Thursday, May 28, 2009

B.G.K. - video

 B.G.K. live at the farm in San Francisco, 1986.

The above clip appeared (be it in far better quality) as part of a VHS video release titled "Farmcore" or something, documenting "the Farm" venue in San Francisco.
Btw this footage is from 1986, NOT from 1987 !(We didn't tour the USA in 1987.)

Hydromatics bio

Taken from the website :

The Motor City of Detroit and Europe's own Murder Capital, Amsterdam, collide in the lethal combination that is the Hydromatics, a trans-Atlantic rock 'n' roll outfit that brings together members of the Rationals, Sonics Rendezvous Band, Nitwitz, Loveslug and B.G.K. Hellacopters frontman Nick Royale and Tony Slug from Amsterdam's punk veterans BGK had planned to do a side-project since 1996, with the intention to record a demo with their cover versions of songs by their favourite group, the criminally under-documented Sonic's Rendezvous Band.

Still unnamed at the time, the recording project was put on hold for several years because of the Hellacopters' relentless and time-consuming touring schedule. BGK guitarist Tony Slug got Sonic's Rendezvous Band founder Scott Morgan in touch with the 'Copters, and after they met each other, the only logical next step would be a cooperation between them. And so it happened. Ever since, Scott has performed vocal duties on stage, recorded with, and written material for the band.

During the Hellacopters second visit to Detroit, Scott was glad to accept Nick Royale's offer to participate in his side-project, and it was him who came up with the band's name. With the addition of ex-Nitwitz bass-player Theo Brouwer, the Hydromatics were born. In February 1999, Scott and Nicke flew to Amsterdam where the band rehearsed for a mere six days, working on a live set as well as material for a full album. With only three gigs in small Dutch venues under their belt to try out, the Hydromatics managed to gel together as a tight and solid international riffing unit, as demonstrated by the band's debut album "Parts Unknown.

With Scott's soulful vocals sounding as fresh as ever. Nicke's 'School-Of-Keith-Moon' style drumming provides high-octane Rock Action thunder with Theo Brouwer's rock solid bass playing, and Tony Slug ripping the place to bleeding shreds with chainsaw guitar, the right chemistry was there for Sweden's renowned White Jazz label (Hellacopters, Nomads, Turpentines, Gluecifer) to put out "Parts Unknown".

Receiving rave reviews both from the mainstream press as well as from underground rock publications worldwide, the Hydromatics succeeded in documenting the legacy of the Sonic's Rendezvous Band as accurately and true-to-the-original as it gets, at last, and 20 years to date, the material proved to have passed the test of time, royally.

But the Hydromatics do not aspire to merely be another reunion/cover band that needs to rely on nostalgic sentiments. Besides the four Sonic's Rendezvous Band covers, Scott, Nick and Tony each penned two originals for the album to make for welcome variety. From the haunting sounds of "Calling LWA" to blitzkrieg riff-o-rama of "Valentine Frankenstein" or "No Justice (In Rock'n' Roll)", it's all high-energy rock'n'roll the way it was meant to be played and sound.

Then there is a (previously unreleased) cover by an obscure Detroit group called The Weathervanes and concludes with a wild rendering of "Baby Won't Ya" by the legendary MC5. The latter band of course featured guitarist Fred 'Sonic' Smith, who would later form Sonic's Rendezvous Band with Scott. Although the Hydromatics made a good solid studio album after practising for six days, after six weeks on the road with the Hellacopters and Zen Guerilla they had turned into a lethal rocking monster. What the band was capable of on stage can be heard on the upcoming live release "Fluid Drive", which is to be released in 2004. The six-song mini live album, accidentally recorded off the board in Freiburg, Switzerland, is the real deal, with no overdubs or fancy producer tricks. It's a pure adrenalin rush from the very first second to the last feedback-drenched note of the glorious Sonic's Rendezvous Band anthem "City Slang".

After the tour, Nicke Royale decided to part company with the band, as his career with the Hellacopters no longer allowed for double tasking with other bands, (much less bands of which all members live in three different countries). Needless to say, finding a suitable replacement for Nicke was a hard task to accomplish, but a young talent from Ann Arbor named Andy Frost (right), who had only recently had started playing with Scott in Powertrane, turned out to be a godsend, and capable of just that.

In May 2001, the Hydromatics got together in Amsterdam once again to record their second full length offering in Amsterdam for Italian label Freakshow. Well over one hour long, "Powerglide" features seven Sonic's Rendezvous Band songs, as well as seven new ones. Augmented by horns and female back-up vocals. "Powerglide" is a rare mix of soul and rock energy.

Unfortunately, the demise of the Freakshow label means it's difficult to find, but the Hydromatics plan to put a third studio album down whenever their schedules allow.

Also imminent is a month-long 2003 European tour which will include dates with Wayne Kramer and the legendary Radio Birdman. Early 2007, after a three year break, Tony Slug and Scott Morgan started planning a new Hydromatics record. Within a few weeks, Australia’s Kent Steedman from the Celibate Rifles and Dutch powerdrummer Ries Doms were recruited for the recording sessions. The Record is scheduled to be released through Suburban Records in September. A full European tour is scheduled from September 19th till October 14th 2007

B.G.K. - a Dutch feast

The Alternative Tentacles website blurts :

Dutch punk; the glory years! Their entire discography collected, the double LP is finally back in print! These Dutch punks offered one of the most furious and intense displays of hardcore the world has ever seen!

Damn straight. I wrote all those furious and intense songs because I'm a furious and intense guy. See, that's me pictured on the cover. OK, I was still a handsome young lad in 1984, sporting stylish European headwear. Even though I did not posses all my Super Slug Powers yet, I still got more pussy than Joan Jett backstage, while you and your friends were getting clowned by the doorman.

I'm not too wild about the title the folks at Alternative Tentacles conjured up for
this project, but nobody asked me, so what can ya do. What the hell is a "Dutch Feast" anyways ?

Released in the year 2000 as double album and in CD format, it is, as the title suggests, a retrospective, and contains the third official re-release of Jonestown Aloha" (1982), "Nothing Can go Wrong" (1986), the multi-bootlegged "White Male Dumbinance" EP from 1984, all in one handy package, with a few tracks taken from compilations like the (also multi-released) "Welcome to 1984", and "P.E.A.C.E" record thrown in.

All this seems to imply that people do want to listen to this stuff, and that we were doing somehing right back then.
 In pre-photoshop/computer grafix times, flyers looked like this.
 Some B.G.K. flyers on my wall. Click to make them big.

If anyone wonders why the sound differs slightly from the original vinyl : the original master tapes had been gathering dust under a beat-up couch in various
freezing cold squathouses for 15 years or so before being shipped to California on
orders of Jello Biafra himself (pictured below, yelling along at our 1984 San Francisco gig). Apparently Mr. B. was able to take time off from his relentless "spoken word" tour schedule to personally re-master all this shit proper in a studio.
Alternative location

Whoa damn, this thing is for sale all over the interwebs !
Excuse me while I whine but goddammit, IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL BITCH IF I WANT TO.

See, when the author, performer and rightowner of the songs, who has busted his ass year after year after year playing them on tour, namely ME, gets nothing, Nada, zilch, niente, ZERO, once again, it does not make him, the starving (f)artiste
feel like a happy camper, but embittered like a dog, who never gets his day !

In all honesty, Alternative Tentacles were much fairer in their dealings with us
than other record labels, but then again that doesn't say all that much.
The band did get some funds eventually. Nothing like the amount we
should have gotten, as far as I can tell, but it's the thought that counts.

And seeing as how we already donated the entire proceeds, i.e. our share from the "Nothing Can Go Wrong" album sales on A.T. back into Jello B.'s "No More Censorship Fund" in 1986 for some reason, it was about time I got a little bit of
dough at last without the band deciding it should be donated to a "good cause".

If you must know, it was enough to take the other guys to a nice restaurant and pick up the tab for everyone.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hydromatics radio interviews

Hydro interview conducted Aug 22nd, 2002 by "the rock home of Stockholm", Swedish Rocket 95.3 FM radio.

Back to the roots with the Hydromatics
Aug 9th 22.08 / Ever missed the good old days of rock 'n roll? Ever felt like there was more to it back then? Get the real thing with the Hydromatics by listening to the chat Niktator had together with the band, including front man Scott Morgan from The Sonic's Rendezvous Band and The Rationals, before their fabulous performance at the Barbarella Festival.


Another Hydro interview from 2007 for Aligre FM Paris radio.

Fitz Of Depression tour video

Edited. This is part 1
fitz of depression tour

Sunday, May 24, 2009

And now, for something completely different

2 homerecordings made with a cheap guitar. It is NOT rock, there's violins, cellos, and doodles even...Deal with it ! I was just trying to get the hang of Cubase !

no pass

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dynaminds - Sophisticated Slaves CD

A very cool and sympathetic band from Bitburg, Germany who let me produce their album, with Paul Smith (Dumbell, Hydromatics, Consultants) engineering. I also play a few lead solos on the record which means it belongs in "Slug Trails". Check them out and go to their shows !


Hydromatics Tulle, France 2007

 Los Hydromaticos in Madrid, Spain for the 7th time or so.

Les Hydromatiques cause that's what we're called in France, (in Spain they call us "Los Hydromaticos") playing a town called Tulle in France, 2007. I'm giving you, my faithless tools, the songs "Do It Again", "Electrophonic Tonic" ("Electrophonique Tonique" ?) plus some imprompto fun Detroit covers we felt like wingin for the hell of it :
The MC5's "Looking At You" and "Dirt" by the Stooges.
This show should be included on the forthcoming hydromatics DVD in it's entirity.


I mixed this from only half the audio tracks explaining why the bass is painfully absent. I will remix so you'll get a proper sound very soon.

Pass : slugtrails

Hydromatics Malmö, Sweden 2007

 The Hydromatics in Malmö, Sweden, September 2007.

Love and learn / The Earth is shaking
Pass : slugtrails

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tony Slug and Ries Doms - Rocket Reducer 62

An MC 5 cover.
Yours truly on guitar, vocals + bass, and the great Ries Doms of the Hydromatics bashing the drums. Recorded in the studio for our personal enjoyment and previously unreleased.

pass : blogspot

Fitz pics

Santa Cruz Scott made these Fitz of Depression pics. Thanks Scott !
 Fitz Of Depression at Annie's, San Francisco, april 23d, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Slug Interview

The following interview was conducted by rockscribe extraordinaire and allround swell guy Ken Shimamoto ca. 2000 by mail for I-94 BAR, and is reproduced here for archiving reasons.
One of the rockingest platters I've heard this year, the Hydromatics' Parts Unknown combines the talents of Motor City R&B/garage/punk godfather Scott Morgan with three European disciples: Nicke Hellacopter and the Nitwitz' Theo Brouwer and Tony Slug. Tony joined me over a virtual brew from his home in Amsterdam on October 16.

K: Scott Morgan played me the rough mix of the Hydromatics album at SXSW in Austin last March. I remember thinking, "Who woulda thought the spirit of Fred 'Sonic' Smith would make its way across the Atlantic to the Netherlands?" The Rock works in mysterious ways.

T: Well, man, that's a very big compliment. I WISH I could get those leads to
fucking FLOW like Fred did. I think I got about a third down (at most), but y'know, I'm working on it.
Really, Fred's style of playing influenced me more than anything, ever since I was a teenager. (Of course, he got it from Chuck Berry.) I would listen to the Five over and over again. In the early punk days (late '70s), everyone was into these crappy English bands and I was just like, "No, no, that's not right, listen to THIS" and everyone thought it was a big bunch of noise. Or they'd call it "hippie shit." Then with my old band, Loveslug, we'd do like four MC5 covers live, and no one had a clue.

Thankfully, people are picking up on this stuff right now. I hope Scott gets some well-deserved credits at last with the Hydromatics. We're having a great time jamming together, and it's fucking awesome to play those SRB tunes live.

K: One thing I like about your approach guitar-wise is that you take what Fred did as a starting point, but you add your own slant as well. Being YOURSELF and using what you've learned as a springboard to your own expression is a big part of what Fred was about, I think.

T: That's absolutely right. There's so many kids out there who try to perfectly clone, say, Steve Vai or Hendrix, and even when they do master it, it has no soul or balls for that matter. Personally, I feel Chuck Berry is the originator.

K: Yeah, Chuck probably IS the man for rock guys. There's a line that runs from him through Keith Richard to Fred and Wayne Kramer and Johnny Thunders, on down the line. It IS folk music, after all.

T: I read ya loud and clear. Chuck himself stole a bunch of stuff, too, of course. But I also really like his calypso-ish stuff, for instance on Bio. Great album! [If you listen hard, you can hear some of this influence in Tony's playing on Parts Unknown. No fooling!]

K: Scott's girlfriend Maureen Ferrell tells me there's a possibility the Hydromatics will be playing at SXSW next spring. Sure hope so.

T: Cool, man, I can't wait. It depends on a lot of things. It's been like 15 years since I played there last, with the Big Boys and Minutemen.

K: I played once with Tim from the Big Boys before they were a band. I remember Biscuit used to pin Purina Dog Chow bags to his clothes as part of his stage getup.

T: Funny. How about the Dicks? They used to play a whole lot together. Originally MDC were from Texas, as were the great Offenders. Their bassplayer was this long haired, half-Mexican, half-Japanese guy called Mikey and he was incredible. Then two years later (1986), he moved to San Francisco and started doing smack. Duh. I played with all those bands in the early '80s. We actually did a show in Odessa, Texas, if you can believe that.

K: I was stationed in Abilene in the Air Force. Midland and Odessa seemed like places you didn't want to break down. Real "Bad Day At Black Rock" scenes.

T: I'll say, dammit. We played with this band called Research and apparently they had been frying in the Texas sun too much. I remember they had songs with titles like "Cows Eating Dolphins" and stuff like that. The dude told me he at one point wore a skinny necktie for ONE DAY, and he had guns pulled on him SIX times that day. So, you know, that kinda explains why there were no pink Mohawks in Odessa. Also, the accents were so thick that I couldn't understand a word.

K: How'd European post-punk go over in West Texas?

T: Well, we weren't post-punk but more like full-on super thrash. We did a few shows with the Dead Kennedys, including one in Dallas at the Republican Convention. Big riots.

K: Big Al Creed from the New Christs had some really good things to say about the if we didn't know!

T: That's great! I'm a big fan of the New Christs myself. Especially their 45s I like a lot.
 First ever Hydromatics gig in Amsterdam, 1999

K: So, how did the Hydromatics project come about?

T: Well, whew. Long story...Nicke and myself had wanted to do a side project thing for many years. We planned to record a heap of SRB tunes (or at least steal a bunch of their riffs, hee hee). But with the 'Copters being on tour all the time, we had to put this project on hold for a while. Then I hooked them up with Scott and so it happened that Scott ended up playing live with the 'copters and recording some tunes with them, which is very cool. Then Scott seemed really interested in participating in the side project thing with Nicke and me, so we could get to work.

K: Talk a bit about the recording of your album in Amsterdam last February.

T: It was real fun. Nicke hadn't played the drums really since he quit the Entombed, and he is just incredible. Great drummer. Of course we had all prepared ourselves, so we wouldn't be going "duh" in the studio not knowing what to play. We had exchanged tapes with ideas for songs through the mail. But seeing as how the four of us never had never all gotten together, I think we did a good job with the album. I mean, some members of the band only met each other six days prior to recording it! Of course, playing with Scott is a real pleasure, too.

We rehearsed for three days to get a live set going, and wrote the orginals on the album in the next three days. Then we played three live shows, which included a BAD ASS version of "City Slang" I might add. Scott and me were on our knees and rolling on the stage in the end part, the whole nine yards. So that was helluva lot of fun. I mean, the guy is 50-years-old mind you, and he's still got it!

 Hydro in Amsterdam, 1999

K: Who are the Hectic Horns [who appear on the album]?

T: They are this horn section that was rehearsing next door to our recording studio. They do some work with the studio engineer's blues band, Dripping Honey. Scott went up to them and asked if they wanted to help out and they did, quite nicely I might add.

K: Any plans for an American or Australian release?

T: I wish! Looks like a well-known label is gonna do it in the States, from what I hear. At this point nothing is confirmed, however.

K: You've got a pretty extensive tour of Europe coming up. How'd you pick the cities/venues to play?

T: Basically it's the Hellacopters tour, then Nicke figured we might as well be on it, so we said yes. But we needed a second band in between and this is where Zen Guerilla comes in.

K: How's Nicke feel about playing twice a night [on drums with the Hydromatics and gtr/vox with the Hellacopters]?

T: Man, the guy is unstoppable! The 'copters just came back from Japan and after one day their Scandinavian tour started. We cancelled that leg, to make it a little easier on him. At any rate, he told me he has no difficulties doing two sets a night, as long as he can rest for an hour in beween.Rock 'n' roll is top athletic, I tell ya. But he's like 10 years younger than me.
 Hydromatics at Roskilde Festival, Denmark, 2003

K: Any tour plans for the Hydromatics in the States or Australia?

T: No concrete plans at this point, but we're definitely up for it. We'd LOVE to go to Australia.

K: Any plans for further Hydromatics recordings?

T: Basically yes, but you can imagine this depends on many factors, foremostly the relentless touring schedule of the Hellacopters. We're thinking about possibly doing a next album next spring.

K: You and Theo also play together in the Nitwitz. Can we get some background on that band for fans who might not be familiar with your work?

T: Well, the Nitwitz started in 1978, and were like the first Dutch punk band to emphasize playing really fast. Then we turned into B.G.K. ca.1982, whose entire back catalogue has just been re-released on Alternative Tentacles, by the way. This is like full-on hardcore thrash. B.G.K. toured the States twice and all over Europe half a dozen times. After that, I was in Loveslug until 1993 or so. Consequently, I did a gruelling tour with Sonny Vincent and Spencer P. Jones from the Beasts Of Bourbon in 1995.

Then in 1996, there was a book coming out on Dutch punk 1976-1982, and I'm all over it, so the guys who did it asked us to do a reunion show for the publishing party. After some persuasion, we did and rocked the hell out of these nostalgic old punks in their mid-30s! Next, Epitaph slapped us with some dough to do a demo, and record some new stuff. But they weren't happy with it; I mean, we're not exactly marketable to the walletchain and skateboard crowd or nothing, or possibly the album title (Dark Side Of The Spoon) didn't go down too well with the Epitaph label boss [Brett Gurewitz], who was in rehab kicking heroin, hee hee. So Get Hip picked it up, and those dicks Ministry stole our album title. Now there's been more personnel changes and I am the only original remnant.

K: Who's this Sonny Vincent guy?

T: Sonny was in this band called the Testors in NYC in 1977, who useta play with the Dead Boys a lot. Then he played with Moe Tucker and has his other band, Shotgun Rationale, which sort of has different line-ups all the time, including members of the Dead Boys, Plasmatics, Replacements, Tank, Beasts Of Bourbon, Velvet Underground, Husker Du. All kinds of people, depending on where Sonny lives at the moment and who he can talk into it, I guess.

K: I know Scott Asheton did a record and tour with him.

T: Yep, Steve Baise from the Devil Dogs was in that line-up too.

K What music have you been listening to lately? Anything new/cool that I-94 patrons might not be familiar with?

T: Well, not much, actually. The only thing that cuts it for me is a personal approach, so I go out and support my friends' bands, and whatever people send me in the mail. I don't read music magazines or anything, really, to find out about stuff. Just see bands live. Once in a while you see some really cool shit. Turbonegro were fucking incredible, both live and on record. I've supported the 'Copters since they opened playing for 12 people and stuff. Just saw The Donnas the other night, who were all right, but nothing spectacular. A little too L.A. for me. There's a German band I like a lot, the Cellophane Suckers. Those guys fuckin' jam!

K: Last and most importantly, since we're in a bar -- what do you like to drink?

T: Chilled Grolsch lager. Not the fake Grolsch you can get in the States but the real Dutch kind. I live on that shit. American beer sucks ass. And I'm quite partial to the occasional tequila (straight), or vodka on the rocks.

 Ken, Slug and Pat Todd of the Lazy Cowgirls in Texas, 2003.

Monday, May 11, 2009

V/A - N.Y.H.C. the spirit of old school video

Looks like somebody put out a DVD compilation with B.G.K. on it. See here

B.G.K. were definitely not part of the New York hardcore scene, despite the fact that New York used to be called New Amsterdam, maybe. We are definitely bona fide old school hardcore though. The NY scene embraced us heartily when they had heard our music and found we were tough enough to hang/drink with them in Thompins Square park I guess. This is long before bands like Biohazard (at the time 100 % metallers with dubious political affiliations) or Sick Of It All would claim their stake as "original NY hardcore" with tough guy cookie monster bullshit.

Upon arrival (staying in a cockroach infested hellhole on 2nd street in the Lower East Side's notorious "alphabet city") we discovered that M.D.C. ditched us and that the whole tour had been cancelled. Great timing !
The reason for this cancellation was that the companion of tour booker (manager of D.O.A., Ken Lester) had freaked out with a nervous breakdown or whatever to the point of going into hiding, taking all the tour info and papers with her to some super secret motel location.
Wonderful. Again, great timing. Furthermore, to our surprise, M.D.C. had seemingly abandoned their squathouse/anti-commercial/anarchy antics, and now demanded $1000 guarantees per show. Plus planetickets, that is, maybe conveniently neglecting to mention certain members drug habits, argueing "we're far from home, we got rent to pay, we got kids, and have been doing this for a long time", etc.
Which totally made sense seeing as how we were about 10 times farther away from home, also had kids and rent to pay and have been doing this as long as they had. Not to mention the B.G.K. album they released on their R Radical label that we hadn't been paid for, the European tour we set up for them, and all the Euopean shows we did together and gave all our money to them. It wouldn't be the first (or the last) time they dicked us, but I have to be diplomatic here.
Anywhoo, making the best of a bad situation, Cause For Alarm reformed ad hoc, and we went on tour anyways as a package deal. The line-up of C.F.A. consisted of former M.D.C. roadie and future Grateful Dead(!) tourmanager Chris Charuki (check this if you don't believe me) on vocals, ex-Agnostic Front guy Alex on guitar, Robbie on drums and newcomer Joe Rock on bass. 15 Years or so later I went to see C.F.A. in Amsterdam to say hi and could not recognize one single member. When some 'hardcore' girl at that show sneered "what are you doing in our scene, hippie ?" because of my long hair so I was like fuck this 'hardcore' bullshit and bailed.
 MRR 16 NY scene report. No mention of S.O.I.A. or other metal goofs.
B.G.K. played numerous shows with the likes of Reagan Youth, False Prophets, Murphy's Law, etc. headlining a dynamite, packed to the hilt show at CBGB's.
Despite my pleading, B.G.K.'s 'manager' Wouter refused to shell out out $ 15,- for a 16 track mixing desk recording ("$ 15,- ?? that's ridiculous") for anti-commercial reasons, but the gig was recorded anyways and came out as a bootleg later.
B.G.K. at CBGB's, New York, 1984

Some guy from Agnostic Front stagediving or something

Also on that bill were Adrenalin O.D. from New Jersey. They would follow us around in their car, showing up unexpectedly in the oddest places, requesting they also play. Of course they could. For this aptly titled "invite ourselves" tour, they printed T-shirts showing a hand holding a bundle of flowers, which we thought was pretty amusing.

V/A - a fistful of rock, vol. 6

Goddamn. Yet another release nobody told me about. Here's the story : Not only did the Nitwitz get fucked harder than a Tijuana crack whore on Cinco de Mayo by Get Hip (Get Dicked) records, one track of Dark Side of the Spoon, "Bad Chemistry" appears to have consequently been "licensed" to Tee Pee records without informing, and needless to say without compensating the band. Tee Pee consequently "sold" the track to various websites who now offer it for $0.99 per download while we were still scrounging for chump change in the seams of our couches trying to pay off the recording studio debt. This series of compilations was put together by one Sal from the insanely overrated near-coverband Electric Frankenstein. When I asked him if I could at least have a copy for the archives he said no, leaving us with... a fistful of nothing, making this release smell rather more like a fistful of shit.

You can buy this LP/CD from Amazon if you must, or the tracks thereof here, but I'd suggest that for your own karma's sake, you purchase my compilation "Here's $ 50" instead here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Roadhog lesson 2

Rocknroll dentististry, baby. This simple instructional video is for those who want that Shane McGowan or Lemmy smile.
Roadhog lesson 2

Friday, May 8, 2009

V/A - Chainsaw fanzine # 14 flexi disk

Another oddity that slipped past my defenses. This 7" flexi disk came out in December 1984 as a freebie with the 14th and last issue of Chainsaw fanzine out of Croydon, Foggy Old England.
Chainsaw fanzine does not only gets props for starting out in the middle of the fateful year 1977 (1st issue features the great humanitarian and philosopher Johnny Moped !), but editor Charlie Chainsaw was also hip to continental European style hardcore punk as early on as 1984. The mainstream UK music press only began getting a clue 2 to 3 few years later, only to consequently - but not too surprisingly - claim hardcore punk was foremostly, if not exclusively a British phenomenon,
heralding Johnny come latelies such as the Stupids and Napalm Death as groundbreaking originators, and completely ignoring the at the time vibrant hardcore scenes all over continental Europe, where an international underground network had begun to develop, long before booking agencies, hardcore labels paid top dollar to place ads in magazines and (let's face it) everything basically went to hell.
A typical night at the Emma in Amsterdam ca. 1985:
B.G.K., Impact, and Scream featuring future Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl

The flexi : even though the flexi disk was an impossible format (paper-thin, easily scratched, dismal sound quality, ZERO dynamics) they were at the time regarded as an economic alternative for costly "real" vinyl pressings, plus, in pre-internet days, they were much cheaper to send in the mail. Regular record distribution companies would not carry these releases, and there was no promotion really.

Apart from the B.G.K. material (a song lifted off the WMD E.P.), there are tracks by a group called Butcher and a fellow Amsterdam group with the curious name Mornington Crescent, who to my knowledge never played many live shows, certainly never toured abroad, and didn't belong to the circle of "B.G.K.'s satellite bands" in Amsterdam.

Yet, these guys would gain minor cult status overseas among hardcore punk fans, when a rather dorky and pasty looking graphic artist, avid record trader and vocalist of Septic Death (who hailed from Boise, Idaho for chrissakes) began raving about their EP in Maximum Rocknroll etc.

Preceding the "deathgrunt" by about a decade these were the gruffest vocals heard to date making it impossible to determine wether the record should be played on 33rpm or 45rpm !

Pushead actually suggested he draw an album cover for B.G.K., an offer we politely declined. Little did we know back then that the artist would be drawing record sleeves and logos for Metallica later.

Where are they now ?
Pushead became chummy chums with the heavy metal elite and is undoubtedly making fortunes with his
personal line of action figures, Japanese monster toys, skateboards, and other crap.
If I had saved the handwritten corrspondence with him all these years I could sell that shit for megabucks on Ebay.

Mornington Crescent were never seen again, but may be heard here
Fanzine editor Charlie Chainsaw resurfaced later in Rancid Hell Spawn, the Sexual abominations, and even has his own Wikipedia entry.
Me, I'm still out there. Whoopee.

Somebody made B.G.K. page on
B.G.K. fan page on MySpace
Another B.G.K. fan page on MySpace

Shit City High

Pablo from Austin's Shit City High lured me all the way to Texas with their demo, which I thought was pretty good as the female vocals made it stand out above the endless mediocrity in this particular subgenre these days.
So in Dec. 2008 I mustered up all my (Dutch) courage and flew to Texas to do 3 shows with them (Austin and Houston). The band seemed pleased, judging by the following press release they sent out :

Thursday, October 23, 2008
tony slug to texas cometh

Tony Slug of Amsterdam punk band The Nitwitz (which also featured Texas punk icon, Mikey Offender), and the trans-global "Rock City" outfit, The Hydromatics (which featured members of The Hellacopters and Sonic's Rendezvous Band), has Joined Shit City High! His energy and "Mad Max" guitar style is incomparable to anyone living!! He will be joining the band for their show with The Misfits Nov. 29th in Houston, TX, which will be a rock 'n' roll overdose that hasn't been seen since punk's "golden years!!" The band will then hit the studio in NYC to record their new album "The Agony and Fury of Rock 'n' Roll!" with new member, Tony Slug. If that wasn't news to blow your socks off...the new album is going to be produced by famed producer Tony Visconti(Bowie, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy)!! Next year the band will be hitting the road, touring the States, Europe and Japan, so look out for these rock maniacs when they come to "Destroy Uranus!!" Welcome to the family Tony!!

Why thanks, it's been real, y'all.

Shit City High demo tracks :
Destroy your anus / Shit City / Dirty Action / Rocknroll bitch
pass : slugtrails

V/A Future Now fanzine flexi

Apparently Issue #4 of England's FUTURE NOW fanzine came with a 7" flexi disk with tracks by Heresy, the Stupids, the Depraved, and B.G.K. on it. Since I do not have a copy, the song and date of this mysterious release are unknown and I'll probably never know.

Four Way Hit videos

When my good friend Dan offered to fly me all the way from Amsterdam to L.A., just to play at a party with his band, Four Way Hit in December 2008, no way I can say no. I didn't know what to expect, and couldn't bring my Les Paul on the plane.
Only after another long-time friend, Jennifer Finch (from L7 and The Shocker) lent me a guitar we were able to practise at the last minute, just in time to get a little set together, after mere 2 rehearsals in drummer Ron's living room, located downtown East L.A. (an interesting location by all means!).
The fact that we only practised twice may explain why this is a pretty ramshackle affair, but it was just for fun anyways. Probably the only rocknroll band with a native American, a Mexican, a Japanese guy, an American and a Dutchman in it.

Trivia :
Dan (vocals) has been a fixture in the L.A. scene since the late 70's and is the producer of several noteworthy punk releases such as the Legal Weapon LP and a 7" by guitarist Mike's band, Sludge. Check them out.
Bassplayer Mas actually played in one of Japans better known 70's rock groups, Creation (not to be confused with the psychedelic group Creation) at some point.

Let's have a party (Wanda Jackson cover)

Riding with the king

Let's Do It Again (Sonics Rendezvous Band cover)


Fitz of Depression video

When Fitz of Depression play Reno, bet your bippy hilarity ensues. I've compiled some of the whackier hi-jinx and Spinal Tap moments resulting in this little mini-Slugumentary™
Glen's Reno Adventure !!!

DOWNLOAD a .wmv encoded 720x576 rez version of this video (132 MB)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Roadhog lesson 1

Some edutainment for all you rocknrolla N00bz out there.
Stand down from the funk !
Roadhog Lesson 1

DOWNLOAD a .wmv encoded 720x576 rez version of this video (23 MB)