4/13/10

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 of
f 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.



Thanks, Bhob!

23 comments:

  1. Thanks Miriam
    I've read all 3 blogs and I'd like to take my wighat off to you and say thank you, the detail is all consuming and so important to us obsessives!
    Your writing style is perfect, how about the story of your rockin n rollin life in full?
    Also a big thanks for all them re issues from Norton.
    Keep Shakin'
    Mr A The Barber

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  2. Wow...go big early!

    Great story(stories), and I look forward to more. Maybe we'll see some of the long-lost stuff from Kicks? Maybe???

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  3. Thanks! And keep it coming! Here's an addition to the Richard Robinson tapes discog.

    http://www.carrollsweb.com/rockndog/lcramps14.jpg

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  4. BOC DFT Reaper = yeah!

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  5. Cripes, ya weren't kiddin' about havin' Kennedy dirt in the bag! Watch ya'self, toots...

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  6. "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."

    I never saw Cramps Mk I, but the next wave used to play my high school era hometown DC all the time. Bryan was quite the chatterbox and at a show at the LBJ Club he told me that he'd learned the cigarette spitting trick while working on an assembly line putting together torpedoes on the west coast. Apparently the smoke breaks were so short that in order to fit in another butt you had to finish while back on the line and spit it out and away when you were done. Dunno whether that means he was in the Navy (or that I was gullible as hell as a teen) or not.

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  7. Miriam - you gotta wait and get PAID (handsomely) for this shit. Too spectacularly good not to. So much better than all current rock and roll journalism and all current books about rock and roll in print. Seriously. - Steve Hesske

    if you get a sec email me at hesske@msun.edu I have something for you.

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  8. Hey, Miriam-
    Hate to correct you in public, but I took that fuzzy Polaroid, in the "dressing room" at CBGB at a show you did with the Ramones.

    Lovin' the blog!

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  9. Thanks for the correctoe's with Cramp history. Entertaining, especially dig the BG pics/tales.

    Really thought you might have been closer to the band during the years following your departure.

    Nick Knox(What happened to him?), Candy, Lux & Ivy my favourite lineup of the band.
    I feel sad for Ivy and hope she continues in some instrumental way.

    Well done, look forward to future writing.

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  10. I hear Nick is back in Ohio and that Candy's in scenic Brooklyn, NY. Check the Ohio post when it goes up-- it may help you understand. Pam will be able to fill you in on beautiful Bryan's days before, during and after Crampdom. Thanks for checking in.

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  11. If a Bible of Rock 'n Roll is ever compiled, your letters would definitely be some of the epistles. Amazingly, you document extraordinary events as they were unfolding with your wide-eyed innocence and sincerity. The story of the Ramones, and most of the bands of the era, are really like fairy tales, stranger than fiction.
    Thanks for leading the charge and helping rescue the rest of us from the prevailing mediocrity.

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  12. Just spoke with Ivy R. on the telephone. She reminded me that Lux had a brief sojourn working at the Strand, too. Indeed he did, in the summer of '77. I didn't forget, I just hadn't gotten around to it, yet.

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  13. thank you for blessing me with the Frownie mask!!! Praise da Lord...

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  14. Miriam, thanks for BOTH saving and publishing your personal correspondence. You are the #1 R&R chick in history!

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  15. wow...i just really sat down & read that whole letter...that is one of the coolest things ever! so amazing how people felt that way & found eachother on foot with guitars & drums & pen & paper out of sheer desperation to meet someone that UNDERSTOOD! unreal.

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  16. that's really one hell of a cool blog that you were creating there, and by far the best piece about the early Cramps ever done!

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  17. Still waitin' on that late-breakin' nooz on my hero Jack Starr! Or my hero Ron Haydock! Ya drivin' me NUTS!!!

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  18. Beautiful account of Cleveland and apocalypto NCY around '77. I can't understand why we didn't know each other. I think because you had left Cleveland , or something. We had a lot of the same friends, Stiv, James, Rocket guys. I ended up in NYC too in Aug.'77 and an avid Cramps fan.

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  19. Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. Please email me back.

    Thanks!

    Madison
    maddie0147@gmail.com

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  20. Anonymous6:29 PM

    mIRIAM WOW I DOUBT YOU REMEMBER ME BUT WE WERE PEN PALS BACK IN THE LATE SEVENTIES EARLY 80'S MY NAME IS MIKE SHEFFIELD.. LIVED IN LA CA THEN OUT IN HEMET CA NOW FOR SOME REASON I THOUGHT OF YOU THIS MORNING AND WONDERED WHAT HAD HAPPENED YOU KNOW SO LONG BETWEEN.. IM HAPPY YOU SEEM TO HAVE PROSPERED AND ARE STILL ROCKING JUST DROPPING A HELL .EMAIL IS MBARKLEY95@YAHOO.COM I LIVED ON VENICE BLVD BACK IN THE DAY .. CHEERS ..MIKE

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  21. A million Thank yous... This is all so very interesting..... Thanks again for sharing this part of your life with the rest of us...

    The Cramps changed me in ah deep and profound way... I've never been the same since I first heard "New Kinda Kick" ....

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  22. It is great fun and experience in shop www.morphonite.com because they have lot of good quality product and many types.

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    Replies
    1. Find someone who has a lot of experience teaching and
      performing. Make sure it is someone who will teach you
      to read music and understand some music theory. You DON'T
      want a teacher who just bangs away and tells you to follow
      him.

      somerset drum lessons
      wells drum lessons
      street drum lessons

      Delete