BY DAVID ROSENBERG VIA SLATE
“The boys in Washington Square, right in the heart of Greenwich Village. The square was built over a potter’s field where an estimated 20,000 people are buried.” -Danny Fields
Danny Fields has been many things: author; journalist; publicist; and, most notably, manager for a number of famous punk rock musicians, including the Ramones, the Bay City Rollers, and Iggy Pop. It’s the Ramones through which Fields is most often linked. Fields first saw the band at CBGB, and 15 minutes after they ended their 15-minute set, he asked if he could manage them.
Marc Bolan – Photo: Getty
Mystical man, Marc Bolan knew he wanted to be a star even as a child. John’s Children was Bolan’s first band as a mod in the mid- sixties. Followed by Tyranosaurus Rex, which formed in 1967, releasing four acoustic albums. Eventually, they went electric and shortened the name to T. Rex becoming glam rock, and subsequently started producing number #1 hits. The petite rock god had David Bowie open for his band T. Rex in 1969, with fans mobbing him and bypassing Bowie most days. The media called the fan frenzy, T Rextacy. Bolan insisted on meeting Mick Jagger, and grabbed his testicles at first sight, getting dragged away by security guards.
T. Rex took punk rockers, The Damned, on tour with them in 1977. For these dirty punks, it was high luxury accommodations, not to mention beautiful groupies. Bolan died that same year in a car crash which he had predicted previously. Besides the terrible reenactments, this is a great documentary.
BY FIONA MACDONALD VIA BBC
Bowie, Low, New Mexico, 1975
Photographer Steve Schapiro took iconic images of Muhammad Ali, David Bowie and Martin Luther King. He tells Fiona Macdonald about his favourites – including previously unseen frames.
In 1974, the US photographer Steve Schapiro received a call from David Bowie’s manager. “He called me and said ‘Steve, would you like to photograph Bowie?’ And before he could finish his sentence, I said yes,” Schapiro tells BBC Culture. Images from that 12-hour-long private photo shoot would later be picked by Bowie for artwork on the albums Low and Station to Station; yet many of them have never been published before.
BY JACOB BERNSTEIN VIA NY TIMES
First Thought Films/Zeitgeist Films
Bill Cunningham, who turned fashion photography into his own branch of cultural anthropology on the streets of New York, chronicling an era’s ever-changing social scene for The New York Times by training his busily observant lens on what people wore — stylishly, flamboyantly or just plain sensibly — died on Saturday in Manhattan. He was 87. His death was confirmed by The New York Times. He had been hospitalized recently after having a stroke.
BY KIM KELLY VIA NOISEY
Canadian filmmaker and heavy metal guru Liisa Ladouceur literally wrote the book on goth (The Encyclopedia Gothica) back in 2011. While she’s been busy since them working as a writer, poet, speaker, and producer at Banger Films, her latest project shows that the poisoned apple doesn’t fall far from the old oak tree. “40 Years of Goth Fashion” is a playful riff on those beauty history videos you’ve seen all over Youtube (with a much darker edge) that takes the viewer on a frightful ride through goth’s many shades of black.
Story and drawings by Legs McNeil.
Originally published in the Nov 78 issue of Hit Parader
“Ah, summer in New York,” I sighed, swatting giant flies that were dive bombing my head as I sat sipping my first beer of the day at Manny’s pool hall. It was a scorcher of a day, temperatures rising to about 102 and it was so humid you had to cut the air with a chain saw in order to get a hunk to breathe. It was so hot, Manny, owner and proprietor of the dive pool hall across from my private detective office, a big black Jamaican, had a block of ice perched on his fat stomach. He grunted. It was an explanatory grunt. He explained that he keeps the ice on his stomach to keep the case or so of beer he’d already consumed this morning cold in his stomach while he was waiting to digest it.
I opened another beer thinking what a primitive genius Manny was, when just then a short male, Caucasian, about 30 or 35, bursts into the pool hall exposing piercing sunlight into the dimly lit bar. The intruder sort of resembled a rat and talked just as fast. “Where’s Leg’s McNeil? Is he in here, huh? Come on, I don’t got all day, what uh?” the mystery man shot out with a cockney accent. I tried to answer but he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise.
Interview with Other Music co-owner, Josh Madell
by Todd McGovern
photos by Rob Hatch-Miller
When venerable East Village record store Other Music closes its door on Saturday, June 25th, New York City will lose its most vibrant, eclectic place for music lovers to meet, browse and discover new music – no matter how popular or obscure.
Other Music is the latest downtown record store to close. Over the last two years, Bleecker Bob’s and Kim’s Music and Video have packed it in and on June 30, Rebel Rebel will also close. But Other Music’s closing is hitting record buyers especially hard. For two decades, Other Music has been the destination for those in search of the latest releases – and reissues – in indie rock, hip-hop, electronica, experimental, jazz, Kraut rock and psychedelia. The store’s employees – hired specifically for their particular tastes – were well-versed and approachable, always ready to turn customers on to the latest offering from their favorite label or artist.
BY BEN KAYEON VIA CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
Bernie Worrell, the cherished keyboardist for Parliament-Funkadelic and an unofficial member of Talking Heads, has died. The musician lost his battle with stage four lung cancer at the age of 72. Known as The Wizard of Woo, Worrell was a New Jersey native who moved to Detroit in the 1970s with doo-wop group The Parliaments, including leader George Clinton, and their backing band The Funkadelics. There, they became known together as Parliament-Funkadelic, the pioneering funk and soul group. Worrell was the second musician ever to receive the original Moog synthesizer and the Minimoog, allowing him to give P-Funk its revolutionary sound, which changed the course of R&B music. Along with the rest of P-Funk, Worrell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
Worrell began working with Talking Heads in the early 1980s when P-Funk went on a touring hiatus. Although never officially a member of the band, he worked with David Byrne’s group throughout the ’80s until their disbandment in 1991. He’s featured on Speaking in Tongues as well as the Stop Making Sense live album and concert film. He reunited with the band when they performed during their induction into the RRHOF in 2002.
BY RANDALL ROBERTS VIA THE L.A. TIMES
Inside a home recording studio known as the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, where the late Frank Zappa composed and recorded some of his most adventurous works, his youngest son, Ahmet, reflects on his father’s legacy. It is a rich musical heritage from one of rock ’n’ roll’s most beloved figures, but one that has become entangled by a contentious family battle. The Zappa Family Trust owns the rights to a massive trove of music and other creative output by the songwriter, filmmaker and producer — more than 60 albums were released during Zappa’s lifetime and 40 posthumously. Like the intellectual property of many rock stars, the Zappa archives controlled by the trust are potentially worth at least tens of millions of dollars, according to one music insider.
Since the October 2015 death of Zappa’s wife, Gail, however, their children have become embroiled in a feud over control of the trust, which is millions of dollars in debt, pitting one brother and sister against another brother and sister. At issue is not just a celebrated artistic legacy, but even which of the children can perform using the Zappa name and profit from it. “Now, we’re becoming ‘that family’ — the spoiled brats arguing in public about who deserves what,” wrote Ahmet in an open letter about the dispute on Facebook and the website zappa.com.
BY SIAN CAIN VIA THE GUARDIAN
Michael Herr, the American writer and war correspondent famous for writing Dispatches, described as “the best book I have ever read on men and war in our time” by John le Carré, has died aged 76.
Born in 1940, Herr was one of the most respected writers of New Journalism, the novelistic reportage pioneered by the likes of Tom Wolfe and Truman Capote, where the journalist is as much part of the story as their subject. He practised this most famously in his book Dispatches, about his time working as a war correspondent for Esquire magazine in Vietnam between 1967 to 1969.