Boneyard Media

Archive for May, 2013

Johnny Ramone, Commando (2012)

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

ramonesgivefinger commando

(P. 82-83) “…On July 2, 1979, we played on a bill with Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Johnny Winter, AC/DC, and Nazareth to a crowd of forty-six thousand people in Toronto…I saw the other bands we were playing with and I thought, ‘This isn’t gonna work.’ I complained to Premier, our booking agency, about it, and they said, ‘We’ve been in the business a long time, we know what we’re doing’…

“About five or six songs into the set, the whole crowd stood up, and I thought it had started to rain. Dee Dee thought the same thing, but they were throwing stuff at us – sandwiches, bottles, everything. Then, all of a sudden, I broke two strings on my guitar in one strum. I thought it was a sign from God to get off the stage, because I’d rarely break a string, maybe once a year. So I just walked to the front of the stage, stopped playing, and gave the audience the finger – with both hands. I stood there like that, flipping them off, with both hands out, and walked off. The rest of the band kept playing for another ten or fifteen seconds until they’d realized I was walking off, and then they did too. I wasn’t gonna stand there and be booed and have stuff thrown at us without retaliating in some way. We had to come off looking good somehow, and there was no good way to get out of that.”

(p. 72): “We played with Cheap Trick one time, and the bass player sound-checked his instrument for an hour, so we never got a sound check. I have no idea what makes people do this stuff. This ain’t science.”

(p. 87): “We tried to bond with Spector. We watched the movie Magic at his house one night, and we’d go out to dinner with him. One night, Grandpa Al Lewis from The Munsters even came over. He’d be okay with us, but he was very abusive to everyone else around him.”

Cruisin’ with The Lost Beach Boy

Monday, May 27th, 2013

lostbeachboyThe resurfacing of David Marks has been one of the many happy developments in the Beach Boys saga. Marks joined the band when he was 13, replacing Al Jardine after the first single and appeared on the first four albums before an altercation with Beach Boy dad and manager Murry Wilson prompted his exit. Marks’s precocious guitar chops were crucial to the band’s early instrumental sound, a fact that gets overshadowed by their celebrated vocals and songwriting. You can read about Marks’s contributions in Jon Stebbins’s book The Lost Beach Boy (2007), which never strikes me as an overstatement of the case. It’s loaded with valid info any Beach Boy fan will appreciate.

Be forewarned, though, that the The Lost Beach Boy is a frustration fest recounting the following: David’s blustery departure from the group; Murry’s possible efforts to blacklist David Marks and the Marksmen from the airwaves; the undeserved commercial failure of his psychedelic group The Moon; the premature replacement of David by Eric Clapton in Delaney and Bonnie’s band; Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour wrecking David’s house; a falling out with buddy Warren Zevon, who thought Marks was having an affair with his wife; David getting off on the wrong foot with Phil Everly after meeting him; drug and alcohol abuse for several lifetimes; financial rollercoasters and more.

Cutting through all of this, though, is the clear sense that Marks takes full ownership of his disappointments and relishes every opportunity to continue associating with the extended Beach Boys family. This is also evident in Marks’s interviews and general demeanor elsewhere (I love this recent series of YouTube videos, for example, in which Marks gives an uber-simpatico clinic on Beach Boys guitar at Hawthorne High). The happiest result of my reading of The Lost Beach Boy, though, was the long stretch I spent with David Marks and the Marksmen’s Ultimate Collectors Edition on repeat in my car. (You’ll have to download it from Amazon – it’s currently not available for an affordable price any other way.) Give a listen to this muddy but eminently cool 1964 B-side and see why it might have that effect.

David Marks and the Marksmen – “Cruisin’” (1964)

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Song ID: Shocking Blue – “Acka Raga” (1968)

Monday, May 6th, 2013


None of the official “best of” comps for the Dutch group Shocking Blue do justice to their facility with the three minute pop song. You have to go digging through all of their album cuts and B-sides and construct your own playlist. “Acka Raga” is a post-pyschedelic sitar instrumental, a cover of a track from the Joe Harriott-John Mayer Double Quartet’s 1967 Indo-Jazz Fusion LP. In 1999, a techno group called Mint Royale covered the song and retitled it, but hilariously claimed writer credits, giving Harriott-Mayer liner note honors for the “sample.” They even had the song placed in the Alias TV show and the Vanilla Sky film soundtrack. How did the licensing for this go down, I wonder?

Shocking Blue – “Acka Raga” (1968)

Joe Harriott-John Mayer Double Quartet – “Acka Raga” (1967)

Mint Royale – “From Rusholme with Love” (1999)