Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

04 July 2014

Cleveland Rawks




I hop in my Dusk Blue 1969 Chevy Nova SS, drive down from The Eddy & cruise west on good old Route 6 (you'll find it kinda parallel to Route 322 [David Thomas' favorite highway…see lyrics from ''Slow Walking Daddy'' below] after Meadville).



"I love that highway, US 322...yeah-yeah-yeah,
yeah... yeah..."

"I love that road,
I love the way it yields to me.
It sorta breathes & whispers out my name...
...that's how it feels.
I love that highway, US 322...yeah-yeah-yeah,
yeah."

It's Thursday evening & I'm heading for Cleveland for the week-end (long). It's been five weeks & I need some live music, lively libations, & olive women (my preference). The 4th of July is next week. I'm gonna smuggle back some fireworks (none of that 'safe & sane' bullshit wannabe fireworks…Ohio's got the 'unsafe & insane' kind…M80s…M100s…Cherry Bombs…Roman Candles of all calibers…Skyrockets that go BOOM!). I’m listening to V.U. on the cassette player, smoking some Cambodia Red my friend Steiner picked growing along the trail on one of his excursions into redacted KhmerRougeland & sent back to Pennsylvania along with this very cassette player & speakers I’m playing ''Sister Ray'' on right now (latest state-of-the-art from Japan, duty- & handling-free courtesy the United States Paramilitary Complex). I’m on my way to Cleveland. Cleveland rawks.

The late 60s – early 70s was a turbulent time in my life. I was living off the grid as a peacenik draft evader avoiding the genocidal  participation of my Mother Country in the Resistance War Against America in Vietnam since 1968. I briefly visited some friends in New York City before returning to San Francisco California until I wore out my anonymity factor, then I’d bounce across country to Albany New York then ditto to Scotts Bluff Nebraska, avoiding Federal Cossacks & awaiting hope-filled the cessation of stupidity in Southeast Asia. I knew that once the CIA-drug peddlers had worn out their 'welcome' in the heroin trade of the Golden Triangle they'd move on to newer & more lucrative drug venues (soon to be the Cocaine Fields of South America, then the Poppy Fields of Afghanistan, nowadays the Killing Fields of Old Mexico).

By 1970 the 'Vietnamization' policy of the Nixon Doctrine was slowing our involvement in Ho Chi Minhland & the American public's interest in the Evening News body count. After Scotts Bluff had pulled up the welcome mat, I moved back to my old home turf in northwestern Pennsylvania & lived the quiet bucolic country life along the outer reaches of the Appalachian Trail, hiding out at various safe houses at Shipman's Eddy on the Allegheny River or the old Mole country estate on Brown Run. I lived beneath the radar for the most part, sojourning out only for LSD shipments from the Eastern Brotherhood in nearby New York State (Buffalo & beyond stories another time) or for occasional doses of music in nearby Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland had always been a prime target for my music adventures. Premiere venues like The Agora Ballroom to smaller clubs like LeCave had hosted bands as varied as Jimi Hendrix to The Velvet Underground, Amboy Dukes to The Fugs. If any one place could be credited with my eclectic (insane) taste in music, more than San Francisco or New York City, was the grungy tattered wasteland that was Cleveland. This is the story of that desperate city & the greatest scum bags who ever lived there. Cleveland lost 23.6 percent of its population in the 1970s. Mob violence in the form of car bombs earned it the title "Bomb City, U.S.A.". The city went into default. Yet, the music scene of Cleveland of that era has become part of rock 'n' roll legend. Cleveland in the 70s sits alongside New York & London as a cultural center for a new sound that changed the course of music.

I had to be extremely careful in Cleveland, as I had briefly come to the attention of the authorities at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in early 1968 (pre-Federal violation) when I was transporting several pounds of pure mescaline sulfate from the west coast back to Pennsylvania. I had somehow pruriently involved myself in a mile-high scenario with one of the on-board flight attendants (they were called stewardesses in those ancient times) & we had unwisely smoked a bit of chronic I had with me (for strictly personal use) while basking in post-coital bliss in the airplane's 1st Class restroom. Although I walked away unfettered (they never found the herb as I had a plan [not going into anal details here, if you want, look it up in Henri Charrière's great memoir Papillon] & they had no clue at the time what my [grandly industrial sized] talcum powder was) I was nevertheless put on 'The List'.

But the shear awesomeness of the early-to-mid 70s Cleveland underground music scene was worth any additional caution/paranoia I might need to endure. Also, although the scene has since achieved national notoriety & legendary status, at that time the bands were confronted with a simple problem: nowhere to play. So a happening venue in those days was likely to be any one of a handful of dive bars where few people went, where the owner was looking to do anything to get people in. There was a short list of places to see the really freshest Cleveland sound: Clockwork Orange; Viking Saloon (where the Extermination Nights shows were held); Piccadilly; Governor’s Chateau; & later Pirate’s Cove; & Real World.



On any given night at any of the above mentioned clubs you would run into the likes of: Lux Interior & Nick Knox (Electric Eels drummer) later of The Cramps; Stiv Bators & Cheetah Chrome (Rocket from the Tombs & Dead Boys); Peter Laughner (Friction, Rocket from the Tombs & Pere Ubu); Anton Fier (Friction & Pere Ubu) later The Lounge Lizards, The Feelies, The Golden Palominos; all watching bands like Electric Eels, Mirrors, & The Styrenes go through their paces.

What exactly happened in Cleveland during the early 70s to make it such an insanely creative spot? Most people think of those years as a bit of a black hole for outsider rock 'n' roll. What was so different in Cleveland? Maybe two disparate things.




One: The Cleveland youth were the Ghoulardi kids. Ghoulardi was a fictional character invented & portrayed by disc jockey, voice announcer, & actor Ernie Anderson as the host of late night Shock Theater at WJW-TV, Channel 8, in Cleveland, Ohio. Though he was only on from January 13, 1963 through December 16, 1966, his influence on the musical youth of Cleveland is immeasurable. Shock Theater featured "B" horror & sci-fi films. It's been suggested by numerous scenesters that the Cleveland/Akron underground sights & sounds were in many ways attributable in large part to Ghoulardi's influence.

Two: The fact that The Velvet Underground played there a total of fourteen times was equally significant. Don't dismiss the power of The Velvets on the Cleveland underground mindset. It was a big deal. It changed many people's lives. Every band in Cleveland in the early 70s could play "Foggy Notion". Bands from Akron would play "Sweet Jane". Every band, Rocket from the Tombs, The Dead Boys, Styrenes, Pere Ubu. Peter Laughner, Electric Eels, the Pagans, Mirrors all could play "Foggy Notion". All the Akronites from Devo to Tin Huey could play "Sweet Jane".




Poet Charlotte Pressler, Laughner’s wife, described it best in her piece, "Those Were Different Times."
"You can ask, also, why they all turned to rock 'n' roll. Most of these people were not natural musicians. Peter perhaps was, and Albert Dennis, and Scott Krauss; but John Morton and David Thomas and Allen Ravenstine and Jaime Klimek would probably have done something else, if there had been anything else for them to do. One can ask why there wasn't; why rock 'n' roll seemed to be the only choice.

"I would like to know too the source of the deep rage that runs through this story like a razor-edged wire. It was a desperate, stubborn refusal of the world, a total rejection; the kind of thing that once drove men into the desert, but our desert was the Flats. Remember that the people who did this music had an uncompromising stance that gave them no way up and no way out. It was the inward-turning, defiant stance of a beleaguered few who felt themselves to be outside music, beneath media attention, and without hope of an audience. It seems that the years from 1974 to 1978 (really 1968-1978) in Cleveland were a flash point, a quick and brilliant explosion, even epochal, but over with and done. No amount of nostalgia can bring those years back; they were different times. Still, I can't imagine living any other way than the way I learned to live in Cleveland during those years. We found it hard, in 1975, to imagine that anyone would live to see the year 2000. It's not that hard to imagine it now. What's become hard to imagine - but then why would we want to recapture it? - is the timeless, frozen, quality of life as we lived it in 1975, in the terminal landscape of Cleveland, with our drivenness, our rage, and our dreams of breaking through."


Those Were Different Times is the name of this compilation. This is a compilation of very rough demos from three Cleveland bands of the period: Mirrors; Electric Eels; & The Styrenes. It was compiled by Paul Marotta, who played with all three bands at some point, from his personal tape collection. Most of the songs are from rehearsals, although there are 3 or 4 from one of the infamous Extermination Nights at the Viking
Saloon.

Various – Those Were Different Times: Cleveland 1972 – 1976 3x10", Scat Records scat45, 1997.
all decryption codes in comments

Side A –
Annie
How Could I
You Love Me
Living Without You
Beaver Girls

Side B –
Frustration
Hands in My Pocket
Sweet Refrain
I’m Going to Wyoming
We’ll See – Mirrors

Side C –
Safety Week
Wreck & Roll
Splitterty Splat
Stucco
Circus Highlights (The Men from UNCLE)
Now

Side D –
You Crummy Fags
Mustard (live)
The Big "O" (live)
No Nonsense (live)
Spinach Blasters (live)
Flapping Jets – Electric Eels

Side E –
Thirtyfour
Draw the Curtain
Mr. Crab
You’re Trash

Side F –
Pleasure Boating
Grey Haired Rats
Nineteen Sixtyseven – The Styrenes

Thought I’d include some additional music from the Cleveland scene. In 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected President. He took office in January 1977 & on January 21, 1977 he made good on one of his campaign promises & granted cross-the-board amnesty to all Vietnam era War Resisters. It was time for this boy to re-surface…

Various – Cleveland Confidential, Terminal Records TERM06, 1982.

Side A –
Woman Haters – Cry 816
Severe – Her Name was Jane
Menthol Wars – Ever Lower Manhattan
Defnics – Suicide Trip
The Dark – I Can Wait
The Styrenes – Jaguar Ride
Invisibles – In New York
Lab Rats – Cover Song End of Side 1

Side B –
Keith Matic – I Really Want to Stay (Lost in Rome)
Jazz Destroyers – Love Meant to Die
Offbeats – I’m Confused
Pagans – Boy Can I Dance Good
Red Decade – Scars of Lust
John Lovsin – Key of E
Easter Monkeys – Cheap Heroin

 




Die Electric Eels – Agitated/ Cyclotron 7'', Rough Trade RT008, 1978.

Side A – Agitated

Side B – Cyclotron
 
X______X (Ex-Blank-Ex…fill in any word you like in the blank) formed in 1978. It’s members included six key Cleveland underground musicians: Dave E. McManus ex-Electric Eels – vocals; John Morton ex-Electric Eels - guitar & vocals; Andrew Klimek (younger brother of Jamie Klimek of Mirrors)guitar; Jim Ellis (publisher of CLE Magazine - "the best in local music since 1977") - bass; Michael Weldon ex-Mirrors – drums; & Anton Fier ex-Friction & Styrenes - drums. Their music is a mix of underground music & performance art that picked up where Electric Eels left off. The band often played sets of conceptual pieces (one song required members to strike a pose for 60 seconds, another included power tools as musical instruments), as well as Eels songs as well as the band's own brand of art-punk. They also sadly marked an end to Cleveland's mid-70s underground scene. The band lasted until 1979. X______X broke up when most of its members moved to New York to pursue various projects: Klimeyk played in avant-garde group Red Dark Sweet; Fier played in the New Jersey group the Feelies & NY's Lounge Lizards before forming the Golden Palominos; Weldon pursued a publishing career (the Ghoulardi influenced Psychotronic Video magazine) ; Morton pursued art. Ellis & Dave E. stayed in Cleveland & started the noise group Jazz Destroyers. During their existence, the band released two 45s on Drome Records, a subsidiary of the Cleveland record store of the same name (Hideo's Discodrome or "The Drome" in Cleveland Heights where Jim Ellis worked.).

X__X – A / You’re Full of Shit 7", Drome Drome DR-2, 1979.

Side A – A

Side B – You’re Full of Shit



Resonance in the Netherlands released Another Nail in the Coffin in 1991 LP under the band name The Mirrors without the band's approval. Reach Out International re=released most of that material & previously unreleased & live tracks in 2004.

Mirrors – Another Nail in the Remodeled Coffin,
Reach Out International Records AUSCD 8290, 2004.

Tracklist –
Another Nail in the Coffin
Follow that Blonde
Every Day
I’m the One
I Think I’m Falling
How Could I
If I Swear
I Got a Need
I Love Joan
To Do We Do
Swept Away
Who Greased the Girl
Good to Me
Petits Fours
Halt Amphigory
& I Saw You
Girls Will be Girls
We’re on Our Way Home
Cindy & Kathy
The Big Lie
Penthouse Legend
If I Swear (Alternate take)
I’ve Been Down
Who Greased the Girl
You Me Love
Everything Near Me



Peter Laughner was a vital member along with David Thomas of Rocket from the Tombs & Pere Ubu as guitarist & vocalist. Laughner died from acute pancreatitis at the ripe old age of 24. In 1994, Tim Kerr’s Tim/Kerr label released Take the Guitar Player for a Ride, a 15 track compilation drawn from home-tapes Laughner had recorded. This compilation had limited sales appeal & has since gone out of print.



Peter Laughner (& friends) – Take the Guitar for a Ride 2x LP,
Tim/Kerr Records TK9312043, 1994.

Side A –
Baudelaire
Rock it Down
Sylvia Plath
In the Bar
Cinderella Backstreet

Side B -
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Lullaby
Pledging My Time
Visions of Johanna

Side C –
Amphetamine
Life Stinks
Don’t Take Your Love Away (Friction)
Calvary Cross (Friction)

Side D –
What Love Is (Rocket from the Tombs)
Ain’t it Fun (Rocket from the Tombs
Dear Richard (Friction)
Baby’s on Fire (The Finns)
Me & the Devil



Pagans were probably the successors to The Dead Boys after Stiv & Co. hotfooted it off to NYC.


Side A – Dead End America

Side B – Little Black Egg
1000 made of the original with pink label, repress has yellow label.


Pagans – Street Where Nobody Lives, Resonance 33-8921, 1989.

Side 1 –

Street Where Nobody Lives
Real World (1979)
Don’t Leave Me Alone
Eyes of Satan
Haven’t Got the Time
She’s a Cadaver
Give Up (live)

Side 2 -
Boy Can I Dance Good
What’s this Shit Called Love?
Dead End America
I Juvenile
I Don’t Understand
Not Now, No Way
Six & Change


Enjoy,


UPDATE: After a comment from an anonymous visitor impugning the veracity of some of my assertions & my favoritism of rock stars as opposed to "REAL" bands, I am adding a few other Cleveland classics that I left out.




Agitated – Go Blue, Go Die 7" EP, Smog Veil Records SV39EP, 2002.
Recorded spring 1983 in Cleveland

Side A –
Living like Garbage
& Then There Were None
In This Room
Dead Warmed Over
I Got a Right (Stooges cover)
Go Blue, Go Die

Side B –
Paralysis
Beat the Race
Blissful Ignorance is Preferable
No One’s Right
Iron Fist (Motörhead cover)
Almost Straight Edge



Offbeats – Why Do You Hang Out? 7" EP, OOPS! Records OOP-002, 1983.
their best, in my opinion

Smells Like Fun Side –
In a Rush
Maybe
Nothing for Me
Getting Fat

OOPS! Side –
Why Do You Hang Out?
Who the Fuck Do You Think You Are?
Look at Them Go
Go Away



Offbeats – Dumb Looks Still Free, Smog Veil Records SV26LP, 2001.
25 song compilation from Cleveland proto-punk band Offbeats containing much of their material

Side A –
Why Do You Hang Out?
Hey Mate Ahoy
TKO
Look at Them Go / Go Away
Child Abuse
Maybe
Ned
In a Rush
Who the Fuck Do You Think You Are?
Gib Shanley Dick
Last Day

Side B –
Seven Days
Learning
Shit My Pants
Sad
Beyond Reckoning
Happiness
Ain’t This the Life?
Bullshit Now
The Mets
Do You Know Bob Sablack?
My Dilemma
Nothing Will Ever Be the Same
Milk & Cookies
Fuck You Doug

Enjoy some more rawkin' Cleveland,

20 comments:

  1. Those Were Different Times
    aOLHJ1GyPBUTya5pRHgLVV-yzGYOmi5afUZoClpXOI4
    Cleveland Confidential
    NUOS_DdTkiFlv1Rd9gpa8jma1eR1-TQweYHTgftrTd8
    Agitated 7"
    OmY33kAU4R37f9Mt9CeLyAdQGgEuBIvapDhUvuqEr4M
    Ex-Blank-Ex
    PVKo1wlO1uuS_zTEUsM9RS6c49AlSigyqcV9bBo0344
    Mirrors
    S9NUnDMbZf9nmOkhVb3UB3UDHVEg8X0XdXLEsFFszgQ
    Peter Laughner
    CLYd7EyDpsBZ1YLNevpf9RpqXJ9qoqsWBDvDrmzqdyU
    Dead End
    RTRhegh9dDKgnMXisQ5weylpB0QGilRA5hJSa6GmLts
    Street Where Nobody Lives
    FQeO-ANbsc2fSENi72cVbR6aZ95rsYgTwBYfEvIHK_g

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. would love to have this Mirrors album copied....but it seems dead linked :(

      Delete
    2. Been having MEGA troubles. If MEGA goes, could be the death knell for this here blogger. I re-up so many different times...

      The Mirrors have a new link, no decryption code needed.

      I'll keep re-upping as I can.

      Delete
    3. cheers mate !!!
      great blot, great music , keep it up ! (if u can)

      Delete
  2. What an amazing story, both of your own adventures and of the unique place and time that was Cleveland in the early 70's. I have read about it in Please Kill Me and in Cle Magazine, but some of this information was new to me, as well as some of the records (I am drooling over the Scat 3x10").

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Those Were Different Times set is what got me started on this crazy reminiscence. Then the fact that the 4th of July was rapidly approaching reminded me of Cleveland times of my own. Then it just seemed to have a life of its own. I'm always pleasantly surprised by the reaction I get to these dusty tails of yore. This post received the most visits in a week of any previous posts.

      Thanks for the links you sent me for the Little Axe songs. Even Skip & Co. remember Stone Cold Ohio!

      Delete
  3. I think you have a good point about Ghoulardi, especially when you consider all of the Pere Ubu song titles that were taken from films. I had the pleasure of seeing Pere Ubu a few years ago backing a screening of "The Man with X-Ray Eyes" with David Thomas narrating, and I know they have done similar performances with "Carnival of Souls". This is an outstanding piece of writing, sir!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't take credit for the idea of "the Ghoulardi kids". I just wanted to tie it in to the underlying roots of the Cleveland underground sound. Peter Laughner made the connection in an article he wrote for Creem magazine (I still have a whole stack of old issues). Seeing as he & David Thomas were the linchpins of Pere Ubu, it is no coincidence they were such obvious "Ghoulardi kids". There is an indept article: LECTURE - "Ghoulardi: Lessons in Mayhem" at http://www.ubuprojex.com/archives/mayhem.html. When ask about his interest in B-movies, David Thomas said:"we grew up on Ghoulardi (Ernie Anderson) & learned all we ever needed about the nature of media, film, & 20th century art from him." High praise indeed.

      Delete
  4. The hell with rock stars like the Dead Boys and Pagans. Real punk in Cleveland started with the Agitated and Offbeats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, ya obviously can't please everyone. I was relaying a personal remembrance & including some music that related. Sorry I couldn't include everything everyone wants. But I agree with you...The Dead Boys & Pagans are such rock stars, shit, there right up there with U2 & The Rolling Stones. Buncha sell-outs. Well, just to satisfy MR. ANONYMOUS (can't give yer name, just yer bitchin', eh?) I have added some things after the update above.

      Delete
  5. Agitated
    _VSKC-eLiX5DPZfu3RHvdhlDxtuXckp8r2Svt0e6ysI
    Offbeats 7"
    Rj-UxjLQyBjiXtGmy4F4AE9-eUfZPq9xUYcC0flrNtc
    Offbeats comp
    81cVpbNitQt_LU7NIe_1i6eeeSU5poTJTKN6lwUmSaI

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a boon! Thank you for all this--the music and the memories.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I need the decryption key for the Mirrors album. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Are you aware of this?!

    https://soundcloud.com/cle-punk/1-fun-to-be-cruel?in=cle-punk/sets/the-jazz-destroyers-at-jbs-1981

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sorry i can't find the decryption codes. Can you help?! Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are in the first comment above. The release title, then series of numbers, letters, & symbols. You can just copy the series & paste it when prompted by MEGA.

      Example (from above:
      Mirrors
      S9NUnDMbZf9nmOkhVb3UB3UDHVEg8X0XdXLEsFFszgQ
      Just copy S thru Q, that's it. You're welcome.

      Delete
  10. Well just got to witness X__X here in Austin, TeXass and it was killer!!!! They ended their set with a song called Cleveland Sucks,basically a destroyed version of Cleveland Rocks. Lived the first 29 years of my life in Clevo. Seeing John Morton(who has some of his art tattooed on his face)and the others do their thing put the biggest smile on my face. Couldn't ask for much more with my wife(who is a Texan and has been to Cleveland many times and loves it!)by my side. Well, I have owned a chunk of these records(sold all of 'em to be able to fund a trip to Europe.), bought that Offbeats 7" for a quarter at Chris Warped Records many moons ago,ha,ha. Thanks for these downloads and the accompanying story, I will be checking out the rest of your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for the Laughner. Been looking for that album for YEARS! Mary Lou Lord used to sing "Cinderella Backstreet" in the Boston subways and elsewhere and sung the praises of his songwriting. Looking forward to digging into some of this other work from CLE.

    Love yr blog, many thanks for the great tunes over the years!

    -- sppz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey sppz,
      thanks for the props on my place here.

      The Laughner is phenomenal in or out of context of his untimely death. Enjoy! I'm sure you will.

      Delete