Category: punk rock

Kurt Cobain photographed by Koh Hasebe

during an interview at Roppongi Prince Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on February 18, 1992. 

twixnmix:

Blondie cover shoot by Roberta Bayley

for the album Parallel Lines (1978)

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On this day in music history: December 1, 1976 – The Sex Pistols appear on the Thames television program “Today” with Bill Grundy. Booked on the evening talk show as a last minute replacement for label mates Queen, the band appears on the show to promote their debut single “Anarchy In The UK”. Following their performance, the band sit down for an interview with Grundy that quickly goes awry. When lead singer Johnny Rotten utters the word “shit” under his breath, the host asks him to repeat what he has said, and he complies. Feigning mock shock over Rotten’s slip, Grundy turns around and begins talking to the Pistols friend Siouxsie Sioux, with whom Grundy begins flirting with. Irritated by Grundy’s semi drunken and condescending attitude during the interview, guitarist Steve Jones begins spewing expletives at the host during the shows’ last few moments, after Grundy provokes him to “say something outrageous”. The incident sparks a massive furor making the band instantly infamous, and putting them on the front page of every newspaper in the country the next day.

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twixnmix:

Blondie photographed by Henry Diltz, 1977.

twixnmix:

Debbie Harry photographed by Allan Tannenbaum in New York City on November 27, 1978.

On this day in music history: October 27, 1977 – “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols”, the debut album by The Sex Pistols is released. Produced by Chris Thomas and Bill Price, it is recorded at Wessex Sound Studios in London from March – June 1977. The Pistols begin recording their only album, after being dropped by A&M Records. New bassist Sid Vicious is added after Glen Matlock departs, but can barely play. Guitarist Steve Jones ends up doing double duty, playing bass as well. Still without a record deal while recording, manager Malcolm McLaren negotiates with Virgin Records who release “God Save The Queen” (#2 UK), after A&M cancels its release and sign the band. The album creates an immediate sensation in the UK, entering the charts at #1, in spite of some record stores and distributors refusing to handle it. Warner Bros. Records picks it up for release in the US. The album is also the subject of an obscenity case when a Virgin Record store manager in Nottingham is arrested for displaying the album cover in a shop window, citing that the word “bollocks” is obscene. The case is heard in court on November 24, 1977, and is thrown out when it’s determined that the word is not obscene. In time, the album is regarded as one the greatest and most influential punk records of all time. Initially released with eleven songs, it omits “Sub-Mission”. The running order is shifted, adding it back into the track listing, and are in UK record stores by early November. As a result of the late addition, the first two pressings do not feature a track listing on the back of the LP sleeve. There is similar confusion in the US when Warner Bros releases it, with “Sub-Mission” not listed on the sleeve back. The label hastily prints a sticker with the song title which is affixed to the back. Only scraping the bottom half of the US album chart when first released, it finally goes Gold in 1987, turning Platinum almost five years later. It is remastered and reissued in the UK for its 30th anniversary in 2007, as a three CD box set + DVD and bonus 7". It is also issued separately as a 180 gram LP with a poster and a different bonus 7". Another limited edition double LP set is issued on color vinyl (one yellow and one pink). The second LP features a live concert recorded in Stockholm, Sweden in July of 1977, with the Pistols performing “Bollocks” in its entirety. It is also reissued in the US on 180 gram vinyl by Rhino Records in 2008, even replicating the first issue with the “Sub-Mission” sticker on the back. “Never Mind The Bollocks” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2015. “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” spends two weeks at number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number one hundred six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: October 20, 1980 – “Catholic Boy”, the debut album by The Jim Carroll Band is released. Produced by Earl McGrath and Bob Clearmountain, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City from June – August 1980. A gifted poet and writer since his teens, Jim Carroll sees his poetry work published in magazines and book form beginning in the late 60’s and early 70’s. He finds greater fame in 1978 when his autobiography “The Basketball Diaries” is released. The bold and starkly honest book is drawn from personal diary entries written between the ages of twelve and sixteen. Carroll writes about his Catholic school upbringing, being a high school basketball star and his sexual experiences before spiraling down into heroin addiction. By the late 70’s, Carroll is able to recover his sobriety while continuing to write, and takes an unexpected career turn. Having been roommates with fellow poet and punk rock pioneer Patti Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Smith encourages Jim to start his own band. In 1979, Carroll forms The Jim Carroll Band with band members Steve Linsley (bass), Wayne Woods (drums), Brian Linsley and Terrell Winn (guitars). After playing together for a short time, the band are signed to Atlantic subsidiary Atco Records. The raw, rudimentary instrumentation featuring Carroll’s dark and powerful lyrics make for a compelling combination. The band are also supported in studio by Rolling Stones side man Bobby Keys (saxophone) and Blue Öyster Cult keyboardist Allen Lanier. The album’s cover photo is taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz (Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair). Though only a modest success, “Catholic Boy” receives attention and acclaim for the single “People Who Died”. Written as an elegy to Carroll’s fallen friends, the song becomes a punk rock classic and an enduring pop cultural touchstone. It is heard briefly in the 80’s blockbuster “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”, and is later featured in the film adaptation of “The Basketball Diaries” in 1995, with Leonardo DiCapro portraying Jim Carroll. Carroll himself also makes a cameo appearance in the film as a junkie. With the original version being featured on the soundtrack album, a music video for “People Who Died” is shot featuring clips from the film inter cut with Carroll performing the song. “Boy” is released on CD by Atco/Atlantic in 1989. “Catholic Boy” peaks at number seventy three on the Billboard Top 200.

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On this day in music history: October 9, 1979 – “The Fine Art Of Surfacing”, the third album by The Boomtown Rats is released. Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Phil Wainman, it is recorded at Phonogram Studios in Hilversum, NL in Early – Mid 1979. The album marks a departure from the Irish bands punk roots, showing even more diverse musical influences. Many of the albums songs are influenced by a trip that lead singer and bandleader Bob Geldof takes to the US to promote the band, prior to entering the studio to record “Surfacing”. It is anchored by the classic single “I Don’t Like Mondays” which is inspired by an incident at a San Diego elementary school on January 29, 1979, when a teen aged girl named Brenda Ann Spencer goes on a random shooting spree. In the melee, Spencer shoots eleven people, killing two and injuring nine. After Spencer is arrested for the crime, the authorities ask her why she did it, and Spencer is infamously quoted as saying “I don’t like Mondays” as her reason. The single is a smash in the UK and the bands native Ireland, hitting #1 both countries. It only peaks at #73 in the US, when it is banned from airplay by many radio stations over public shock from the senseless and violent incident. “The Fine Art Of Surfacing” peaks at number seven on the UK album chart, and number one hundred three on the Billboard Top 200.

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