Oh fuck me! I haven’t been here in a bit, and there have been some changes (not to self: get used to new shit)… Well I haven just reactivated my FB, I’m also on Instagram, Tumblr, and now Twitter. Yes, I WILL do a review of TL’s Thunder and Lightning… someday…
It’s that time of year again! You guessed it, Happy Draw Mohammed Day! It’s a day to read bronze age books and thank the universe that we have freedom of speech and we will die fighting for it. Just like You religious nutcases will kill for your faith- regardless of what fucking spot of Jerusalem you get dibs on. So take a look at my contribution: Michelangelo it isn’t, but I think it’s a rather cute family portrait of Mo and his dozen wives. And yeah I know, some did die before he married others, but honestly, if you were a man of Mo’s power and influence would you honestly care if a lowly woman was alive and protesting? I think not. Next time I might draw one of Joe Smith and Mo going toe-to-toe. So come and kill me wackjobs. Allahu akbar!
And now, something to offend everyone:
I was eight or nine when NYC had one of the coldest winters on record, and every year as far back as I can remember, I come down with a cold that leads to bronchitis. This spell was particularly harsh that it superseded the two-week limit.
Mom picked my homework up daily so I could keep up, and Dad (that worthless asshole) would stare me down as I sat at the dining room table doing my homework diligently as I sniffled and barked like a fucking dog. One night as my coughing just wouldn’t quit, I heard the old people haranguing in the living room:
“Just give her the fucking thing!”
“But she’s a kid! This isn’t like what you used to get at the drug store!”
I honestly could give a shit as I sat on the floor all dehydrated and miserable trying to read my Dr. Seuss clutching my Care Bear Love-A-Lot when Mom, frazzled to fuck, burst into my room with a medicine bottle and a teaspoon.
“Now I’m going to give you this, but if you feel sick tell me right away.”
She dosed me with something that tasted like cherry schnapps mixed with diesel. Dimetapp tasted like a Popsicle, and the amoxicillin I was taking had to have been made by the Dubble Bubble people. But this shit was wretched…
And then I saw God.
Well as much as dancing Big Birds and rainbows with Wonder Woman spinning cotton candy could be considered God to a third grade atheist. I regained consciousness two hours later, and after I emerged from my room walking on sunshine to use the bathroom, Dad proclaimed:
“See? Nothing out of her after all this time. And she’s still alive!”
Twenty-three years on and Vic has been quite an influence. Campus rent-a-cops can’t catch everybody, and once outside the grounds Russians like to do business. CWE is a precious tool, but once I decided to do a threesome with blue label vodka, my nodding became scary. Since then I stick to the seasonal ‘script (although when someone goes to the dentist or gets a cough the bottles do empty quite fast- they let it go, I do everything around here).
I don’t hate Janis, Jimi, Kurt, Dee Dee, River, Johnny T., or Phil for making love to a needle. I don’t hate them for dying. I love them even more for their imperfections.
He who is without sin, may cast the first stone.
Well my fellow reptiles, the Wacko Jacko Clan has done it again! And by that I mean generating more press (and thusly more dollars) by waving Michael’s shriveled corpse in front of a camera.
Four years ago Michael Jackson died of a drug cocktail consisting of propofol (a pre-anasthetic) and bennies (a.k.a. antidepressants- lorazepam). Now I avoid daytime TV like the fucking plague but on The Talk, panelists Sharon Osbourne and Sara Gilbert made a pair of realistic comments on the Jackson Clan taking li’l MJ’s GP Dr. Conrad Murray (serving a 4 year prison sentence) to court for $40 billion dollars. Now both women come from celebrity backgrounds- Sara acting, Sharon metal- where drugs are simply part of the entertainment culture, so they have direct experience with drug use and/or those who use. A combination of inspiration, arrogance, privilege, boredom, and stress has invited the uses of pharmaceuticals as quick fixes. Gilbert was bombarded with Twats from rabid MJ fanfucks screaming their umbrage over their black-turned-white-quasi-Peter Pan idol, and today she backpedaled.
Way to go Darlene.
Why don’t we step into the Wayback Machine and zip back to 27 January 1984. Wacko Jacko was filming a Pepsi commercial in front of fans when a pyrotechnical effect misfired causing Mikey’s scalp and face to catch fire. Suffering 2nd degree burns he was scarred and had permanent nerve damage, not to mention the trauma of the injury. It was either at this time or his two previous nose jobs that Mike began his addiction to painkillers that opened the doors to other prescription drug abuse. Remember coke, weed, meth, and smack, the accepted drugs that stars abuse that turn up in red-topped newspapers aren’t the only ones. Judy Garland and Elvis were total pill freaks, enabled by family, friends, doctors, agents, and producers alike. You think Mikey was any different?
It’s a fact that the last two Jacksons that were solvent were Janet and Michael until the 1993 sex abuse allegations. Michael was more than likely financially supporting his siblings’ lifestyles. But the millions he raked in sales after his death was taken by record companies and creditors with little to spare even for his mother and kids who were handsomely provided for in his will leaving the bulk of his fortune to his charities. This, of course, didn’t sit well with those who expected a big payout, so they held up little brother’s burial for 10 days forcing for his estate to pay for not only MJ’s tomb in Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s private mausoleum, but for ALL THOSE JEHOVAH WITNESS ASSHOLES’ WALL PLOTS! And adding insult to injury, they forced the LAPD to provide a motorcade for the the Staples Center memorial that displayed an empty gold plated casket, but it was a time when the police department was suffering motherfucking cutbacks!
So what can we take from all this? A failed reality show, a ridiculous musical (that only ran in London’s West End), and a Dumb and Dumber kidnapping of Katherine and the kids couldn’t keep these big-headed assfucks afloat, now they have to resort to the talk show circuit and Court TV to kick a dying horse for sympathy and money. People, Dr. Conrad Murray is just one of thousands of Hollywood’s Dr. Feel Goods. If he didn’t procure for Mikey, someone else would have (and we all know that despite an agency “contracting” him on paper under shitpiles of legalese it was really Michael). And MJ had an entourage that wanted to stay in his good graces to get a piece of the action, Murray liked the money addicted starts gave him, and if anybody said “no” they were ignored, threatened, or removed.
Welcome to La-La land people. Careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
If Richard Simmons, Debra Messing, and that preggo Streisand-wannabe dumb bitch from Glee taught me anything, it’s to trust your best gay- especially if he does your hair!
The first time I ordered off QVC it was Dennis Basso’s faux fur blankets (I own two- mink and lynx- and the leopard print I gave to my BFF), and it was around that time when I saw- and heard- the presenters, models, and callers creaming their mom jeans on this religion called WEN. Developed by stylist Chaz Dean, he (like the rest of his celebrity ilk) is hellbent on changing the world one head of hair at a time banning shampoo forever! Back the fuck up, mom and I screamed! How in high holy hell can you clean your hair without shampoo? We ignored the WENNITES until a week ago.
When K came round to file the ole 1040 for us mom asked what shampoo she used. Since she’s black I assumed she used Pink, Dark n’ Lovely, and the slew of relaxers and other nappy hair treatments you’d find at the far back corner of the Duane Reade shampoo aisle and beauty supply shop I’d seen her buy countless times. Nope! She was a WENNITE, converted by our other friend Mika. Like the QVC idiots, K glossed on and on about Chaz’ baby and educated us on what a cleansing conditioner was. When I translated for mom we were still skeptical, but despite the price, she encouraged us to take the plunge. We had no choice. Seriously.
When mom went into menopause, her hair became an unmanageable bedhead rat’s nest forcing her to wash it every motherfucking morning. Now we all know that washing your hair daily strips your hair of all moisture, but mom didn’t seem to have a problem because her L’Oreal Color Vive shampoo and conditioner was her DOC for over 25 years. Then the corporate assfucks bought their competition (CoverGirl, Maybelline, and Max Factor) and all went to hell. When the global markets crashed (with the ponzis fueling that fire) quality products turned to shit, and beauty and personal care weren’t immune. In 2011/12 it became harder for me to find L’Oreal hair care products until they eliminated the Color Vive line for this green sulfide-free (and more expensive for less in the tube) trendy bullshit line. Mom went through $100 worth of other brands only for them to end up in the recycling bin because of the damage they caused. Then two months ago after customers more than likely bombarded L’Oreal’s inboxes with death threats did they relaunch Color Vive renaming and repackaging it using the Glee dumb ho as its spokestwat. But the formula was fucked with (to save $$$) and while it did the trick for mom’s hair, it lacked magic. Still better than nothing.
But my hair has been giving me nothing but grief for the last 18 years. PCOS women have acute frizziness, dandruff, breakage, and hair loss caused by hormone imbalances. I had hair loss at 12, and then when I was 14 my shiny smooth hair went berserk. It looked like I had a tumbleweed on my head with chunks of my scalp lifting off every time I pulled a brush through it, and the scabs were so thick you could see them at my temples. In other words, I was pretty popular. I was 24 when I finally became a redhead and what people may not understand is that ammonia and peroxide- the dominant chemicals in all hair dyes (except the bullshit ones which are ALL save for L’Oreal)- are also major components in relaxers. It was taming my frizz but it remained bushy, breaking, and a big fucking mess during the rainy season. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was nearly 30 and went vegan after that, but my hair remained a problem. Doc said my hair would start behaving once I got on birth control, but alas, no insurance. I did some online research and began a supplement regimen in addition to my multivitamin that included biotin. I take biotin and used biotin shampoo and conditioner, but the dandruff and breakage is still a misery.
Enter WEN Six Thirteen. Now for the noob I ordered the gift set and that includes a 16 oz. bottle of Six Thirteen and a 4 oz. bottle of replenishing mist. It’s prettily boxed with the pump boxed separately because the product is so fucking thick it will spurt out if you put it in. My suggestion is to use the product first and then insert the pump. The WEN comb is necessary, but isn’t included with this set so I bought it off Amazon for $13. The instructions aren’t intimidating as you might think (emphases mine):
Rinse hair thoroughly and completely with cool water for at least 1 minute. Daily Cleansing Treatment should be applied in four sections: the crown of your head, the nape/back of head, ends to the left side of your hair and ends to the right side of your hair.
For hair above your shoulders, use a minimum of 6-8 pumps.
For hair down to your shoulders, use a minimum of 8-10 pumps.
For hair past your shoulders use a minimum of 10-12 pumps.
For hair to your mid-back use a minimum of 12-14 pumps.
Add a splash of water to help evenly distribute through the ends and massage vigorously into scalp for 2-3 minutes. Comb through with a wide-tooth comb and clip hair up for the remainder of the shower. Leave on for at least 3-5 minutes. The longer you leave it on the better for maximum results. Rinse with cool water thoroughly for 1-2 minutes by massaging your scalp and running your fingers through to the ends.While hair is soaking wet, apply a dime size amount of the Daily Cleansing Treatment as a leave-in conditioner starting from the back of the head through to the ends.
For thicker/coarser hair increase amount of pumps in order to thoroughly hydrate and cleanse the scalp and ends.
If you choose to rinse and repeat, use half the amount of suggested pumps for each cleansing.
As I initiated some hours ago the breakage and color bleeding was still present, but I’ll tell you this I hadn’t been able to take a comb to my hair since childhood. The top layer is still damaged and bushed out, but my hair is lighter, softer, and is able to separate and fall easier. I used eight products (including shampoo and conditioner) to get my hair to behave and it felt flat, weighted, and unclean. I’m giving WEN until the end of this bottle, and with the rains just weeks away the next 3 days will be Chaz’ first exam with the cold, dampness, and humidity on the schedule. If I get results he’s got a new customer, and I can mix and match my WEN! The best thing to do is check out the WEN_comparison_chart to see which product is good for you. In my case the fig line is probably best because it tackles damage and coarseness. Personally I can’t wait to get the intensive oil treatments so I could finally retire the cold pressed argan oil and keep it for my skin. WEN also has a kids line and can be used on your pets. I mean, who wouldn’t want beautiful coats like Hunter, Spencer, and Ella?
Blame Humon for this, but I’d been watching the uber-gay-naff Eurovision Song Contest since I was a kid as we had the Italian station RAI on our former Channel 31 PBS station. Now thanks to Brooklyn-based Vice TV, Heavy Metal in Baghdad has placed a spotlight on a genre of music that is illegal in Acrassicauda’s compromised part of the world based on the deist insanity claim of satanic worship. You can also check out British-Canadian filmmaker-anthropologist-heavy metal bassist-nut Sam Dunn’s Global Metal (and 2 disc CD soundtrack- TWO HORNS UP!) for further exploration and discourse on metal culture versus establishment stupidity.
But I’d like to focus on the European-Asian bridge of Turkey on this post. Now thanks to The Metal Voice who has made me a Myrath devotee, the Turkish metal band Mezarkabul (a.k.a. Pentagram) I think should be playing at the billion dollar waste Barclay Center to give it some REAL flavor that Jay-Z and Streisand just can’t do anymore.
See what I mean?
But I have European relatives and know how they get rabid for their techno dance pop shit. Please tell me that the clubs in Istanbul isn’t playing this pile of fuck:
And YES I fucking know one of Mezarkabul’s former guitarists wrote the 2003 ESC winner. If Alternica would just fucking retire (their ’91 The Black Album was their last good album) the international acts would have their proper shot and nuke everything Cowell built, and people wouldn’t have to resort of pop music to make a living.
Now if Turkey would just fess up to the Armenian Genocide I’d spend my money there.
Although techno dance pop (I don’t care if it’s from the US, Moldavia, Korea, Mexico, or Japan) will likely give you meth mouth, please “LIKE” this video if you HATE totalitarianism. Hitch would’ve been impressed (although he’d probably despise the music as well and wouldn’t be too arsed to write a book about it)!
Now I just did the TL National Stadium DVD review, but I think I should do a review of the deluxe edition of their 1975 Fighting album. There are three reasons: 1) In my dashboard I noticed that “Thin Lizzy Fighting” has appeared numerous times under the top searches. 2) Far too many dismiss all pre-Jailbreak albums. And finally 3) The reason why I didn’t review the DE version of Chinatown was because disc 2 contains mostly live performances, soundchecks, Killer on the Loose single B-side Don’t Play Around, US edit of We Will Be Strong (which doesn’t sound too different from the UK version), and a rough cut of Chinatown.
Like so many legendary bands, their early projects are only appreciated down the road, and Allmusic gave the album 4 1/2 stars. After the newly reformed Thin Lizzy with a brash Glaswegian and a rocking hippie Californian taking up guitar duties debuted their 1974 album Nightlife which did nothing to improve their standing with Phonogram, but were kicking ass and fucking groupies, they booked studio time at the euthanized Olympic Studios and spent the latter part of the spring cutting Fighting. Now Nightlife was an eclectic bag of bluesy-jazzy-cum-pop-rock, for their sophomore album Lizzy knew they wanted to go headlong in the hard rock arena. But after the battles fought with cokehead producer Ron Nevison, they were determined not to be underestimated. So Phil decided to produce the thing himself. The problem, he’d never produced an album before. Enter engineer, the late Keith Harwood.
Robbo referred to Keith as “an absolute gem. Sadly missed, I have to say. I loved the guy to death. He was just a real gentleman, and he had all the ideas. Phil hadn’t produced an album in his life before. You know, when it says, ‘Produced by Phil Lynott,’ no it wasn’t. It was really produced by Keith Harwood, with a few ideas from Phil. That’s all it was.” (Popoff, Fighting My Way Back)
Then Robbo does the real celebutard shitty-ass thing and speaks from the other side of his mouth and says in the DE liner notes: “He helped ensure that we got the sounds we needed, and while he wasn’t a co-producer, he made life so much easier for all of us.”
Robbo, man, we love you. We know you’re an alkey, and maybe that’s why you’re such an endearing trainwreck. But ultimately that’s between you, your wife, and your son (although I can’t be sure if he’s still with wife #2). Perhaps you should cut back a bit for at least the interviews. Your fans want to think the best of you, so please avoid the Hollywood 1-D bullfuckery okay?
Getting back to the matter at hand, Fighting was ultimately the album that set the stage for Jailbreak, and while the band was in frame the picture was out of focus. But Thin Lizzy always managed to find speedbumps along the way when it came to the corporate side of things. And their troubles seemingly began with a picture.
Jim Fitzpatrick’s brilliant artwork is woefully missing for Fighting, and ironically it would be the only album to sport their official logo he designed. So to save time and moolah, the label went with photography. Rock photographers Paul Anthony and Mick Rock were given the job to capture Thin Lizzy’s sex appeal and make them look commercially available. What we got were a pair of album sleeves out of never ending fuck-ups.
The sleeve at the top is the “official” one as it was released in the UK. The photo above was used for the NA release, Robbo called “much prettier.” Since he had a real scruffy beard at the time the photos were taken (see UK Tour ’75 liner notes for pics), the Chrises were ready to sack him unless he shaved, so he conceded and kept his post. What was bringing Phil down was that the messages he was trying to impart in the album were about post-pubescent angst and rebelliousness. Not violence and rioting (however Phil preferred his listeners to have open interpretation of his lyrics). But the Liberty Vallance image Phil constructed dogged him everywhere, and more or less nullified his intentions. Not to mention that Thin Lizzy regarded itself as a gang; fighting, fucking, hard drinking, drugging, and rocking were the rules of the road. So how else were they supposed to look other than a “thug band” with that kind of album title. Another proposed sleeve had Lizzy goofing off with prop weapons on the street until someone thought they were for real and dialed 999.
The last proposal was thankfully dumped into the reject bin, because it was just plain motherfucking stupid. As a last resort they got a makeup artist to make them look after a typical after-show party:
While this looks tame and even silly by today’s standards, get in a wayback machine and zip back 36 years and you might understand why it was thought to be in poor taste and frightening.
Okay, let’s get to the meat of this thing! Disc 1 contains the same tracks as the original release and isn’t remastered (thanks Scott!). Rosalie is best known because of Thin Lizzy’s cover, and Phil being a fan of Bob Seger (and The Allman Brothers) was surprised that he didn’t include it in his set. So he decided to give it a proper treatment and added it to the Lizzy catalog. It was issued as a single off the album but went nowhere because the studio recording of it was simply too subdued. That said, the version on Live and Dangerous is the definitive mix. For Those Who Love to Live was unabashed hero worship of Phil’s Man U football hero and drinking buddy, George Best. It’s cool jazzy-pop with an addictive hook demonstrating Phil’s burgeoning abilities as a modern Irish bard. Who else could word paint young, ambitious men on the rough streets of Troubled Belfast dreaming of endless green pitches and glittering gold medals, wanting you to swing your hips and strike cool poses? Suicide remained a staple in the Thin Lizzy set up until the bitter end. It’s hard and heavy blues rock, and I think it helped Phil sublimate his obsession with death, openly criticizing society’s apathy in the face of tragedy.
An interesting note on King’s Vengeance, it was covered by 21 Guns and Tommy La Verdi did a pretty good job. But honestly, I don’t know what to make of it. It was penned by Phil and Scott, and while the music is your typical 70s feel-good sound (almost folky), the lyrics puzzle me and feels a bit unfinished.
Down and out in the city
Won’t you give a boy a break
Juvenile on trial before committee
Taken all he can take
But the king shall have his vengeance
Especially on the poor
Some say preaching to convert him
Me I’m not too sure
Spring she comes and spring she teases
Brings summer winds and summer breezes
Blow through your hair till autumn leaves us
When autumn leaves us, oh how winter freezes
And the child is still breathing
With the beating of a heart (with the beating of the heart)
Some say we are equal
Some a million miles apart
Oh my god
Oh my god
But the king shall have his vengeance
While the Queen she represents the innocent
And the child so dependent
But the seasons conquer all
Spring she comes and spring she teases
Brings summer winds and summer breezes
Blow through your hair till autumn leaves us
When autumn leaves, oh how winter freezes
But the king shall have his vengeance
Especially on the poor
Some say preaching to converted
Me I’m not so sure
Morbidity and drugs come to mind for Spirit Slips Away. The track opens with this ominous guitar overture mixed over howling wind on a dust-swept steppe. I believe this demonstrated Phil’s philosophy as to why musicians use was to take creativity to the edge- and over- hence the verse, And when the music that makes you blue/Unfolds its secrets, the mysteries are told to you. Jerome Rimson said Phil never wanted to grow old, he wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, and Gary Moore said that right before the end Phil admitted he had difficulty accepting adulthood which supersedes his addiction to the celebrity lifestyle. You can argue whether or not this was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but the vibes here are eerie and uncomfortable. My favorite track is the Irish history lesson wonderfully disguised as a love ballad, Wild One. This song should be played at every Irish wake, and should be highly appreciated for the twin guitar lead. It’s sentimental, not soppy, and neatly fits in with the youthfulness of the album (whereas Sarah was cute but definitely filler for Black Rose– they were one track short).
Now Fighting My Way Back can’t be called a title track exactly, but it successfully gets Phil’s anarchic message across. He wrote “by hook or by crook”, and by God was he going to get to the top that way as well. Nothing is worth starting if you can’t finish it, and Whiskey wasn’t going to have Thin Lizzy tossed into the one-hit wonder bin, but reinvention is never easy. So if a song can scream “I’m pissed to fuck, mad as hell, and if ya won’t get outta my way I’ll kick your ass” any louder to the Phonogram execs, I don’t know what could. Silver Dollar is a funky bluesy-country number about love on the rocks. Now there are two things that musicians know: 1) music and 2) women. They fuck women in droves, they marry a bunch of times, and they “fall in love” weekly (with women half their age). But there’s always The One That Got Away. It’s a tried and true cliche, but I think Robbo’s feeling a bit too sorry for himself on this one.
On the weird King’s Call promo, a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. flashes on the screen behind Downey. Phil said of growing up black in Ireland was as easy as “having cauliflower ears,” but by the time Thin Lizzy were bonafide rock stars the Irish social landscape was changing. Nevertheless, Freedom Song was the universal theme for racial equality and support for Sinn Fein. Political commentary, nothing new here. Sounds like someone was pretty pissed when writing Ballad Of A Hard Man, and in this case it was Scott. Scott was the pretty face with the gorgeous hair that kept up a supposed flawless image, and while he wasn’t a badass, he has a lot of attitude. Maybe his time in the clink and being crazy stoned in LA influenced this. It’s interesting enough, and could have a place on a 70s blaxploitation flick’s soundtrack.
Now disc 2 has a few, shall we say, recycled bits. Half Caste (Rosalie single’s B-side) Phil’s foray into reggae, made two previous appearances, the first being on the TL CD set/coffee table book Vagabonds, Kings, Warriors, Angels on disc 2, and Lizzy’s eleventh John Peel session (Thin Lizzy At The BBC disc 3). Also taken from session eleven was Rosalie and Suicide. Like We Will Be Strong, Rosalie’s US mix doesn’t deviate too far from its UK counterpart, so what was the point? Try A Little Harder was on VKWA, but at least this was a true alternate mix with different vocals, a nicer fade out, and 40 seconds longer. Ballad of a Hard Man and Song For Jesse were instrumentals, but Ballad had a couple of false starts giving it a grittier feel. Another instrumental was Wild One, and should have been on the B-side of the single! Yeah, it’s that good. The Leaving Town instrumental had an acoustic replacing the electric guitar, and it sounded like the boys were having an intimate afternoon jam with friends at the Speakeasy. Blues Boy, written by Robbo, is a mellow affair with simple (yet rocky) lyrics could have him going head-to-head with Snowy. Dig that fucking solo!
Leaving Town‘s extended take was nearly… six… minutes… long… Okay I admit I got a little bored with this track. This isn’t January Stars, and I think only Clapton (until the very end of the 90s) could get away with this kind of self-indulgent shit. I don’t think ditto marks are appropriate for Spirit Slips Away extended take four. Brian’s Funky Fazer (Robbo’s first name was misspelled as “Bryan” on the sleeve and booklet) must’ve been the working title for Silver Dollar (and I’m glad they changed it). This was yet another instrumental only 10 seconds longer than the vocal. Very nice, but nothing to write home about.
Whew! Done and done! This review took a few days, but I’m glad it gave me the chance to really digest the CD. I hope whoever reads this GOES OUT and picks up a copy of Fighting, and maybe thumb through some music Simon Cowell isn’t brainwashing you to buy? With the announcement of Colony Records’ closure, it brings the end of the independent record store era. And here in NYC small music, movie, and book shops were essential threads that helped weave our pop culture fabric. Now with iTunes, Amazon, and big box stores vacuuming that into a black hole, I’m becoming more depressed at the giant strip mall my city’s destined to be. Hey White, you’re not the only one who’s a limey!