inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #76 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Mon 14 Jun 04 10:34
    
You asked about my favorite bands to work with back in the punk days.
As I said earlier, we had a great alliance with 8 Eyed Spy and even
with John Cale. I helped persuad the guys at Armadillow World
Headquarters to book Cale on his Sabotage tour, and they repaid the
favor by having us open the show. We also opened for Cale in San
Antonio at the legendary Sunken Gardens. One of the worst
reincarnations of Iron Butterfly was on the bill, too, and the show was
full of surreal & unintentionally funny moments, like when Mike Pinera
of Iron Butterfly jammed with Cale's band, on Pablo Picasso, I think
it was, and they took turns improvising lyrics, and Cale did the duck
walk behind Pinera during Pinera's guitar solo. I kid you not.

We really enjoyed playing with Cramps, too. Did that twice. Locally,
we were friends of Standing Waves (despite some fallings out,
temporary), though their fans tended not to like us. We were good
friends with the Next, too. We did real well on double bills with D-Day
and the Explosives - two bands who were, like the Skunks, a little
older than many of the other Raul's bands, and their fans were older
and less cutting edge-obsessed as well. In Houston there was a band
called Random Culture we were fond of, and in Dallas, there was Moving
Products. We would help bands like those out when they came to Austin,
letting them open a show at Club Foot, where they would get a guarantee
and good exposure. We even let them crash at our apartment. 

There was another band called Purely Physical that I liked a lot, a 3
piece power pop band that included Joe McDermott, known locally these
days as a guy who makes records for kids. Good stuff. The Urge was a
similar band. The leader, Paul Minor, is still a good friend. He later
had a band called Superego, which made some cool CDs. The bass player,
Troy Dillinger, still a friend, has a solo career, and just released a
great new CD.

During the 3rd incarnation of the Skunks, Jon Dee was in a power pop
band called The Lift, which also included David Cardwell, ex-Standing
Waves, on bass & lead vocals. I liked them quite a bit, and we played
together some. 

As you guys know, and some of the folks out there might know, Jon Dee
ended up in a band called True Believers, around 1984. The Skunks had
disbanded in '83 and I was then in  my Bryan Ferry phase, with a band
called Secret Six. It was ironic because by this time, partially thanks
to the success of Stevie Ray Vaughan, the big guitar sound had
regained a lot of popularity again, and True Believers had a very big
guitar sound, with Jon Dee and the Escovedo brothers, Xavier and
Alejandro, on guitar. More than once I wondered if the Skunks would
have risen to much greater heights if I had kept wearing that
particular gorilla suit and persevered. Not that I dwelled on it or
regretted my decision to move on. 
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #77 of 115: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 14 Jun 04 17:07
    
Paul Minor and I had classes together at St. Ed's. In fact, didn't The 
Skunks play a gig there, at the Student Union? 
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #78 of 115: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 14 Jun 04 17:11
    
Those of you who are reading this from outside the WELL can make comments 
and ask questions - just send your thoughts in an email to 
inkwell-hosts@well.com, and we'll post them here.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #79 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Mon 14 Jun 04 19:49
    
The Skunks play St. Ed's University several times, I believe, and
Secret Six played there, too. The students there seemed to like us a
lot. We played in some old hall, what was it? It used to be an airplane
hangar, I think.

For those of you outside of Austin, St. Ed's is an old Catholic
school, older than the University of Texas, founded in the 1870s. It
occupies a hill in south Austin and you can see its beautiful limestone
towers from way across town. Very pretty campus. And they treated
bands right there.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #80 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Mon 14 Jun 04 20:00
    
Hey guys & girls, if any of you are in the LA area this weekend and
want to get a signed copy of Never the Same Again, I will be at Mystery
Book Store in Westwood on Friday at 1 PM, signing my book. At the same
time, James Lee Burke will be there also, signing his new mystery
novel.

Saturday I'll be Mystery & Imagination in Glendale at 7:30 PM, so try
to make it if you're nearby.

Upcoming events in Austin, Texas include the Austin History Center
reading on June 24 at 7 PM. I'll be reading and doing a Q&A. That's the
neat old art decoish building next door to the central, or John Henry
Faulk Library.  On July 16, my new wave supergroup, Class of 78, will
play the Hole in the Wall. It will be my first gig at the Hole, believe
it or not.

On Sunday July 18, I'll be at Barnes & Noble Arboretum, since the last
gig there was all but rained out. We had a handful of hardy souls,
which was a nice testament, but the store was sure we could draw a big
crowd next time so they gave me another date. 

So far nothing has come up for Dallas or Fort Worth, which is a little
disappointing. We haven't figured anything out, other than the Barnes
& Nobles. I think I can get a review IF I do a signing, so it's a Catch
22. We may figure it out yet. But if anyone out there has any bright
ideas, let me know.

If you're in the Houston area, they should still have some signed
copies at Murder By the Book on Bissonnett, and in Phoenix/Scottsdale
at Poisoned Pen, and San Antonio at the Twig. I recently did signings
at all those places and the events went very well.

As I've said earlier, the book does seem to appeal to lovers of
mystery fiction. And why not.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #81 of 115: Berliner (captward) Tue 15 Jun 04 01:25
    
Indeed. Especially when one of the mysteries you solve is yourself. 

Just reading over this reminds me that there was a whole secret
history of the '70s and '80s all across America. The major record
companies had banded together, determined not ot sign anything edgier
than the Police, or as poppy as the stuff coming out of England that
was keyboard-driven. They were short-sighted because MTV wound up
dumping a lot of that stuff on our charts because those Brits had
videos ready -- they were showing them on the BBC years before MTV came
along. You guys only saw a tiny fraction of the bands through playing
with them, and you were restricted to the places you played: none of
the stuff happening in SF, Minneapolis/St Paul, the Pacific Northwest,
New England... 

The really sad thing is that recording a decent record -- single or
album -- was much, much more expensive back then, and, lacking the
Internet, distribution was in the hands of a very few, very corrupt
(for the most part) group of companies. A lot of really great music --
and, as we see today, a lot of really horrible music -- never even got
documented. It's the moral equivalent of the Petrillo recording bans of
the '40s. 

Switching the subject completely around, Jesse, I was thinking,
because of a pulp book I'm reading at the moment, about cops. Cops and
hipsters rarely even seem to breathe the same oxygen. I'm wondering if
you have any general observations about them, since your work, both as
a novelist and in investigating the murder, must have brought you into
contact with them more than ever before. You've got a bass-playing cop
in the Martin Fender novels, too: ever run into anyone like him on a
police force?
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #82 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Tue 15 Jun 04 06:38
    
Ed, you make some great points there about the great undocumented
secret history of the 70s and 80s. I know when we played places like
Ohio, Minnesota, and even some of the musical meccas of the time like
NYC, we discovered some great bands that were completely unknown to the
rest of the world. They had big followings in their region and they
had records, too, yet they were never heard by people outside the area,
and the shame of it is, with the technology and alternative
distribution methods we have today, there seems a much greater
likelihood that it could've happened.  I was struck by a similar
feeling when I read Michael Azzerade's Our Band Could Be Your Life; the
book was a neat chronicle of bands like Nirvana who captured the
moment in the 90s (and I guess the late 80s), but I thought it would've
been so much more interesting if those accounts were about the bands
who didn't make it, not the ones we've already heard about. 

It's interesting that you say that hipsters and cops rarely breathe
the same air, because lately, in my research into the Overton gang (an
Austin-based syndicate of bank burglars & pimps who had a great run in
the the sixties), I get the feeling that many of them were very close
to being of the same world. I mean, it's not a big revelation -- you
see all the time how narcs and druggies fight each other in the
trenches that are so close together they often slip over to the other
side with very little conscious thought about how & what they're doing.


The shock of growing up in the sixties, though, is that for the better
part of my youth, rock n roll was rebelliousness and everything else
was the establishment. Nowadays, rock & youth culture saturates
everything, and even edgy punk music is used to advertise everything
from computers to cars. So it's not unusual at all to find a rock band
made up of moonlighting cops or firemen or attorneys & judges. It's
bizarre.

I run into people all over the place nowadays who were fans of the
Skunks -- people who have their own businesses, who work for the city,
are schoolteachers, college professors, you name it. Most cops I run
into are too young to have heard of us! Some of the younger guys at our
reunion shows were turned on to us by our parents.

In my interviews with older cops on the Overton Gang and, to some
extent, investigating Dianne's murder for the current book, several of
the cops used to frequent places like the Continental Club, both for
entertainment and as undercover investigators. One of the retired vice
cops used to always be undercover, wearing a fake wig or nose, yet he
was a big fan of Austin music, especially C&W, but not exclusively, and
was intimately familiar with Austin joints like Continental Club
(which has been, over the years, devoted to burlesque, jazz, C&W, punk,
rock, retro, etc), le Lollypop (rock with go-go dancers), Jade Room,
Ernie's Chicken Shack, the Skyline, etc.

Some of my contacts also told great stories of seeing Elvis in the
fifties here, including the legendary show at the Sports Center (same
building as the Armadillo) where there was a small riot sparked by
horny female fans, and the first appearance of Charlie Pride and the
astonished gasp of the white audience upon learning that he was --
gasp, no shit! --- a NEGRO!!  Upon hearing all the murmuring (and NOT
murmuring), Charlie reportedly announced, "That's right, I am, and this
sure beats pickin' cotton!"  

Maybe it's apochryphal, I don't know, but it sounds and feels true to
me.

Undercover cops were at Raul's -- in fact, some were there the night
of the notorious Huns' riot (when this punk band's debut performance
drew some police to the club on a noise complaint, the lead singer
kissed the cop in charge, who proceeded to handcuff and arrest him,
sparking a brawl that was termed a riot in the news coverage).  I know
you know it, but others of you out there can see my book for a
recounting of the story. 

A cop whose beat is gang territory certainly generally, these days, is
pretty familiar with hip hop/rap, and some are fans, too. 

But then there's the actual lifestyle and purpose of the cop and the
hipster, and that's where the difference comes in, and that's probably
what you're referring to. A bunch of beat cops with a garage band play
rock n roll to blow off steam, or to nurse a particular itch, but their
day job is answering burglar alarms, trying to put patches on the
chaos leaking into the ordered world.  A true musician is an artist,
dedicated to abstract ideas, making something out of chaos, including,
perhaps, a living. 

On the other hand, the cop is dedicated to abstract ideas, too --
because, as anyone who'se watched a lot of film noir has probably
figured out, the rules that govern our society are pretty laughable
upon close examination. The criminal is the true realist; the rest of
us are only dreaming. 

I'm feeling pretty philosophical today, I guess. Maybe it's because
we're packing to leave for LA, and I'm starting to channel Raymond
Chandler & James Ellroy again.

What are you reading right now, Ed? I'm curious. I haven't read a good
pulp in a while.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #83 of 115: Berliner (captward) Tue 15 Jun 04 07:25
    
I'm reading a guy named Nelson DeMille, whom a friend of mine is crazy
about. Not noir, and definitely formula fiction, but on a slightly
higher intellectual plane than most of that stuff is. He's got a bunch
of books out there; this is only the third I've read, but it's called
Gold Coast and is about a preppy lawyer who has a Mafia don move in
next door to him on the North Shore of L.A. and winds up defending the
guy on a murder beef, somewhat against his better judgement. Before
that I read one called Word of Honor, which has an awful lot of stuff
in it that's applicable to the present Abu Ghraib scandal. 

Actually, I have to disagree with a distinction you made: 

"A bunch of beat cops with a garage band play rock n roll to blow off
steam, or to nurse a particular itch, but their day job is answering
burglar alarms, trying to put patches on the
chaos leaking into the ordered world.  A true musician is an artist,
dedicated to abstract ideas, making something out of chaos, including,
perhaps, a living."

Never underestimate the therapeutic impact of a hobby. These guys
don't think of themselves as "true musicians," if they exist (do they?
Is this a reference to some cops you've met? Just curious...), but they
probably do think of themselves as musicians. When you get in trouble,
you're gonna be glad they're cops, but although I don't think you
meant it, you're sort of implying there that you wouldn't deign to play
bass with them.  
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #84 of 115: My free and simple demeanor set everybody at ease. (pdl) Tue 15 Jun 04 08:56
    
one thing about the secret history of the bands of the late 1970s and first
part of the 80s is that there seemed (to me) to be a lot of bands who
pursued their muse with no illusions that they were or were ever going to be
commercially successful (or even viable).  It seemed like there was a belief
early on the punk was going to be a big deal in the states, but it did not
take off initially the way folks had anticipated.  Some bands associated
with punk had some success, but by the end of the 1970s, it seemd pretty
obvious that punk was not going to be a big deal on the charts.  Nirvana
changed the terrain in the early 1990s, but there was nothing
comparable prior to that.  so, you had a lot of bands all over the place who
not only were never going to be big, but who knew that they were never going
to be big.  I think this is what makes so much of this period interesting,
people saying fuck it, this is what I want to do right now. sure, everyone
would like to not to have to worry about money, but the knowledge that a
given endeavor is what it is and is not going to be something else was
liberating, imo.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #85 of 115: Berliner (captward) Tue 15 Jun 04 10:16
    
Interestingly, I'm going over the old Hernandez Bros. Love and Rockets
collections, and it seems to me that the scene in "Hoppers" that Jaime
portrays is a prime example of this. Who knows, maybe a band called
Ape Sex did exist somewhere. And we shouldn't forget that part of this
punk/new wave/whatchacallit movement was non-musical: unlike with the
hippies, there was a whole self-consicous literary and fine-arts
movement that went with it. That was one of the things I liked best
about it: DIY meant you could D *anything*. 
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #86 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Tue 15 Jun 04 15:45
    
Well, Ed, you're right, basically. I've got a lot of feelings about
this; however I don't think I should try to focus them into any blanket
statements or pronouncements. I'm talking about what you said about
the therapeutic effect of a hobby, and my admittedly bullshit statement
about "true musicians" vs whatever the alternative would be. Whenever
I hear someone say things like that, I usually head the other way. So,
a caveat.

On the other hand, you're absolutely right when you say that a bunch
of guys playing music as a hobby, cops or not, is not a bunch of guys I
would deign to play bass with. Class of 78 could possibly be included
in that bunch but not really. I hope no one asks me to explain the
distinction.

I think playing music as a hobby is a great thing. Don't get me wrong.
And like Free & Simple, I thought it was kinda neat that a lot of
bands were out there pursuing whatever they were pursuing even though
they knew they'd never get anywhere. But I started my bands with the
idea that this was what I was going to do, that although I wasn't gonna
sell out and play a certain kind of music just to make a living at it,
I wasn't going to accept a life of playing in a band on the side and 
working a day job to support my hobby. I guess that leads me to shrug
off some of the hobbyists out there. I hope it isn't too elitist. I
know it didn't necessarily make the Skunks music much better than it
was. 

I guess I should admit here that [no surprise to Ed] I wasn't the
punkest punk on the block, either. I just wanted to play rock n roll.
In the late 70's, the music coming out of England & NYC that most
people were calling punk sounded like the way I thought rock n roll was
supposed to sound. I was a diehard Stones fanatic, also a diehard fan
of Yardbirds, Lou Reed, certain other Brit invasion bands, bands we
call "garage rock" nowadays, Roxy Music, Blondie, Ramones, Stooges, and
other bands that later became known as the roots of punk, and/or
proto-punk. I didn't want to be pigeon-holed, didn't want to just ride
on the punk bandwagon, and there was a lot of it that I thought was
silly. I came up with blues, and I spent more time in the late 70s &
early 80s listening to the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Lou Ann Barton and
the old guys like Howlin Wolf than I did 999, Generation X and Siouxie
& the Banshees. 

So actually, the ethic that just anybody could do it, and the whole
anti-virtuoso ethic, were things that wore very thin with me very
quickly. Or maybe I was just a crank! But the fact that there were a
whole lot of amateurs out there, and especially, it seemed, college
students who were playing in bands as if they were term papers or
something, put me off quite a bit. I mean, I was happy that they were
happy doing what they were doing, but that didn't mean I had to take
them seriously. And most of the time, I did not.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #87 of 115: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 16 Jun 04 20:13
    
That makes me think how surprised I was when I saw the Clash at the 
Coliseum in Austin, and they were TIGHT, and totally professional. I'd 
always expected 'em to be loose and a little sloppy. But they were 
*serious.*

Nobody asked, but I have to tell you about the book I'm reading. Jesse, 
maybe you know the author, he lives in Austin. His name's James Hynes, and 
the book is called _Kings of Infinite Space_.  It's about a former English 
professor working as a temp at a state agency where strange things are 
happening. Because I did some time as a state worker, it resonates on that 
level, but this guy can really write. The book is dark, funny, and 
surreal.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #88 of 115: My free and simple demeanor set everybody at ease. (pdl) Thu 17 Jun 04 09:25
    
i like hynes a lot.  I've read his first novel, Wild Colonial Boy, which is
very different than his other stuff, and Publish and Perish.  I haven't read
the Lecturer's Tale or Kings.  Publish is a collection of several long short
stories and they are very funny.  Hynes seems to be a fan of classic horror
fiction the stories in Publish are ghost/horror stories.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #89 of 115: Berliner (captward) Thu 17 Jun 04 10:08
    
So, Jesse, what's the action like out in L.A.? Getting any press? 
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #90 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Thu 17 Jun 04 13:58
    
Hey man, we're here at our friends' place in Miracle Mile and it's a
beautiful tho gray day. Temparatures in the 70s. We're about to head to
the beach (Venice) where we'll hang out with Terry Baker, Gar Anthony
Haywood, Wendy Hornsby and who knows who else will show up. Maybe Gary
Phillips, one of my other favorite LA writers.

There was going to be a review of the book in LA Weekly this week but
unfortunately, it is being held for next week. WHY?  Because they got
in a big story about an extramarital affair of the current chickenhawk
in chief. Well, at least it's for a good cause.

Tomorrow I sign books at Mystery & Imagination in Glendale at 7"30.
The store is highly recommended by my good pal James Carlos Blake, so
we're looking forward to that.

Saturday I'm sharing the spotlight with James Lee Burke at Mystery
Book Store in Westwood at 1 PM. Should be a full house for that one.

I love LA. As soon as we land here I feel right at home again. What a
fascinating, stimulating town this is. 

One cool thing is the way that they've woken up to the wonder of all
the art deco and zig zag architecture here in the miracle mile and
painted most of the buildings in flattering, almost South Beach colors,
instead of trying to hide their glory in various shades of white.

I should be able to get back online later in the day or in the
morning, so I hope any of you shy lurkers out there will go ahead and
post something stimulating for me to respond to.

Here's a big Texas howdy from the Big Nowhere!
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #91 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Thu 17 Jun 04 14:00
    
Jon, no I don't know that HYnes. I know a Jim Hynes (sp?) in Houston
who's on his 3rd. The Austin writer just did the Texas Monthly book
club at Book People. Didn't go.

Just finished Moseley's Man in My Basement which was superb. Read it.

Currently reading Paul Auster's New York Trilogy (finally) and
rereading Hammett's Bloodmoney, one of his most punk, most underrated
novels. 

Right now my own Dashiell is really, really ready to head to Venice
with his best LA buddy Kyle, so we're outttttaaaa here!
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #92 of 115: My free and simple demeanor set everybody at ease. (pdl) Fri 18 Jun 04 07:51
    
I should make a disclaimer that I have not yet read your mystery novels, but
i have a question for you, since you are a mystery/crime writer and noir/pulp
fiction fan...

In all the noir (for lack of a better term) fiction I've read, place and sense
of place is very important.  In cornell woolrich's stuff, manhattan itself
is often the main character in a sense.  In all of Hammett's stuff that I've
read, place was very important--in the thin man, manhattan; maltese falcon,
san francisco.  Cain's Doulbe Indeminity, LA.  Chandler, LA.  The later,
neo-noir of Ellroy, LA. Even when the setting is fictional, though place is
usual central--so, for example, Red Harvest, Poisonville/personville;
whereever thompson's killer inside me takes place.

I know that you have used austin as a setting for some of your fiction
(along with LA). My question is how do you approach austin as a setting for
noir/pulp fiction?  Austin has always struck me as a very un-noir place.
Sure, there's plenty of sleaziness and the state government is here, but it
has never seemed obviously noiry--the way that manhattan is or lots of the
west coast.  Whenever I've used the phrase, 'mean streets of austin' it has
been in jest.  (also, i have this weird sort of daydream about the
photographer weegee and wonder what his photos would have been like if he
had been transplanted here.  how would the city have changed his photos, how
would the photos have changed the city.  i know this is weird, but there it
is).  Was it a challenge to use austin as a setting? was it a concern of
yours in setting stuff in austin?
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #93 of 115: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 18 Jun 04 15:46
    
Just wanted to step in and thank Jesse for being such a great guest, also 
Ed and Rik, and everyone else who contributed to this discussion. Today 
was our last "official" day, however Jesse and everyone else, you're 
welcome to continue; this topic will remain open.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #94 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Fri 18 Jun 04 16:13
    
Well, Free & Easy, the answer is no, no problem at all. If you'll
check out my novels, you'll see that they are set largely at night time
in the clubs, or the mood and plot have set a suitable noir tone that
carries over into the daytime & open spaces. Or at least, that was the
idea.

When I first set out to write the novels, the concept sprang forth
instantaneously that through the environment of smoky nightclubs and
strange and sleazy and obsessed and quirky people, it was no large leap
of imagination at all to see things as a noir movie setting. You have
people obsessed with fame or easy money or the rock n roll lifestyle,
or involved with drugs or other shortcuts to the highlife (pun
intended) which struck me as being very much like the characters and
situations in the noir fiction world.

In fact, in the south Austin musician's world, lots of guys dressed in
retro fashions, drove retro automobiles, smoked retro cigarettes. Not
to mention the fact that plenty of the real characters were involved in
various scams.

The  memoir I think speaks for itself. As one blog site said last week
about me, "The man is a walking noir novel..."

Hope that answers your question.

Thank you, Jon, for hosting me, and thank you Rik & Ed as well, and
thanks to the others for participating. I hope I didn't offend Rik by
my comment about Steely Dan, since I haven't heard from him since he
asked why I thought no punk bands had ascended to the complexity and
depth of that band's work, and I said that I couldn't properly respond
to the question since I never liked Steely Dan. It's a big world and
it's full of music, too much music for me to properly enjoy all of it. 

Things are going well here. There were quite a few musicians and pals
from my past at the party at Kathy Valentine's house Wednesday night.
Besides Kathy, there were Charlotte Caffey and Carla Olson. Mick &
Marina (del Rey) Mulfriedel, formerly of Vivabeat (What We Talk About
[When We Talk About Love]) were there. Marina was also in the band
Backstage Pass, one of THE very first all-girl punk bands here in LA.
All the kids were there, including Kathy's 2 year old, Audrey. Clem
Burke sent his regrets, since he's on tour with Blondie, and Pete
Thomas of Elvis COstello & The Attractions couldn't make it because
he's on the road with Nancy Sinatra. Pete & Judy THomas' daughter, who
plays in The Like (all 12 - year olds) also couldn't make it. 

Kathy's working on a new solo project . It sounds great. Her singing
has never sounded better, and the songs are quite good. 

We spent most of yesterday at Venice Beach with our pals. Terrill Lee
Lankford was there, besides the other writers I previously mentioned.
Besides having written the new novel Earthquake Weather (his 3rd, I
think), Lankford also made the new DVD that comes free with Michael
Connelly's new novel, The Narrows. The DVD is essentially the city of
LA seen thru the words of Connelly, with excerpts from his novels read
by William F. Peterson, and a few interviews with Connelly. A nice jazz
score. The DVD reminds me of the docs they've made on LA using bites
from Raymond Chandler novels, and it shows that Connelly has done a
fine job of capturing the spirit and themes of this crazy town in his
work, too. I highly recommend it.

For some reason I've got a wild craving to watch The Bad & The
Beautiful, and to read Paul Cain's great hardboiled novel The Fast One.
Just so happens I have it in my suitcase so maybe after the signing
tonight, I will.

I was just told that Gary Myrick, the Dallas-born glam guitarist who
took over Krackerjack (read my memoir for more on that band) will
definitely be at the signing tonight. 

Oh, and Owen Wilson jogged by us at the beach yesterday. I hate to
mouth that old cliche, but he looks a lot taller in the movies.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #95 of 115: My free and simple demeanor set everybody at ease. (pdl) Fri 18 Jun 04 20:08
    
thanks for being willing to participate, i really enjoyed reading this
topic.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #96 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Sun 20 Jun 04 16:25
    
Thank you, F&E, for responding. Anyone else out there following this?
It's been hard to tell. I have never done this before so it's often
felt like singing in the shower.

The last signing, at Mystery Book Store in Westwood, went quite well.
David Hendrick, drummer for Devo, came by & bought a book. A TV
producer now living in Paris, named Steve Brown, also ordered a book
and I got his email and will be possibly seeing him in Paris in 2
weeks. I hope we'll be signing at Maxim Jacubowksi's shop in London the
week of the 28th, and a few days later, we'll be seeing Bryan Ferry at
Petworth in Sussex. 

Met with the film agents on Saturday as well and they seem very cool,
too.

This Thurs. the 24th I'll be reading & doing a Q&A at the Austin
History Center downtown, next to the central library, here in Austin.

Sorry to keep relentlessly plugging my book events, but if anyone
wants to ask a question about my experiences in the early punmk/new
wave scene, LBJ in Texas, rock n roll & cancer, murder, grief, EMDR,
etc., I will be glad to try to give an intelligent reply.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #97 of 115: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sun 20 Jun 04 20:45
    
Is the book going to be a film? You mentioned agents...

I can't seem to avoid talking about the Austin music scene... but I've 
been thinking about the psychedelic era, which was happening mostly in 
Austin and San Francisco, at least at first. Were you influenced by 
Austin's psychedelic scene? I'm thinking about the Elevators, of course, 
but also other great bands, like the Bizarros, who were playing a reunion 
gig this weekend - I think with everybody except the late Ike Ritter.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #98 of 115: Get Shorty (esau) Sun 20 Jun 04 21:13
    
I've read and enjoyed all along, Jesse. Thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #99 of 115: Jesse Sublett (jessesublett) Sun 20 Jun 04 21:49
    
Thanks, Shorty, for letting us know you're there. Yes, Jon, I was
definitely influenced by the psychedelics. I was an adolescent when
things started getting psychedelic, so the sounds & intimations of the
experience itself, coming out in the music, helped hook & intrigue me &
inspire me to not only play music but also to take the drugs, or at
least try to find them.

This happened early on, because as you know, the Elevators were THE
first psychedelic band, and they got played on local radio immediately.
Bubble Puppy and a couple of other area bands -- Sweet Smoke and
Moving Sidewalks -- jumped on the trend pretty quickly, too. 

A lot of the garage bands who played gigs sounded psychedelic, anyway,
you know? Even when covering Beach Boys, Wilson Pickett, etc., if you
were playing in a high school gym the acoustics were so terrible, hey,
it was hard to tell when a band was adopting the psychedelic sound on
purpose and when it was by accident.

I really, really loved the Airplane and Quicksilver, as far as SF
bands go, though I immediately despised the Dead. Sorry, don't mean to
offend you Deadheads out there, but to me it was like broccoli or
ragweed, just an instant dislike that I have never been able to get
beyond or around and therefore have never felt the need to try.

Saw Jefferson Airplane on the Volunteers tour and they really knocked
me out. Hendrix I saw on the Band of Gypsies tour. That was all later.
I'm trying to think of the  '67, '68 stuff, also because that's a time
period I've been researching a lot for the Overton Gang book. It's so
fascinating to me because so much was happening so fast. You still had,
in rock clubs and on top forty radio -- go-go dancers and surf sounds,
not to mention Herb Alpert, Ennio Morricone, some hardcore C&W, folk,
Henry Mancini, blues, etc., and yet things were getting seriously
strange so fast that within a year or two at the most, those trappings
(go-go dancers, for one thing) would seem out of style by a million
years. 

I realize a lot of this is super subjective, but hey, it's pop culture
we're talking about here, so it should be OK.

Another local psych band I dug was Shiva's Headband. They seem pretty
silly in retrospect but they were like the house band at Vulcan Gas Co
so I saw them lots of times and got to like them. New Atlantic Hard
Rock band seemed pretty damn good, too. They played the Vulcan a lot.
Onion Creek -- I can't remember too well -- a lot of those Vulcan bands
played a similar repertoire of blues stuff with fuzz tone, and that's
not necessarily psychedelic.

I really, really loved the Yardbirds. A few of their songs still sound
really gorgeous, but it seems hard to find a whole LP's worth that are
still listenable.

Cream was another big favorite, especially Wheels of Fire. I learned
how to play bass largely by listening to Jack Bruce's solos on Spoonful
& Crossroads, and Larry Graham (Taylor?) soloing on Canned Heat's
Refried Boogie. Also saw the latter band numerous times. 
  
inkwell.vue.215 : Jesse Sublett: Never the Same Again: A Rock 'N' Roll Gothic
permalink #100 of 115: Berliner (captward) Mon 21 Jun 04 00:39
    
That's Larry Taylor with Canned Heat, although Larry Graham is, in the
grand scheme, possibly the more influential bassist, having worked
with Sly & the Family Stone and gone on to Graham Central Station, all
of whose records, as far as I can tell, are out of print. Graham was
weird: a Jehovah's Witness in the  middle of one of the more
drug-soaked milieus in pop music history. But he invented that
slap-bass, percussive style of playing, and if you ever get to talk to
Bootsy Collins (and boy, would I like to be a fly on the wall for
*that*) ask him about Larry Graham. 

I'm really looking forward to the Overton Gang book, I must say. I
think it's going to be a real step forward for you: a chronicle of
small-town crooks who were big-time in the context in which they
operated at a time of radical social change -- and, because they
crossed over some serious boundaries socially, unwittingly a part of
that change. When do you see this as coming out? Do you have a
publisher? Have they given you a deadline?

I wonder if, in the end, you feel like you've exorcised your demons
with Never The Same Again, or have you simply learned to live with
them, and, if that's the case, how has it changed the way you look at
life?
  

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