BBC RADIO 6
Henry Rollins in for Iggy Pop
08 September 2017
Hello BBC Radio 6 listener and fellow music enthusiast. Once again I am tasked with shouldering the great weight of not letting you down from the high standard set by your usual host, Mr. Iggy Pop. I hope you dug last week’s show.
We are only a few weeks away from getting to hear what Tony Visconti had in mind when remixed David Bowie’s Lodger album. For this show, we listen to the “original” version, if you will. If the song sounds at all familiar, kinda like that song Sister Midnight from Iggy Pop’s album The Idiot, you would be right. Apparently, it was a riff that Carlos Alomar brought to the Idiot sessions and for Lodger, it was repurposed as Red Money, which is credited as a Bowie/Alomar composition. Actually, the Idiot and Lodger have more than a few things in common. Personnel would be the main thing. Both albums feature Bowie and Alomar, but also drummer Dennis Davis and bassist George Murray. Mr. Visconti was involved with both albums as well. After I started to get my head around the Bowie catalog, which not only took years just to get to an intermediate level but is still challenging me to this day, Lodger became the album that I couldn’t figure out. I didn’t understand what Bowie and Visconti were going for production wise and it sounded a little less together than the album that came before it, Heroes, and the album that came afterwards, the start to finish masterpiece Scary Monsters. That thing which sometimes happens with an album which seems to float inches beyond your grasp of understanding, you become obsessed with it. That’s what happened to me and Lodger. After leaving it alone for a few years, I came back to it with a vengeance and have never left. It’s a weekend favorite. This is why I’m so interested to hear the remixed version that will be included in A New Career In A New Town. Along with all the other stuff, you get a remastered Lodger as well as the remixed version, all on 180g vinyl. What’s there not to be looking forward to? At this time, some context might be useful. It’s a tough time in the America these days. You see, it’s not a matter of the patients running the asylum. There’s no one in the asylum and all of us citizens have been left to wonder what the hell’s going on. What’s going on? We are. We must. The president, in his ever more bizarre twitter communications and oddball press conferences, proves that not only is he unfit for office but when you hear what he said to Kim Jong Un of North Korea, he’s the mean kid at the playground, who eventually gets his. The problem is when he gets his, millions of others get it too. And that’s why, fantastic BBC Radio 6 listener, I look forward to things like massive box sets of records that will be far better looking and operational one hundred years from now than I will.
As I write this, sitting in a Starbucks in North Hollywood, listening to the tracks for this show as a homeless man, who has just been in the men’s room using the sink as a shower and a place to wash a few items of clothing has just returned to his seat across from me, swallowed one pill from at least half a dozen vials, eaten something out of a bag and is now unfolding and straightening a fair pile of one dollar bills. This particular ‘Bucks, as I’ve heard Murph from Dinosaur Jr. call the multicontinental caffeine slingin’ behemoth, is often a staging ground for a lot of homeless and drifter folks. There are a lot of them in Southern California. The weather, while at times really hot, isn’t all that bad if you’re outside a lot and the residents, for the most part, are very friendly. Another man just walked in, he’s here all the time. I think he lives in his car. Often I see him parked, using the store’s internet. So why I am I sitting in a coffee place, listening to digital sound files when I could be in front of a good pair of speakers listening to analog playback? Because, I would rather be almost anywhere else than in my house. Even if it’s coffee place a few miles away, it’s somewhere else. My playback set up here is pretty cool. I am going out of an iPod into the KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphone System by Shure. I was the first non Shure employee in America to hear this system, which at the time, was a prototype. If you listen to as much music on the go as I do, it’s worth the extra gear. I take this set up almost everywhere I go.
On this show, we listen to a track from a truly unique artist, James Chance from his No Wave classic Buy. This record spent many years out of print, tacked to record store walls with an often prohibitive price tag. Thankfully, this incredible record was rescued from obscurity from more than one label in more than one territory. If you live in the UK, you don’t have to pay the as-much-as-the-record cost of postage to have access to records on the great Futurisimo label. Delaney, the owner and operator is a vinyl maven, music maniac and pal of mine. He did a great re-issue of Buy. Sounds great. He recently reissued the first solo album of the great Alan Vega and recently brought out a vinyl version of the Devo retrospective Recombo DNA, which was previously only available on CD. This is four LPs. I told you Delaney was a maniac. Can’t wait to hear this one.
I was just going to advise that if you liked the demo version of Television’s great song Double Exposure from the Sketches : The Demos 1974-75 LP, that you might be able to find a copy on Discogs but then I remembered that apparently, the site no longer allows the sales of bootleg albums. A man I buy these illegal records from on Discogs on a regular basis wrote me about this the other day. I went to Discogs and sure enough, while the listing is still there, (for now) but on the right side of the page: This release has been blocked from sale in the marketplace. It is not permitted to sell this item on Discogs. While the topic of bootleg records is perhaps the topic for another time, I listen to them a lot. A few hours ago, I checked out the Joy Division 2LP boot Dead Soul. It’s yet another press-up of two shows: Russell Club in Manchester, July 13, 1979 and the London YMCA show from August 2, 1979. Even this set are re-issues of earlier bootlegs. I will admit with no hesitation that I got this one because the cover was too cool to pass up. I have seen this one in clear and black vinyl. There are a lot of JD boots on Discogs. I wonder if that “are” will soon be “were.” The first bootleg I bought, I think it was a copy of The Best In Good Food by Buzzcocks. I asked the guy at a record store if he had any bootleg records. He lowered his voice and said, “Just call them imports.” Okay, do you have any imports? He literally looked from side to side, and produced a box from somewhere underneath the counter. In it were some Sex Pistols and Clash bootlegs, along with Best In Good Food. It was a day’s pay and worth every penny. That was it, I was a bootleg Fanatic from that day forward.
I was told a tale by someone who knows, about the time he accompanied an extremely famous British guitarist from a truly iconic Rock band on a trip to Japan. They ventured into a store that sold bootlegs. The store was so specialized that it pretty much only sold bootlegs of the band that said guitarist was in years ago. Apparently, the man behind the counter nearly passed out. The guitarist seemed to dig what he saw and said he would like one of everything in the shop for free. I forget how the rest of it went down, I was told this story well over twenty years ago. Thinking I could pull this off, I went into a shop in Shinjuku at some point in the 1990’s, found a bootleg of my music, brought it up to the counter, held it next to my face, so the man could see both my picture on the CD cover and my face. His expression didn’t change and he charged me in full.
You probably think that I have nothing else happening on a Sunday night in late August, other than to go on and on about music like a man who enthusiastically jots down information on trains arriving at the platform, as Simon Reynolds, the great music writer described some record collectors in his excellent book Retromania. I was hanging out with him the other day, all the while knowing that if he saw my record collection, he would no doubt conclude that I’m one of those who perpetually keeps his eye out for the train.
Enough! I am up in a few hours for two bouts of humiliation in the gears of the Hollywood dream machine. On these employment ops, I always feel like the man in the tent who horrifies the kids by biting the head off the chicken.
I hope you like the show. Mr. Pop will be back with you soon.
As always thanks for listening! Henry
Here is the track listing of all the music:
01. Frankie Ford - Sea Cruise / The Golden Age Of American Rock ‘n’ Roll
02. David Bowie - Red Money / Lodger
03. Suicide - I Remember / single
04. The Mob - Shuffling Souls / single
05. Eddie Gale - Black Rhythm Happening / Black Rhythm Happening
06. Thomas A. Dorsey - Georgia Tom Crow Jane Alley / Complete Recorded Works Vol. 1
07. The Adverts - Back from the Dead / Singles Collection
08. Dillinger – Ragnampiza / Ultimate Collection
09. Dee Dee King - Mashed Potato Time / Standing in the Spotlight
10. Cabaret Voltaire – Black Mask / Red Mecca
11. Cloudland Canyon - Where’s The Edge / An Arabesque
12. Cluster – Caramel / Zuckerzeit
13. Die Haut & Nick Cave - Pleasure Is The Boss / Burnin’ The Ice
14. Rowland S. Howard – Autoluminescent / Teenage Snuff Film
15. Mick Harvey - Intoxicated Man / Intoxicated Man
16. Einsturzende Neubauten – Kalte Sterne / Early Recordings
17. Kas Product - So Young But So Cold / Try Out
18. The Pink Fairies Do It (Single Edit) / Never Never Land
19. The Contortions - Design To Kill / Buy
20. The Velvet Underground - The Black Angel’s Death Song / Velvet Underground
21. The Beastie Boys - A Year And A Day / Paul’s Boutique
22. The Clash – 1977 / Black Market Clash
23. Television - Double Exposure / Demos 1974-75
24. Ween - The Mollusk / The Mollusk
25. Terakaft – Karambani / Alone (Ténéré)
26. Joy Division - Disorder / Unknown Pleasures
27. The Skunks - Good from the Bad / single
28. Wire - Midnight Bahnhof Café / Document & Eyewitness 1979-1980
29. Colin Potter - Behind You / We Couldn’t Agree On A Title
30. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - My Brother Makes the Noises for the Talkies / Gorilla
31. Exhaustion - Don’t Fly Right / Future Eaters
32. The Damned - Smash it Up (single version) / Chiswick Singles