VIA THE ATLANTIC
From 1972 to 1982, Sheldon Nadelman worked as a bartender at the “roughest bar in town”—Terminal Bar, directly across from the Port Authority. When he wasn’t pouring drinks, Nadelman was taking photographs of his patrons. He had good material: as one regular put it, “through these doors pass some of the most miserable people on Earth.” Over 10 years, Nadelman made more than 1,500 black and white portraits of bouncers and boxers, actors and cooks, businesspeople and hustlers. Continue reading PIMPS AND PROSTITUTES OF TIMES SQUARE IN THE 70’S! (ATLANTIC)
BY EZRA VIA SPIRIT SCIENCE
The creative genius of David Bowie came to it’s peak with his release of Blackstar January 8th. It was a work of art, message, goodbye, and legacy spoken to us all, just two days before he pulled his final breath on this plane. This album is the culmination of a vast career in music, film and fine art that spanned nearly four decades. His influence will be felt for generations to come. Through channels such as interviews and music quotes, Bowie had much wisdom to impart over the years. The following are some of the most important life lessons that we learned over the years from this amazing artist.
Continue reading 12 LIFE LESSONS WE LEARNED FROM DAVID BOWIE! (SPIRIT SCIENCE)
BY DAVID PESCOVITZ VIA BOING BOING
Charles Gatewood, a pioneering photographer of the underground for nearly 50 years, died today from injuries sustained in a fall from his third-floor balcony. He was 74. From documenting the Beats and the dark alleys of 1970s Mardi Gras to extreme body modification practitioners and sexual fetishists, Charles lived his life as a curious, open-minded photographic anthropologist at the fringes of culture. I first encountered Charles’s work in the 1980s through the groundbreaking RE/Search book Modern Primitives and a grainy VHS dub of the documentary “Dances Sacred and Profane” about his quest for individuals “breaking the bounds of convention.”
Continue reading CHARLES GATEWOOD, PHOTOGRAPHER OF FRINGE CULTURE, RIP (BOING BOING)
BY ERIC DAVIDSON VIA PLAYBOY
Photography by Danny Fields
It seems we are approaching a jump-the-shark moment for “Good Old Bad 1970s New York” nostalgia. Everybody’s cool uncle or aunt who moved to the Lower East Side in 1973 has dusted off their box of Polaroids, resulting in a golden age (glut?) of coffee table books featuring spiky hair and pictures of CBGB’s bathroom. Tuesday Nights In 1980, the highly praised new novel by Molly Prentiss, basically announces the next mythologizing trend for the zeitgeist intelligentsia, as does Richard Linklater’s new film, Everybody Wants Some.
Continue reading HAVE WE HIT PEAK PUNK NOSTALGIA? A VISIT TO THE QUEENS MUSEUM’S RAMONES SHOW! (PLAYBOY)
A Conversation With
Laura M. Mac Donald, author of
THE VERY STRANGE DAY, a children’s book about Donald Trump
It’s not going out on much of a limb to say that if you’re a regular reader of the PLEASE KILL ME website, chances are you’re not a supporter of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz For President. Though what do we know? Maybe some of you out there are wearing “Make America Great Again” baseball caps along with your Ramones t-shirts. We try not to judge.
Whatever your political leanings, we can all agree that these are strange days in America. The line between reality and reality TV has been erased and the idea of “President Donald Trump” has gone from an amusing joke to a frighteningly real possibility. The more people he insults, the more popular he gets. How do you wrap your head around that?
Continue reading HEY LOSERS! A CHILDREN’S BOOK STARRING DONALD TRUMP!
As the 80s dawned, people thought they knew Grace Jones: disco diva, fixture at Studio 54, voice of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart-topper ‘I Need A Man’. The very definition of New York City nightlife. But it’s impossible to truly know Grace Jones, and in 1980 she threw a curveball – one of many in her wide-ranging career. Jumping the disco wave before it crashed, Jones decamped to the legendary Compass Point Studios in Nassau, teaming up with one of the finest studio sessioneers this side of Stax to record Warm Leatherette, the opening salvo in what would become her “Compass Point Trilogy”. Veering far away from mirrorballs and glitter, Jones tapped back into the same creative mindset that birthed her radical 1977 reworking of ‘La Vie En Rose’, this time around wresting contemporaneous recordings from their creators and unapologetically altering them beyond all recognition. New wave, art-rock, classic soul, heartland rock: nothing was safe from Jones’ glare.
Pretenders’ ‘Private Life’ was made over as a dark dubby dismissal (and subsequently lauded by Chrissie Hynde); Roxy Music’s ‘Love Is The Drug’ forcibly detached from Bryan Ferry’s world-weary ennui and super-charged with predatory cravings; Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers’ ‘Breakdown’ re-emerging as defiant challenge.
Continue reading GRACE JONES ‘WARM LEATHERETTE’ BOX SET! (UDISCOVER)
BY KIRK PYNCHON VIA WEEKLY GRAVY
There are three irrefutable facts in this world:
1) Gravity (not the movie) is a real thing.
2) Coke will always taste better than Pepsi.
3) Women who listen to Bowie are great in bed.
Okay, numbers one and two might be debatable. (Especially number one. Gravity might just be a magic trick done by a benevolent, giant-sized sorcerer who rules over our planet.) But number three is indeed a fact set in stone. There is no greater truth than the statement that women who listen to Bowie are great in bed. David Bowie is pure sex in human form.
Everything he does has an air of sexuality to it. I am pretty sure that if you witness Bowie washing dishes you would assume that he is going to have sex with them right after. Plainly stated, the man just looks like he gets freaky. So it stands to reason that any woman who enjoys the music of a man who once referred to himself as “Ziggy Stardust” is equally as freaky. It’s simple math, really. Sure, there are a ton of newer musicians out there in the vein of David Bowie – Arctic Monkeys, the Killers, Radiohead, Franz Ferdinand, Vampire Weekend – but none of those really translate into sex. A woman being into the sounds of Radiohead may be cool, but that character trait just doesn’t give off that “let your freak flag fly” vibe.
Continue reading FACT: WOMEN WHO LISTEN TO BOWIE ARE GREAT IN BED! (WEEKLY GRAVY)
BY TIM SOMMER VIA OBSERVER
The Ramones. (Photo: Norman Seef/ courtesy of The Ramones) Imagine not only starting a revolution, but also creating an extraordinary work of art in the process. Imagine if Lenin could paint like Picasso. Ramones, released 40 years ago this month, is one of the most original and satisfying works of art of our time. In just over 29 minutes, it introduced a truly new idea, magnificently realized. It was the soup can no one had ever thought to paint; it had always been the obvious destination of rock pop, so obvious no one had ever dared to try it. “
They were the Bizarro World Beatles,” notes Craig Leon, the producer of the Ramones’ remarkable debut album and a rare witness to one of the most important recording sessions of our era (we’ll be hearing a lot more from him soon).
Continue reading THE RAMONES’ DEBUT ALBUM IS STILL THE BEST PUNK ALBUM OF ALL TIME! (OBSERVER)
BY NICOLA LAROSA VIA FORDHAM UNIVERSITY
Poster image courtesy of Joe Cerra
Joey Ramone rocks Rose Hill. Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! Back to April 27, 1984. Thirty-two years ago, almost to the day, iconic punk rockers the Ramones played to a nearly sold-out house at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym. Joe Cerra, FCRH ’84, was chair of the Fordham concert committee back then. ‘We originally wanted the Go-Go’s. They were red hot at the time,’ he says. But the all-female group’s drummer needed open-heart surgery, and they canceled one month before the gig. ‘The Ramones were available for that day, and we scooped them up. …
Everyone enjoyed that show.’ The seminal band from Forest Hills, Queens, released their debut album in 1976 and toured relentlessly, playing often at the now-shuttered East Village venue CBGB. Even though their popularity was waning by 1984, their hits had staying power. ‘At every college party you went to, ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ was playing,’ Cerra says.
Continue reading PUNK ROCK THROWBACK: THE RAMONES PLAY THE ROSE HILL GYM!
“Love Will Tear Us Apart”—a cynical and tongue in cheek retort to the Neil Sedaka song “Love Will Keep Us Together” made famous by Captain and Tennille, had it’s video shot 36 years ago today. The song’s lyrics, in retrospect, were an obvious reference to singer Ian Curtis’ failing marriage. The members of Joy Division filmed the video themselves on April 28th, 1980 during a rehearsal at T.J. Davidson’s studio, where the band had previously rehearsed earlier in their career. In the intro to the video the door that opens and shuts has “Ian C” carved into it; reportedly this was the beginning of an abusive message (the rest later erased) carved into the door by a spurned ex-girlfriend of Curtis’ during the band’s earlier work at the studio.
The video is browned out at points, unintentionally, but nevertheless a fitting aesthetic—along with the omission of Curtis’ trademark dancing, which instead is replaced with the frontman strumming on a Eko Vox VI Phantom guitar (the guitar on the audio track is a unspecified 12-string Eko Vox guitar played by Sumner). This was the only promotional video Joy Division ever produced as Ian Curtis committed suicide less than three weeks after the video was filmed.
Continue reading “LOVE WILL TEAR US APART” WAS FILMED 36 YEARS AGO TODAY! (POST-PUNK)