Sep 012012

David Johansen is a talent of limited means but huge brass balls. His huge brass balls have always been the driving force in a career that has straddled underground cred and occasionally somewhat anonymous public adoration. Mach schau!, David, and more power to you for delivering through the guises of drag queen, lounge lizard, and bloozologist.

Despite his limitations as a singer, I was always intrigued by the “real” David Johansen, the wannabe Jagger under all the make-up and nylon firing up songs in The New York Dolls, the guy who came out of the gates on his first solo album with the excellent single “Funky But Chic” and who had a minor hit with a live medley of Animals songs. That Johansen was a guy I could best identify with. He was still putting across his meat-and-potatoes rock ‘n roll with style and fun, certainly, but doing so in a straightforward manner, without the rock star bullshit that had gotten out of hand in the late-’70s. I was trying to find a way to do something like this with my friends and our little band. This possibly imagined Real Johansen was leading the way toward a rock scene in which I could fit.

Mar 082012

Clip courtesy of a should-be Townsman.

This is your Rock Town Hall!

If you’ve already got Back Office privileges and can initiate threads, by all means use your privileges! If you’d like to acquire such privileges, let us know. If you’ve got a comment that needs to be made, what are you waiting for? If you’re just dropping in and find yourself feeling the need to scat, don’t hesitate to register and post your thoughts. The world of intelligent rock discussion benefits from your participation. If nothing else, your own Mr. Moderator gets a day off from himself. It’s a good thing for you as well as me!

Feb 012012

People my age and older grew up knowing Little Richard as one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n roll—and the genre’s most flamboyant practitioner. Little Richard survived the British Invasion, even encouraged it through his friendship with The Beatles. He ping-ponged between religious conversions and ecstatic fits of unadulterated sin. He was lauded during a run of early ’70s rock revivalism, milking it for all the money white record industry types probably stole from him in his prime.

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Jan 262012

When you have this many people hamming it up and scatting on stage at once, there’s only one question: Who wins?

Is it the Woman Who Twirls across the stage incessantly? (Good god, did that woman ever need more attention from her parents while growing up.)

Is it George Benson, who proves he doesn’t need his guitar to find the melody?

Is it Bill Cosby, who pulls out every move in his book: the happy feet shuffle; the old man, slo-mo extended butt squat dance; the devilishly delighted Jello Pudding face; a bass solo…thankfully stopping just short of pulling out his member when Twirling Woman bends over and places her rump in front of him?

Is it a hard-rockin’ Rosa Parks, I believe, around the 1:15 mark?

Is it the hands-down favorite going into this “ham-off,” Al Jarreau?

Is it Diana Krall, who does everything in her power to resist elbowing Twirling Woman?

Is it Al and Tipper Gore, during the credits, for taking their handclaps to a new level?

I’m sure you’ll find other moments worth reliving. One thing I’d love to know is just how pissed Al Jarreau was when “The Cos” stole the camera’s focus with a comedy ham-jam just as Jarreau was sharpening his white man’s overbite for his turn in the spotlight?

Jun 222011

Mr. Brand New Cadillac himself, Vince Taylor, who took his second-rate ’50s rocker act from England to France, throws down the gauntlet in this vibrant Scopitone!

His challenger is hometown favorite Johnny Hallyday, France’s answer to early rock ‘n roll, thereby tainting the man’s work with a possibly unfair third-rate status. See if Johnny’s got what it takes to steal a victory in this Mach Schaudown…after the jump!

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