Cramps Pt 3
One parting shot (above) from the spots and stripes brigade, and a small stash of erratic ephemera circa the year that time forgot, 1976. More as it flits to the light. In response to inquiries about the 1977 sessions at Bell Sound, there seems to be a Spanish LP around called The Cramps 1976 Demo Sessions that includes all of the songs cut by Richard Robinson-- Don't Eat Stuff Off The Sidewalk, I Was A Teenage Werewolf, Sunglasses After Dark, Love Me, Domino, What's Behind The Mask, I Can't Hardly Stand It, and TV Set.
Not sure when it came out. Oddly, none of this stuff is on their homegrown retrospective How to Make A Monster. The first of the Songs We Taught The Cramps type albums was probably the one issued by an outta biz NYC record store sometime in the eighties. Enough time had passed for everyone to have forgotten I was ever in the group, and that was a pretty wonderful place to be. Then, one day I walk into a Chelsea diskery and there's this album with my face on it.
You crazed collectors out there should also know that early seventies rockabilly comps from Europe played big in spreading the sound around the 73rd Street area, particularly the landmark Collector albums that delivered genius gems like Sunglasses After Dark and Jungle Rock for the first time (Songs Cees Klop Taught The Cramps!) Those records sure didn't come into Musical Maze up where Bryan worked, but downtown trawls could net any import collection you had your heart set on. I remember buying a boot of the Johnny Burnette Trio album at Golden Disc in, yes, 1976, and Lux flipping out big time about it.
We had to hustle right back over there to land him the display copy off the wall of the shop. Cool reissues and comps were starting to blast forth at a rapid clip, really inflaming the needs of those who had to have original 45's. But you gotta say, it's the comps that could hep you to oodles of droolsome decks and got you hunting for stuff you didn't know existed.
Somebody asked about the Ocean Club date, since the venue has come to enjoy some kind of cult status. Here's the handbill for the May 2, 1977 show, held that midnight in the basement, of course. I remember Blondie was at the sparsely attended Monday night show. By that I mean the whole band. It felt strange playing in a grown up place to a bunch of sophisticated looking people. Lux made most all the flyers. He managed to work monster movie stuff into most all of them. He was super talented and very, very funny. I can't think of a better flyer for the Ocean club.
The Purple Warp sent this fuzzy polaroid taken, not at the Alex Chilton show at the Village Gate in June '77, as previously noted, but backstage at CBGB's at one of Ramones '77 shows. First time Lux wore a tie. I think he borrowed it off Bryan, who appears to have just enjoyed one of Bator's touted peanut butter facials! He was the only person I knew with tattoos. Remind me to ask Pam if he was in the Navy, like Lux. Seems like the only people with tattoos in those days were sailors and bikers.
Here's a Godlis snap. Gosh, I loved those sticks. They were glow in the dark plastic, purchased from the soon to be forever-gone Manny's Music. The sticks didn't last long but they impressed the heck out of the natives! (Me, too!)
Uh-oh. I was supposed to yap about Ohio in this go-round. Let's leave that for tomorrow or Tuesday. There are several letters that have come out of the batcave including some pretty informative missals from Bangs and Laughner that may as well come out of the dark. It's been too long. If any of this matters to anyone, then it's served a purpose. It's taken thirty odd years to come to this opening; I feel it pulling back closed with every new post. One of my dearest friends, Buffalo genius Bernie Kugel, editor of the long gone fanzine Big Star, sent me a letter I'd written him in '77 that serves as a newsletter and personal confessional. Aside from-- okay-- including-- the semi-doofus occasional literary asides, I pretty much feel the same way today, and I've held to my promise of No More Champagne. Thanks, BK, for years of kindness and friendship. Deep breath, here we go.
I'd like to wrap up the bulk of this particular Journey To Tyme so we can get onto some pressing matters, including late breakin' news about Lee Harvey Oswald, the Flamin' Groovies, Mad Mike, Frownie the delinquent brownie, Ron Haydock, Jack Starr, Charles Schmid, and umpteen obsessions from the flipside of Kicksville.