BBC RADIO 6
Henry Rollins in for Iggy Pop
01 September 2017
I will be filling in for Mr. Iggy Pop on his BBC Radio 6 for the next two Fridays. The show airs at 1900 hrs. UK time, which means 1100 hrs. on the West Coast, 1400 hrs. on the East.
Below are the notes. Good tunes and the price is right. Remember, Sunday night on KCRW, we will be live with Shepard Fairey.
Hello BBC Radio 6 listener and fellow music enthusiast. The Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Rock and Roll is taking a couple of Fridays off, so I’ve been called upon to step into the breach and supply what will hopefully be some great Friday evening listening. Mr. Pop puts together a good radio show. Hopefully, I can make merit.
I’ve seen Iggy play five times this year! In March, I went down to Mexico City to watch him and Metallica do three shows in the Foro Sol. Over sixty thousand people a night. It was cool to see how much people dug Iggy and the band. I watched all three from the soundboard. The stage was truly massive, with the runways, huge back screen, multiple camera angles, etc. I found myself straying and watching the screen more than the band, who were dwarfed by the sheer size of the whole thing. The band played great and Iggy was in perfect voice all three nights. I went to see him play in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and that was cool and most recently, saw him at the FYF fest in Los Angeles. Ty Segall went on before Iggy and totally killed it and then Iggy. It was a perfect twofer. It’s always worth seeing Iggy. There’s something about hearing him do songs, like Lust For Life, where it hits me
I can’t explain to you how strange the era of Trump America is. The overwhelming majority of Americans who know he is a major embarrassment/disaster knew it was going to be bad but I don’t think many of them knew it was going to be this bad. At first, I was caught off guard at how unpresidential he was. I see now that I was foolish to ever think he could even approximate the role. Months in, all the rules of conduct have been thrown out and it’s just what it is. It’s almost unendurable to hear him speak and realize he has not a clue as to what his job is. The man is flaming out so fast. It’s like every day is breaking news. It’s beyond embarrassment, it’s like living in an absurdist play by Alfred Jarry. Thankfully, we have music.
It’s not a tour year for me, so I’m working in television and film mostly, with the occasional live show. This will be my mode until the end of the year. I’d rather be on tour, of course but I can only go out so often. This has given me an opportunity to catch up on some listening and 2017 has been a great year for records, just like I told you it would be in the show notes for the show on January 20th. For those shows, we were allowed to play two tracks from the yet unreleased Crystal Fairy album, featuring Buzzo and Dale from the Melvins as well as Omar from At the Drive In and the Mars Volta and of course, the very talented Teri Gender Bender from Le Butcherettes. Great album from start to finish. The new Oh Sees album Orc is out and it’s yet another great one by John Dwyer and company. John’s other band, Damaged Bug recently released their third album, Bunker Funk, greatness from start to finish. I don’t know how he does it. The new Boris album Dear is an absolute monster. The Galaxilympics album by the team of Pikacyu and Makoto Kawabata is so cool, as is the new album by the great Australian band Terry called Remember Terry. Both releases are on the Upset! The Rhythm label out of the UK. Pontiak’s new album Dialectic of Ignorance is easily one of their best.
I don’t know about you but I’m counting the days until the A New Career In A New Town 1977-1982 box set by David Bowie comes out. What is it, thirteen LPs?! A new version of Lodger, remixed by Tony Visconti. That grabbed my attention when I read the specs online. We are only a few weeks away. Some might say that fifty six it too old to still be excited by a record coming out. I think that plays into traditional ideas of age and how one is supposed to conduct oneself. I think life is better when you have things to look forward to.
As you probably know, the great Alan Vega passed away in July of 2016. His last show, performed with Martin Rev, they together being the legendary assault unit Suicide, if I’m not mistaken, happened at the Barbican in London on July, 9, 2015. I was there. Alan and Martin were incredible. Before Alan passed away, he had finished an album called IT, which was released recently on Fader Label Records. Easily one of the best things Alan ever did. IT is Alan Vega versus the Abyss. Alan won.
And wouldn’t you know, fantastic BBC Radio 6 listener, NONE of these albums are featured on this broadcast! This show was prepared a few months ago, so there wasn’t the opportunity to get any tracks from the aforementioned albums to you. We have a great show, nonetheless.
Let’s take a look at what’s on, then. We start with a Ramones tune from their 1983 album, Subterranean Jungle. I was too broke to get it when it came out. In those days, I was like I am now—rabidly curious about music. I wanted to hear everything but was low on finances, so I would find people who had interesting record collections and make tapes. When I had heard a record a few times, I would tape something else over the previous recording and keep listening. In those days, I was living in a van and there was very little room. I would go to used record stores whenever I could. Often, the cheapest records were Blues albums. I had a rudimentary knowledge of the genre but for the most part, bought the ones with the coolest covers. If we ever crashed at someone’s house who had a record player, I would listen to the records I had found. It was a chore trying to keep the records from getting destroyed while on the road but I eventually got them back to the room I had in Redondo Beach. At the end of 1986, I was living in Leeds for a few weeks, working on a record. We had a copy of Subterranean Jungle at the flat, which we played all the time, and that’s where I connected with it. The track we’re listening to features Dee Dee on vocals. I always liked it when he sang. A few weeks ago, on my show on KCRW FM, I had the man who signed the Ramones (as well as Madonna) to his label Sire, the legendary Seymour Stein. His stories were amazing. At one point, I asked him if he had heard the new mono mix of the first Ramones album that just came out. He said he hadn’t. We put Blitzkrieg Bop on. Mr. Stein started singing along. Everyone in the studio stood and watched. Knowing that Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Tommy are gone, there was something full circle about seeing the man who put out the first Ramones singing one of their songs. I’ll never forget it.
One of the things that obsesses me about music is the sheer amount of information that can be attached to a band, album or a song. Seymour told a story about Johnny Ramone calling him and asking him to come to CBGB to hear their new material. Seymour went and while standing outside the club, waiting for the Ramones, heard the opening band playing inside. He said the music sounded so different, so great, it pulled him into the club. He signed the band. The Talking Heads. What a story! I live for this kind of thing.
I usually program shows and my own listening to seasons and light cycles. I know that sounds strange but it makes sense to me. You might not believe this but it’s true. I had a feeling that the two shows I was asked to make would be used right around the end of the European festival season, basically, late August-early September, and formatted accordingly. I think September is one of the best months of the year for listening to music. You have survived the stagnant heat of August, which has its own allure listening wise, and you’re only weeks away from one of the best months of the year for listening, October. It’s a perfect transitional month and that’s exactly what I was going for. I’m sure that the music I think is supposed to be played at certain times of the year is 100% projection. Perhaps from when I first heard it? I don’t know. There’s no logic to it and I’m not trying to make sense of it but that’s how I do it. I think there’s something cool about putting records away for a season or two, knowing that you will faithfully return to them. There’s something ceremonial about it that I think is cool.
I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about vinyl and the physical aspects of it, playing records, storing them, etc. There’s nothing easy about it, which I actually like. Just an observation: when you’re young, male, and into records, this can be seen as a stage that once you get a life, you will grow out of. What if you don’t grow out of it? I am pushing sixty. I’m more into records and music than ever. I just got the new Oh Sees album, Orc, in five different color configurations. I will listen to all of them, of course. Actually, I’m already through three. If I was nineteen, this could be chalked up to youthful obsessive exuberance—an antic! At my age, it’s just, wow.
Just know that every track for this show was carefully selected, first draft, second draft, all in an effort to make it great. It’s a Friday evening, is peak listening time. I must rise to the occasion! Hopefully, this makes the grade.
I will be back with you next week for another show. It’s a great one! Please tune in if you can.
Thanks for listening! Henry
Here is the track listing of all the music:
01. The Ramones – Time Bomb / Subterranean Jungle
02. Roy Orbison - In Dreams / The Legendary Roy Orbison
03. David Lynch - So Glad / Crazy Clown Time
04. Crime & the City Solution – Adventure / Kentucky Click
05. The Gun Club - Bill Bailey / Mother Juno
06. Slim Harpo - I’m A King Bee (Single Version) / Sings Raining In My Heart
07. Wolf Eyes - Enemy Ladder / I Am A Problem
08. Astral Skulls – Landing / Contact-Light
09. Joe Meek – I Hear A New World / I Hear A New World
10. Tom Waits - Goin’ Out West / Bone Machine
11. Alan Vega Be-Bop-A-Lula / Collision Drive
12. Marnie Stern - The Chronicles of Marnia / The Chronicles of Marnia
13. 999 - Feelin’ Alright with the Crew / Singles
14. The Horrors - Who Can Say / Primary Colours
15. John Coltrane – Ogunde / Expression
16. The Obsessed - Touch Of Everything / The Church Within
17. The Cramps - Human Fly (NYC August 1979) / Coast to Coast
18. Damaged Bug – Smoggy Terminus / The Tarot of Personal Experience
19. Prince Jammy & Scientist - The Princess Takes Her Revenge / Strike Back!
20. Boris – Heavy Rock Industry / Pink (Deluxe Edition)
21. Thee Oh Sees - At The End, On The Stairs / An Odd Entrances
22. Feels - Bird’s Eye / Feels
23. Bloody Mary Una Chica Band - Take Me / Hearty Disease
24. Bad Brains – I / Banned In D.C.: Bad Brains Greatest Riffs
25. Rutland Artists - Stoop Solo / Rutland Times
26. Dax Riggs - Didn’t Know Yet What I’d Know When I Was Bleedin’ / We Sing Of Only Blood Or Love
27. Parliament - Chocolate City / Chocolate City
28. The Nation Of Ulysses! - Hot Chocolate City / 13-Point Program to Destroy America
29. Charlie Hilton – Pony / Palana
30. The Aquarium - Waiting For The Girl / The Aquarium
31. Tèshomè Meteku - Gara Ser Nèw Bétesh / Ethiopiques 1
32. David Bowie – Helden / Heroes