Thinkin' about the good times that are gone and the good ones that remain
Joey Pinter, Walter L:ure and Daniel Rey.
When we were young and skinny and fearless, it was easier to celebrate the ch-cha-cha-changes, than it is now, when so many of our favorite places, people, bands, and way of life are just vanishing a little more each day. I can't keep up with all these changes.
In my head, I'm still a new wave kid with a Walkman. Probably listening to the Cult "Love", on 10, right? Making rehearsal tapes on a boombox in the basement. You could save 20 or 30 dollars, and come home from the big city record store with a new t shirt, some little buttons, a copy of "Flipside" or "Maxiumum Rock And Roll", some Jesus & the Mary Chain and Bauhaus postcards to send to your goth girlfriends in far away cities, a Gene Loves Jezebel or Flesh For Lulu promotional poster the nose-ringed death rocker cashier gave you for free, and a whole stack of winning indie punk $1 vinyl from the cut out bin. Those were different times.
For most of us, there ain't no rock ‘n’ roll no more, just the ludicrous worship of bullshit do nothing politicians, media monopoly lies and propaganda, and cos-play lab-coated scientific astronaut rich people on TV, and/or, always more blandly insufferably mediocre and meaningless mainstream garbage like the Foo Fighters - there's nowhere to go, no more basement shows. No real underground bands or real underground rock press in Amerikkka.
In the big cities, name brand bands charge incomprehensible sums of money to see them play in echoey, death plague contagious sports arenas, ex friends of semi-pseudo famous people wanna charge you top dollar to see 'em play all covers online. Somebody knew somebody or some shit. KISS are spitting COVID positive guitar picks, doing meet 'n' greets behind plexiglass, trash talkin' David Lee Roth who still is not lip synching like Paul Stanley, and Guns N Roses have not written any songs as good as "Mr. Brownstone" or "It's So Easy" since foolishly kicking Steven Adler out of the band for heavy partying and losing their main songwriter, Izzy Stradlin who got sick of all the lawyers, bullshit, and egomania, over 25 years ago. I'm just not that interested in bloated corporate rawk bullshit, though I do still sometimes enjoy reading about when the ‘80 punks were scrounging for girl money and malt liquor on the boulevard of broken dreams that chews people like me up and spits us out in the memory gutter.
Wow, ya know, all these cool lookin', colorful coffee table rock ‘n’ roll books keep coming out, like those glossy Marc Canter books about the lean, pre fame, wasted years of Guns N Roses, and I ain't got got 40 bucks (or more) a pop to purchase 'em, ya know? I'd never pay to go see that dinosaur rawk brand playing screechy covers at the football stadium, and was not into their new song, at all, but I do fondly recall their early days, when they were midwestern kids getting hassled by small town authorities, and trying out different glam line-ups on the Sunset Strip.
I never even got to see that "Hollywood Rocks" book somebody said I was quoted in. I'm a man out of time. People are playing old songs of mine on podcasts-songs from thirty years ago, low budget garage punk not particularly representative of my song-writing abilities all these decades later, but it is nice to be kindly remembered, ever, at all. I'm one of the forgotten but not gone motherfuckers. It's become pretty standard that people record versions of my own songs but can't be bothered to even send me copies of their records or CDs my tunes appear on. Bands ask me to write liner notes for their boxsets and shit and never send copies, too.
I can't afford to see the Stones; I saw 'em in my early 20s, and they were so-so, back then - Lisa Fischer carried the eve. Man, do I ever love that woman. But yeah most of what's left is just not that interesting it it? Just a few real authentic rock ‘n’ roll badasses still on the scene: Dave Vanian, Charlie Harper. Maybe I'll get Alvin Gibbs’ book for Christmas next year. We ain't middle class with a disposable/discretionary income. Prince's book was a big disappointment to be honest-I got it for Christmas last year.
I really want to read Walter Lure's book, "Last Man...", not just because I'm such a Heartbreakers and Waldos fan, but also 'cause I been writin' some manuscripts of my own here and I'm interested in how Walter approached telling his true tales, while also protecting the feelings of all the fallen's widows, folks, ex-girlfriend's co worker's drug-dealer's boss, or the nightclub's next door neighbor's DJ associates, or offspring, ya know? Lotta people who passed through my life have families somehow invested in keeping up their white picket Ozzie & Harriet ‘50s suburban make believe facades, and guarding the dead guy's secrets, or re-modeling their reputations, after they croak mysteriously. When no one will say how somebody died, that's always a bad sign.
Everybody's leaving. And the one's who stuck around all seem mainly interested in like, red carpet bullshit, flogging former glories, or rehash merchandise. Nothing new goin' on inside of you, as the old song goes.
I probably saw Walter Lure play about 10 times in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s with the Heartbreakers and Waldos. He was always entertaining, decked out in all those swanky suit jackets and the Converse and the fedora. I kinda lost interest after awhile in the phoned-in performances of his former peers who just did these half-hearted hack versions of the same 10 songs, year after year, after year. Once his mainstay stalwart guitar hero, Joey Pinter was outta the band and Big Tony Coiro had died, I was less and less interested in the gentrified friend of a friend of a friend NY cover bands.
God bless Dee Dee, ya know, he was a beautiful poet, but when he was playing all those Thunders songs live, I never got it. I saw summa those cattle call tribute nights on YouTube, with all the rich and famous people playing sets of tiresome old tunes and sheesh, everybody was like sleep walking-only the half-naked acrobatic vocalist and forever energetic drummer could carry the set of sleepy old folk's home half-assed renditions, it was pretty hard to watch that shit. I got tired of playing covers when I was 19, ya know? I can't see the point in four outta five bands milking those same old same old, same old cash corpses, at this point, sad and redundant, if you ask me.
I'm stunned by all the death, death, death we keep getting pummelled with. It's exhausting, relentless, now. Some of my best friends, bandmates, former roommates, the guy who first got me into the Stones and Stooges when I was 12 or 13. All the Ramones are gone, all the Heartbreakers. Sylvain Sylvain, Ric Ocasek, Bowie, Prince, Dave Kusworth, Spencer P. Jones, Brian Henry Hooper, Charlie Watts...! What the Fuck? Graveyard Train is right.
I'm grateful for some of the still standing rock ‘n’ roll motherfuckers, who are still managing to be vital and who have something to say, and who are still releasing good work, and fresh originals, here in the dreary now. Richard Dugay just made an absolutely thrilling masterpiece, "Bad Juju". I liked some of Andy Shernoff's always fun and clever new songs I heard from that new Dictators album. Pat Todd is still good. I love the Cosmic Psychos and also, believe it or not, Billy idol and Steve Steven's recent songs and current band. They are still delivering music with real heart in it.
Joey Pinter from the Knots and Waldos is still making exciting rock ‘n’ roll in his garage. He recorded an awesome cover of Bowie's "Heroes" as a tribute to Uncle Walter available on Amazon. It's real down and dirty blues punk ferociousness. Also been enjoying his heartstrings tugging newest tune "We Missed The Boat" with Jynx Lynx and Jon Woodring.
Joey mighta missed the boat when the classic “Rent Party” era Waldos never toured outside of Manhattan, but he is still standing tall as a monument to ageless rock ‘n’ roll motherfuckery with real guts and passion. He's got a lot of soul. Be on the lookout for when "We Missed The Bus" drops. It's about to drop, any day. As the young people say. I'll be out in the shed listening to "We Missed The Bus", cause it reminds me of the glorious old daze we used to know, when the world made sense. I'm still back there in the ‘80s somewhere with my leather jacket and bottle of Thunderbird wine. Always standing on Joey Pinter's side of the stage, Ya know?