Tag Archives: Johnny Thunders

TWO ALBUMS OF WEEK 34 (AND END OF 33) – APOCALYPSE DUDES & L.A.M.F

There are two states during which I feel the need to listen to punk rock: whenever I’m passing through a stressful period at work, and when I’m in party animal mood. Last week I was living both such states, and the current one, I’m just stressed.

Probably the reason is that I have to focus my agitation on something powerful and raw, as to find some relief, and achieve a point of exhaustion.

For this reason, it’s time for another week with two albums listened nonstop.

Once I had written about STP’s Thank You, and because my getaway weekend in Madrid was getting closer (what a blast!), I recovered Apocalypse Dudes.

This is one of the albums I’ve related to party mood most. I got obsessed in 2002, when Turbonegro re-joined. Even my nick in forums used to be Toi Von Helvete. My friend Gonzalo was the same, and I christened him as Pamparius due to one of these conversations between two drunk friends. He just said to me “You got nothing to lose?”, and the instant reply was obvious, “Pamparius”. Since then, he’s Pamparius, and will be for the rest of his life. It might sound a bit ridiculous when we get old, but tell me, isn’t it a cool war nickname or what?

Anyway, Turbonegro are not the most original band in the world musically speaking, in fact, they copy like hell. You listen to the songs, lyrics aside, and it’s like you were playing other bands albums. Ramones is the most clear influence, but there are more. I remember Dungaree High and it was Black Flag’s Nervous Breakdown, positive!

The added values are the lyrics, the appearance and the attitude. This homo punk rock style, with nasty lyrics talking about asses, good heads, erections, darkness, and dirty and vulgar sex are simply irresistible. Hank Von Helvete, away from being a gorgeous Norwegian frontman is a piece of meat, but with top hat, cape, huge belly, eyes with terrible make up, and stick, once again, copying Merciful Fate’s singer, just like that. Cool anyway.

And yes, they are an aggressive and rude band, transmitting energy and mean attitude.

Hymns such as The Age of Pamparius, Get It On, or Are You Ready (for some darkness) recharge your low batteries instantly. Easy and repetitive chorus, for you to yell, make them perfect for the hottest moment in a rockin’ night, I reckon.

Back from my break in Madrid, I’m exhausted. It was a hell of a weekend, too much fun concentrated in two nights full of booze and surrounded by great friends (Artie, one more time, marry me!), and three days combined with hangovers and the exceptional company of my hosts, Agnès and Kiko, the best.

By Monday all the magic was a fresh memory, darkened by a mess at work and too fuckin’ much stress and incidences. Damn! Happiness for real yielded time to weariness and a weak moody state, suitable for playing L.A.M.F once and once again.

I’ve told already how much I like Johnny Thunders, my favorite so called romantic junkie.  New York Dolls aside, L.A.M.F was actually the first album I got of this guy, just because everyone I knew attached to rock used to tell me how great this album was/is. First impression was not so awesome though. I remember Thunders’ voice was a bit annoying, sound was rough and not as powerful as bands I was currently listening to. As years passed, and my music knowledge and taste developed (and improved), I started to enjoy with this album, eventually falling in love with all his solo stuff. Hurt Me and So Alone are simply magic.

Guess with Thunders I followed the same steps as his career evolution: first attracted by the glam of New York Dolls, to continue with the filth and raw chaotic sound with The Heartbreakers (that’s genuine punk about, am I wrong?), to end up delighted by Thunders on his own, with his most romantic and painful vision of love.

Where to start? I find the tracklist a bunch of classic songs, I love them all the same for one reason or another. I Wanna Be Loved is crazy, Born To Loose an anthem, Do You Love Me? The perfect cover, Let Go, Get Off the Phone, Pirate Love… all of them are necessary.

Another album full of hits, characterized by attitude, roughness and energy, if you love rock, Like A Mother Fucker  is a MUST!

ALBUM OF WEEK 18 – SO ALONE

Bought this album exactly one year ago at a Vinyl Fair here in Barcelona. Remember when I found it, a guy next to me asked me if I wasn’t interested to tell him right away, full of envy. Sorry man, I took it, and am very glad about it.

I think first stuff I listened wasn’t when he was with The New York Dolls, but the classic L.A.M.F (Like a MotherFucker…that’s attitude!), my cousin recorded me on a tape when I was 18 or  so. Then, Jose, mi ex, introduced me into the world of The New York Dolls. But again, the music data base I used to be with, was a huge fan of the tender junkie, as I call Thunders.

So Alone was Thunders’ solo debut album, released in 1978, after recording LAMF with  The Heartbreakers, and combines classic rock, with punk, all songs with his personal and genuine taste.

When you put the needle and Pipeline starts sounding out loud, you immediately travel to New York late 70’s, and are able to visualize the scene of debauchery (love this word), full of booze, trash, drugs and attitude. Wish I’d seen that! On the other hand, better not to, otherwise I’ll probably be dead or really fucked up by now, hahahah!

Right after this intro, a classic, the hit, You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory. Enough said, with such starters it’s impossible the rest is bad. Several covers, Thunders at his craziest with Leave Me Alone…these past 2-3 weeks, whenever I’ve played this album I’ve been repeating at least 3 times, it’s magic.

I also bought Hurt Me not long time ago, and gotta start studying it properly, although as far as I can remember it’s darker and more down spirited, yet marvelous. Anguish and pain are two mood states that come to my mind when I remember it, plus I also discovered in  personal time of confusion full of swelling. I’ll tell you about it in the future, for sure.

Johnny Thunders was classic rock at heart, but too trashy and talented as to play standard. He was excess and lived in excess…he was unique!

SUNDAYS SUCK, MONDAYS SUCK EVEN MORE

After enjoying an amazing and one of the funniest weekends, mainly thanks to my soul sista Agnès, staying with me since Thursday night, it was time for going downhill. Considering the past state close to euphoria, I guess it’s not so weird.

It’s not that we’ve partied as hard as other times, but activities have been great, both deep and superficial endless chats very nice, and companion couldn’t be better. My belly is very stiff for so much laughing.

Sundays aren’t as bad as Mondays for obvious reasons, yet they’re quite depressing, especially when you’ve been enjoying such great moments the days before, and it like “shit, tomorrow I gotta work”, no matter that at the end of the day, weekly routines are essential for keeping the right track, or at least they help me being focused.

In order to face these low times, yet not being in the mood for doing much or going out either, the two antidepressant devices at hand were music and movies.

First thing in the morning right after preparing coffee was playing something. I’ve realized, vinyls are the best option when you don’t really have to do anything else, so you stay concentrated on what you listen and in changing sides of the albums.

This was my choice for the day, not super kicking ass nor depressing either, but to cheer myself up:

–          SO ALONE – JOHNNY THUNDERS: I really like this guy. He was a total waste of guy, yet a genius. This punk junkie was able to transmit love or a heartbroken state with such rage and harshness, I used to call him the tender junkie. This album contains such hits, starting from Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory, I think I’ll write a post just to talk about Thunders, So Alone, LAMF, and everything this guy did for music. 

–          THE 59’ SOUND – THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM: at this point I’ve talked enough about this album and this band, if you don’t feel like giving them an opportunity, in case you’re a music lover, at some point you’ll regret not having followed my advice. They’ll be here in two months…it’s up to you. 

–          DAMN THE TORPEDOES – TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS: I must admit I’m not an expert on this guy, but this is not any obstacle for loving him. I really do, and sooner rather than later will dive into his discography more intensely. Here comes my girl or Louisiana Rain sound heavenly to me. 

–          NOT FAKIN’ IT – MICHAEL MONROE – no doubt this is his best solo album, and it’s a punch in your face. A friend gave me the CD for my birthday many years ago and I had an instant crash on it. Monroe is rock n’ roll to the max, energy, rage and power, if you listen to this and are not able to cheer up, you don’t deserve being alive. I’m counting the days to see him again in Barcelona and Madrid, I know for sure, the blond crazy Finnish, is gonna leave everyone wide open-mouthed. 

–          LIVE IN JAPAN – THE RUNAWAYS: these girls rocked. Remember I told you about their first album? Ok, this live album is a compilation of their first albums, released due to their major success in Japan, so you can imagine, hit after hit after motherfuckin’ hit. 

In the afternoon, I was meant to meet people, but was completely wasted, so decided to watch movies. I’ve been lent few, so I started with Shyamalan’s The Village, after some friends insisted I had to give it another chance.

When reviewing movies for Popcorn and Movies, I already expressed that I don’t like his movies, and now I reckon I haven’t changed my mind. Probably Unbreakable it’s the only one I’d say is bearable. The Village was boring and predictable.

Feeling that I wasn’t in the mood for drama, my choice changed completely and went straight forward the classics: Back to the Future!!! Cannot describe the amazing pleasure of seeing Calvin Marty Klein sweating by the harassment suffered by his own mother once again…I love these movies you can see on your own and enjoy them, laughing out loud. Doesn’t matter you’ve seen it thousands of times, you always discover details and things you had missed before. Personal favorite: the chasing scene with the skateboard. Simply love it!

Foxy Brown was to close the session. Pam Grier at her most is something worth seeing. She’s just too much, sexy and aggressive, with so many outfits and hairdo’s. Blaxploitation is so much fun…music, hilarious dialogues, explicit content, and always about pimps, drugs, prostitution…Ace!!!

And now it’s Monday afternoon. I was meant to post this yesterday but passed away on my couch…shit! Today my neck is in pain.

What seemed to be a horrible day, has ended up being half shit. Not much work at the office, plus half of the country is on holidays…we’ve been sent home earlier. That’s great news but it’s raining…  😦

Let’s see how the rest of the week goes…wish you a good one, by the way.