records (one of my favourite out-of-town record store haunts), but for some insane reason I didn't buy it, maybe at that moment I thought $15 was too much for a used CD, but as soon as I left the store I felt instant regret. This inspired a search on the internet to find more information about the disc and thanks to Soulseek I found the songs from the party disc. A very enjoyable listen and I highly recommend this hard to find gem!
01. Let's Get the Party Started 02. I Can Feel It 03. Dignified and Old (Modern Lovers) 04. Glitter and Gold (Everly Brothers) 05. Over You (Roxy Music) 06. I Am the Cancer 07. I Can't Get Go (The Hollies) 08. Stood Up 09. On the Road Again/Transona Five (Canned Heat/Stereolab) 10. I Wouldn't Want to Lose Your Love (April Wine)
Weakerthan's fans might be interested that frontman, John K. Samson has just released (November 3rd) a 3-song seven-inch/digital download of solo material called, City Route 85 on Epitaph and ANTI-. This is the first in a planned series of 3 or 4 seven-inches about Manitoba roads and highways which he plans to release over the course of 18 months. This is Samson's first solo project away from the Weakerthans since 1995's Little Pictures. I posted one song from that EP in a post three years ago, but I will post the complete EP soon.
Lately, I've been thinking about the cassettes I own and the space they occupy on shelves on my wall. I know a lot of people are uploading their CD's onto their computers and carry around their collection on their iPods in an attempt to free up some space and have all their favourite music easily accessable. I accumulated pre-recorded tapes and tapes that Irecorded from friend's vinyl mainly during the 80's and early 90's, a time when vinyl was becoming more scarce and CD's were in their infancy stage. They were the audio version of VHS tapes that had the ability to record from various sources such as radio, live concerts and just plain dubbing from vinyl and other cassettes. I was one of those holdouts that didn't believe the compact disc format would replace good ol' vinyl and cassette tapes, so I snubbed CD's and almost exclusively bought pre-recorded cassettes of my favourite music. It wasn't until certain bands released exclusively only CD's when I converted completely to CD's.
The problem with cassette tapes is that don't stand the test of time very well. Vinyl records have their issues as well, but as long as you protect the discs from scratching and keep them upright (so they don't warp), vinyl can last decades and still remain collectible and playable. Pre-recorded cassettes are usually poor quality tapes and they begin to sound warbled and flat after multiple plays (...and rewinds and fast forwarding) as the tape becomes pulled and stretched. I have hundreds of live concert tapes I received in trades or I recorded and my goal in the near future is to digitize the recordings onto CD's or digital files on the computer. As I gradually convert my shows, I'll post some rare shows I think might be of interest and hopefully I can update my concert tape/CD list I've woefully neglected for many years so I can take requests.
One tape that I've worn out over the years is a recording by Ottawa indie band, Furnaceface. Furnaceface's second release, Just Buy It was originally released in 1992 and was only available on cassette (CD in 1993), which I had a dubbed copy from my brother who was blown away by their amazing stage show when they toured in support of Just Buy It. When the band was signed to Cargo Records, the tape was re-sequenced and re-mixed (adding weird little segue before each song) and re-released on CD. Furnaceface's music might not be for everyone's taste as their music includes everything from heavy riffs to classic pop, as well as ska, punk, dance and 60's garage. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes political, but always entertaining. A true Canadian indie classic!