Black Bombers


(-This Regularly Scheduled Geordie Pleathur Rant & Rocknroll Review Was Filmed Live In Front Of A Studio Audience.)

“It’s hard to find a more blood-thirsty family than the Saudi royals, unless you start opening closet doors at the Cheney mansion.” (-Moriisu Isha)

“The man who can face vilification and disgrace, who can stand up against the popular current, even against his friends and his country when he knows he is right, who can defy those in authority over him, who can take punishment and prison and remain steadfast—that is a man of courage. But do you need much courage just to obey orders, to do as you are told and to fall in line with thousands of others to the tune of general approval and the Star Spangled Banner?” (–Alexander Berkman)

“We must overthrow the corporate state. I will repeat that for the NSA. We must overthrow the corporate state.” (-Chris Hedges)

“Right now you have a terrified, shrinking middle class that’s deep in denial about the fact that they’ve been lied to regarding both meritocracy and the nature of capitalism as a whole, and in their terror they find comfort in seeing a huge gap between themselves and the poor, and in ‘othering’ the poor they find power unless and until they find themselves in that position themselves.” (-Alley Valkyrie)

“What I find amazing about 9/11 is that the mainstream media, even the liberal establishment, the democratic establishment, can say that the Bush administration… lied about everything else, but 9/11 we’re supposed to believe that story.” (-Abby Martin, RT’s “Breaking the Set” )

“I think one of the first steps we could make to break this endless cycle of war would be if most of the people we share this psychopathic country with weren’t SO FUCKING GULLIBLE. Shit, I am more afraid of cops here in the US than any so-called terrorist.” (-Cindy Sheehan)

“The more money an American accumulates, the less interesting he becomes.” (– Gore Vidal)

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” (— James Baldwin )

“Here’s how you know you live in an empire devoted to endless militarism: when a new 3-year war is announced and very few people seem to think the president needs anyone’s permission to start it (including Congress) and, more so, when the announcement – of a new multiple-year war – seems quite run-of-the-mill and normal.” (-Glenn Greenwald)

“Tying up your assets, your middle-class future, in home values does something to people. It alters their interests. It sutures a professional class, of liberal and even progressive beliefs, to the rapacious capitalist expansion into the city. The people who move to gentrifying areas tend to have liberal, tolerant, cosmopolitan sympathies. But they are aligned materially with reactionary and oppressive city restructuring, pushing them into antagonism with established residents, who do nothing for property values. Behind every Jane Jacobs comes Rudy Giuliani with his nightstick.” (-Gavin Mueller)

“If ISIS were civilized its hostages would shoot themselves in the head while handcuffed in the back of police cars.” (-David Swanson)

“…If anybody gets assassinated: ‘Lone, crazed killer.’ ‘Communist, lone, crazed killer.’ These murders have almost always been plots, but: ‘Oh, no, you’re not a conspiracy theorist? Oh my, you must believe in flying saucers!’ Well, EVERYTHING in the United States is a conspiracy, haven’t we figured that out yet? When there’s the tobacco companies saying, ‘Smoke Lucky Strikes, because then you’ll be healthy.’
I mean, everyone conspires to cheat the people, and conspires to seize power. What is a political party, but a conspiracy to seize the power of the state? Any child can work that one out.” (‒Gore Vidal)

“The right to privacy? Gone. Journalists jailed. Banks confiscate your home. More prisoners than China. Inmates held for a decade without a trial. Endless wars we can’t win. An entire population manipulated with fear. Did Osama bin Laden, in effect, win? RIP those who lost their lives on 9/11 and since.” (-Michael Moore)

“Having murdered Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and the US Constitution, Washington is now murdering Ukraine.” (-Paul Craig Roberts)

“I’m from the democratic wing of the Democratic Party” (-Paul Wellstone, 1990. Assassinated.)

“Having that much wealth consolidated within a mere 1% of the population, while a record number of people toil in poverty and debt, is a crime against humanity. For example, it would only cost 0.5% of the 1%’s wealth to eliminate poverty nationwide. Also consider that at least 40% of the 1%’s accounted for wealth is sitting idle. That’s an astonishing $13 trillion in wealth hoarded away, unused.” (-David DeGraw,)

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” (-Mahatma Gandhi.)

“What a coincidence for war-profiteering neo-cons and the war industry, which has seen its stock rise since last week’s congressional vote to fund the rapid expansion of war.” (- Dennis Kucinich )

“And let me ask you this… this is a moral question, not rhetorical, I’m looking for the answer: what is the moral difference between cutting off one guy’s head, or two, or three, or five, or ten – and dropping a big bomb on a hospital and killing a whole bunch of sick kids? Has anybody in authority given you an explanation of the difference? Human beings will do anything, anything, I am convinced. That’s why when all those beheadings started in Iraq, it didn’t bother me. A lot of people here were horrified, ‘Whaaaa, beheadings! Beheadings!’ What, are you fucking surprised? Just one more form of extreme human behavior. Besides, who cares about some mercenary civilian contractor from Oklahoma who gets his head cut off? Fuck ‘em. Hey Jack, you don’t want to get your head cut off? Stay the fuck in Oklahoma. They ain’t cuttin’ off heads in Oklahoma, far as I know. But I do know this: you strap on a gun and go struttin’ around some other man’s country, you’d better be ready for some action, Jack. People are touchy about that sort of thing.” (-George Carlin 2005)

“This ain’t no Mud Club or C.B.G.B.’s…” (-Talking Heads)

“Thus hatred and vengeance have no place in the struggle of freedom. Indeed, hatred is a denial of freedom, a usurpation of the liberation struggle. The ethic of liberation arises out of love, for ourselves and for humanity. This is an essential ingredient of liberation without which the struggle turns into a denial of what divine liberation means.” (-James H. Cone)

“I was just reading in USA TODAY about how the current chart-topping rage is talentless female poop singers with big fake ass implants-the bigger the fake ass-the higher the chart position. Talk about a bunch of fucking morons. I guess someone better tell Eric Clapton and Jack White to hang it up. I saw a photo of Kim Kardashian in a STAR magazine and her ass was so over-pumped with silicone that it looked like a lopsided bag of potatoes. Maybe she’ll be a guest star on the new season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW. Sorry if this offends anyone-not meant to–just me not comprehending the stupidity of the masses and media in today’s dumb-ass society . what ever happened to just a good song???” (-Greg Prevost)


If you’re tired of the same old harangue, or don’t have time, or the attention span, to read the quotes or click the crucial links at the end of the column, I understand, please feel free to scroll down and just skim the accompanying photographs, and get back to all those oh so stimulating internet lists about the thirty hottest summer bodies and Metal Sludge updates about Warren DeMartini and shit. The rest of you, my weary and jaded, stout hearted rebel alliance, all my beloved brothers and sisters, and friends of the revolution, welcome back. This is dedicated to you. Yeah, you. In the black. In the back. I know you remember when American music didn’t always suck, when there was abundant affordable housing in big cities, where people from different backgrounds could congregate and collaborate and innovate. There were still record stores that welcomed loitering and did not subject you to Urban-Outfitters style, “aggressive hospitality”, where one is surrounded by loss prevention obsessed staff anytime one kneels to read some liner notes, or “lingers too long” near the 45′s. Before everybody wanted to be a fooking Nazi. Remember reading all those music magazines from all over the world at Gem Spa or the newsstand in Harvard Square and nobody giving you any guff, whatsoever? Hell, some of my fave bands were started because of chance encounters at little storefronts like Freebeing Records, or in the booth closest to the jukebox in the Holiday. Even well into the eighties, NYC was way less yuppie, and way more yippie. There were tiny bars and independently owned bookstores on every corner. Abbie Hoffman predicted way back in the 70′s, that the fascists and filthy rich would jack housing prices up so high, that the everyday people would have no time or disposable income with which to form effective protest movements, or rebellious punk bands, all our life force is squandered just hustling to make rent. People say it’s a great BARGAIN to rent a pad in ghetto Detroit for $800 a month, but you really need a car in D-Town, and probably a firearm, as even the cops say, “visit at your own risk”. Motown is ground zero for disaster capitalism shock doctrine, right now the pigs are turning off poor people’s water, there’s water shortages all over-in West Virginia, wherever there is fracking. People demonstrate, but controlled media ignore protests except when it’s six astro-turfed tea partiers bussed somewhere by the Koch brothers. The cops are on a rabid, unremorseful, bloody rampage, indiscriminate brutality is so common since Bush that we are numb from outrage. You’re being spied on. You’re being lied to. Everything you are force-fed on tv is garbage misinfotainment spewed by overpaid bullshit botox robots, celebrity gossip, fear porn, and bogus drug war and war on terror propaganda designed to glorify the brutally violent enforcement class in their stinky uniforms and sell wars based on lies, justify the ongoing evisceration of human rights and civil liberties, and boost corporate profits….”and don’t forget too grovel!” Young black males get executed in the streets for holding sandwiches, or buying iced tea and Skittles, or wearing their pants “too low” in the view of old racists with guns. Hate Radio and cable bullies vilify the victims, while cops get paid vacations and zero discipline. How many of us live in towns with absolutely no sincere value for black human life, where all the privileged and popular white people are simultaneously immersed in pathetic imitations of black culture? Nick Zedd was right: “Police State” is no exaggeration.


Corporate media glamorizes organized violence, trots out new masked super villains each week to justify always more drones, invasions, state violence, crackdowns, travel bans, and zero privacy. Now the black plague is being hyped again. H1N1, bird flu, mad cow disease, Ebola, big pharma engineers the plague and the cure and the government actually holds the patent on the latest. I’m not saying these diseases ain’t deadly, I’m saying they ain’t no accident. Stay scared, peasants! We’ll start the new vaccines in Haiti and Africa. Better quarantine the population and restrict travel. I know plenty of people who have refused to fly since Chertoff and Cheney started fondling our Mums for fun and profit. As Naomi Wolf points out, these same exact fascist strategies and corporate media talking points are being used globally. Australia, here, the UK. Coordinated crackdowns on civil liberties and erasing the Bill Of Rights, basically, there are almost no remaining democracies on the planet and the so called TPP Trade Agreements will soon end sovereignty. Latin American leaders keep getting sick and dying in mysterious accidents while many of them openly insist they may be taken out or overthrown anyday now by the globalist Military Industrial Cartel. We see cops routinely beating the hell out of unarmed civilians and we hardly blink. They always say they thought the suspects might have had possession of that scary Maryjane reeferweed. Meanwhile, everybody’s mama is on the hardcore addictive pharmaceutical prescription drugs. Taser deaths, extrajudicial assassinations, babies permanently disfigured by flashbang grenades, in violent stormtrooper, Afghanistan style, no knock raids, over petty, chumpass, alleged fifty dollar drug offenses. You deploy SWAT teams over potential POT BUSTS? REALLY? “I thought I smelled weed” has become the new “I thought he had a gun”. Since when is smoking weed a crime? Since Nixon decided to go after black people and college students. Even self proclaimed liberals repeat tragically misguided drug war propaganda, because they hear it all day on talk shows and from drug war shills and tv puppets, like Dr. Phil and Dr. Drew. Reefer Madness “Breaking Bad” drugwar hysteria. It’s incredibly profitable for the private prison profiteers. All the rich people who will never get stopped or frisked are obviously the ones who are high on cocaine-you can tell by their behavior. They are all nutty aggressive-just observe them. Batshit terrordome hysterical. Whenever an actual truth oriented journalist-a Glen Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Michael Hastings (R.I.P.) or Naomi Wolf start reporting facts based news and demanding evidence, the blowhard hatemongers of talk radio and public relations filth of Sunday Morning talk shows start attacking them like they are border Children, Gaza orphans, or sandwich holding victims of police violence, even suggesting they be arrested for telling truths against the empire. Truth, Soul, Rocknroll is all basically illegal in Battlefield Amerikkka.


It’s really sickening how soldout most everyone in the pig-media has become to stay overpaid by the warmakers. Everybody wants to be in that red carpet selfie with the skinny, vacant actresses. Integrity or a bigass paycheck and a coveted invite to the no talent awards show with all the creepy old producers and vacant, surgically enhanced popstars? Few choose integrity. Everybody knows the douchey, jock, rich kid is a racist and a bully, and wears too much Axe cologne, but they still want to drink Jager and Redbull at his oafish, glorified frat party, where mean girls cluster at tables doing jello shots and gossip about anyone they can characterize as less attractive or lower ranking on the popularity ladder. In their forties and fifties. Geesh. I used to know all these Creeper wearing 45 collectors with exaggerated Duran Duran haircuts who used to be straightedge because of Minor Threat who now congregate for red, white, and blue beer in their shorts and sports attire in painfully well organized garages, who bitch about the homeless, welfare moms, immigrants, and black people protesting, they all sound more like Archie Bunker than Ian McKaye. They gave up on their loudmouthed vegetarianism when the foxy Smiths fan left town. Everyone is sports oriented, or actually, spectacle oriented, it could be Garth Brooks or Eminem, Garden Show or Pro Wrestling, but there’s room after room filled with armchair quarterbacks barking loudly for the uniform colors they were trained to cheer. Spectators, spectacle watchers. Cable warriors. Still woofing like the old Arsenio Hall show. For war, for racism, for torture, for the helluvit. Who let the dogs out? They are all trained to hate the poor and seem to listen to too much talk radio, and spout off about how angry they are for having to pay that $800 a month truck payment, like someone’s forced them into taking on all that wraparound sundeck debt. Dude with the highpaying job is kindof a dick, but everybody still loves him, cause he pays for the beer bellied entertainment, bowling, bratwurst, hot tub, big screen ESPN, punk karaoke. His roof, his rules. Just like your Dad. When you have to pay those preposterous bills for the vehicles and tools and mortgage and status-objects, you’re always in a hurry, permanent rush hour. On the way to Hooters or Home Depot, you drive like an ambulance. All these cavemen think they are cops. That’s why they love cops so much. They watch them kicking poor people’s asses everyday, on “COPS”. They all still have “Staff” t shirts from when they got to be bouncers for some event at the fairground. Houseless folks are criminalized by shady business groups with elitist gentrification agendas from coast to coast. People who refuse to join this rat race are not welcome anywhere, really, unless their parents have money. Rent A Cops wanna see your credentials. So you can hang around the small towns with these ruthless social climbing, faux rich people, or you can move to the city and take ugly shit off of real rich people, and their bully cop enforcers.  Conformity or exile. You tow the partyline or go to social Siberia. Women don’t seem to mind how dumb these midwestern goons are, just as long as they have a roomy sports utility vehicle, maybe a gold necklace. Horrible midwestern ladies stand in the middle of the store aisle, intentionally blocking other shoppers, making a scene in their pink pajama bottoms, shopping carts overflowing with Hello Kitty shit and sour patch candy, babbling to their sister in laws about television and narrating their shopping experience.  Middle aged women’s idea of attractiveness is based on Brittney Spears: a stunted, tweenish, baby voiced, naughty blonde; it’s kinda peculiar how all these older ladies all have the same tacky manicures from the mall and identical bad blonde bleach jobs. There are dire consequences for not submitting to Catholic School middleclass two car garage and backyard swimming pool protocols, even as we are all getting old and fat. That’s why everybody always fled deadend towns for the beckoning lights of NYC. The Jayne Countys and Stiv Bators and Candy Darlings and Richard Hells of the world, and millions more, specifically went to NYC to ESCAPE all that dreadful 9-5 drudgery and of course, there were always a few tacky, rich, disco people, who thought somebody’s awful wife was more important then a nurse, or that some quarterback was more important then a baker, and they were herding people into the cement basement of Studio 54 so they could do coke with Liza and feel more important then the riff-raff, but punk rock rebelled against all that. If you still live in a big city, you doubtlessly recognize how pretty much all the bands remaining there are boring, emotionally retarded rich people who can still afford to live there, usually in cover bands, pretending to be popular in their own bourgeois gentrified middleaged high schools. Even overhyped richkid, Julian Casablancas complains about hipster “white people having brunch”, like he’s not the EPITOME of hipster white people having brunch. Remember when we used to mock “pay to play” people of the Sunset Strip? Nowadays, it’s pay to play, all the way, til yer dyin’ day. ‘Til doomsday. Think about it. Somebody asked David Johansen what it means to be a real New Yorker and he said a real New Yorker doesn’t want to turn it into Cincinnati. I love David Johansen. He’s still vital, still in his prime. Still saying things with his soulful songs. Real entertainers got SOUL POWER. David Jo is the man. Still exceptionally insightful and compassionate and fun. He gets it, and he’s got “it”. He really is more fabulous then all the hipsters on Broadway. Even Patti Smith and David Byrne who are both rich, by common people’s standards, even groan about how the millionaires have killed the spirit in the East, warn artists to go elsewhere. Same shit in Boston and L.A. How many remaining bands are saying anything with their music, AT ALL?  The trust fund kids are ridiculous. Halloween dressup with Casios and Banjos. Yeah, yeah, yer Dad owned a modeling agency. Your publicist tells us all about it, hourly. You’re no Simon Le Bon, kid. Even Motley Crue’s “TOO FAST FOR LOVE” just SMOKES just about every band still out there, nowadays. Because the best music has almost always come from the meek, the poor, and the afflicted. The ones who ain’t got three grand a month for an apartment.

I do appreciate Bermondsey Joyriders, the Jim Jones Revue were fun while they lasted–hope they reunite THEE HYPNOTICS, the Hangmen, the Moonchasers from L.A., there’s still a few animals left out in the yard, I guess, but really, I haven’t seen much in the way of genuinely exciting rock action since Primal Scream and Oasis and Manic Street Preachers……and the Manics are so many miles, artistically, above the rest it’s like…no comparison. They were and are artists. The rest are not even real entertainers, really. Products. Brands. Shills. So what’s the point? I can’t get involved in that Spin magazine world, hundreds of college grads and showbiz nephews getting paid thousands of dollars to tirelessly praise the $trokes and Kanye and Taylor Swift and Rhianna and Pink and Maroon 5 and all the newest bands who wanna be Arcade Fire or Radiohead who get to play big-money festivals because they are related to somebody who produced the Mamas and Papas before we were born, or whatever. All ho-hum, AT BEST. Everyday, they’re shufflin’….All bought and paid for, and it just pisses me off beyond reason. Esquire Magazine pays dullard oldster Thurston Moore thousands of dollars to pen articles about his “style”. All those ripped jeans and flannel shirts are supposed to be interesting because he’s rich and never got over Madonna.

In the flyover states, all the short skirted, aging, Madonna Wanna-Be Material Moms watch cable shows about divorcees with boob jobs, cougars gone wild, partying with their boob job daughters and decide they need new linoleum and maybe they should ditch the old man. The men watch all those vaguely racist shows like “Fox & Friends” and “Duck Dynasty” and “COPS” and “Bounty Hunters” and all the manly programs on Discovery about being DEA Agents, or corrections guards, that all seem to glamorize shooting shirtless black males, sneaky Ay-rabs, and illegal aliens and they fantasize about hunting, mancave gunsmithing and being macho fishermen, as they all strive to purchase bigger lawn mowers and hot tubs and white trucks to impress the wannabe “Real Housewives Of East Jerkwater” at the Hotwings bar. The locals go to work for family businesses, or the jail, or the hospital and spew that FOX TV nonsense about how they are better then you because they work for their dad and look like fat Marines, sucking down beer and steak, waving flags, and washing trucks religiously. White kids still want to be gangsta in small towns. The bigcity weirdbeards and gooney hipster shit has not entirely caught on yet-they’re still listening to Korn, Nickelback, NU METAL, and Eminem while getting big ugly piercings. That corporate hack wanker Kid Rock still pens his offensively horrible “Night Moves” and “Home Sweet Home” ripoffs about how he earned his millions with his hard work and how all rich, white, redneck, automobile salesmen’ sons from Michigan suburbs, with Kid N Play haircuts “get what they deserve”. White privilege out the hip hop wazoo. People are so conditioned to blindly venerate money, they still talk to me about mediocre fame whores, Lenny Kravitz and Foo Fighters. Like that has something to do with rocknroll. Sheesh.

Noted outsider, Jim Morrison’s been dead for forty years, but all the baby boomer propertarians want you to stand in line and pay to shake hands with somebody who knew somebody who saw him play. Pay $40 for the signed memoirs of the roadie’s girlfriend, $25 to sit underneath a framed t shirt, once worn by his brother, and another $25 for the Scabies Burger and Vicious Blooming Onion, and another $50 for the t shirt, that’ll hopefully be framed in some other rich person’s tourist trap when you die. The weirdos are outside, now. Even Slash, who has released music with Fergie(!!) and Weiland(!) in recent years, concedes: “All the popular so-called heavy metal bands that do make it to radio are so conformist that I can’t stand them.” For real. And that’s coming from Slash. who makes music with Fergie. Corporate media is just public relations of the warmakers and shareholders. Slave owners and spokesmodels for fascism. Don’t watch tv. Corporate magazines still suck. Manufactured bands and corporate “celebrities” are worse then ever. Ignore them. It’s your only hope. The corporate media is a bullhorn for the elite. Nothing more. All shite. All night.


While all those flyover states Wheaties Eaters were still being force-fed loathsome power ballads or going to the university and getting introduced to flannel shirts and thermal underwear onstage and Pixies-esque dynamics and impressionistic lyrics by Nirvana, me and my pasty gang of misfits were listening to bands like the Bounty Hunters, Thee Hypnotics, Pillbox, and The Pontiac Brothers. One of my favorite groups from the early 90′s were a British rocknroll band with a fantastic gimmick: no gimmick. GUNFIRE DANCE! They were glam like the Damned was glam, which is to say, they were elegant and had style and personality, a real throwback, old fashioned rocknroll band, ya know in the tradition of Smack, or Hollywood Brats, or the Godfathers, or Lords Of The New Church. They played this really basic, original sounding, energetic rocknroll, decked head to toe in black leather like the Beatles in Hamburg, and the big reason I personally loved ‘em, is that they really sounded like nobody else. People were really hot to ride one of those twin major label bandwagons back then, everybody copying either Axl or Kurt, except GUNFIRE DANCE, who were seemingly oblivious to grunge and hairspray metal. Their singer, ANT was a real original. He sounded like no one before or since, he had a voice all his own, unique lyrics, great taste in hats. They had a tight rhythm section and any of them could have been pinup models in fan magazines with any kind of genuine label support, and an amaaaaazingly talented guitarplayer from the ragged school of Johnny Thunders before it was compulsory.

They seemed to have it all. They even had showbiz sponsors-their first 45 was produced by the Damned, and released on a dead-cool American boutique label. I don’t know what went wrong-they were astonishingly badass. They were a fan’s band who were cherished by all those who saw them live, or sent away and got their early cassette demos. They put out a cool e.p. on vinyl, were the darlings of all the grooviest fanzines, they got full page write ups in Kerrang!, opened for bands like Bang Tango and D-Generation. Came to America, played some white hot gigs, brokeup, halfheartedly reformed years later, and then, their beautiful rockstar frontman, ANT, who I really loved, killed himself, which was, of course horrifyingly heartbreaking to his loved ones, and also shocking and shattering to his many enthusiastic admirers, scattered all over the globe. He never got show-biz lucky, like all the less talented people we are still inundated with, but like so many real greats, he influenced many other artists and writers and left his mark on the hearts of his real fans who understood his vibe and recognized his pain. Rocknroll remembers, but rocknroll’s also a mean son of a bitch, who seems to mistreat, neglect, and abuse it’s finest and most exemplary originals and truest revolutionaries, while saving a white table cloth and a candle for every heartless and parasitical copycat scum who ripsoff more talented artists and just ultimately sucks but gets to waste everybody’s time, now and forevermore. Madonna’s in the Rocknroll Hall Of Fame, but not Mott The Hoople. Or even the NY Dolls. Or the MC5. It’s a mean world and it just keeps getting meaner.

At some point, Anthony Bullock was supposed to have been in another band called Damaged Roses who I never got to hear, if anybody’s got any of their music archived somewhere, I’d love to hear it. Three fourths of Gunfire Dance including Ant briefly reformed after the breakup as Steppin’ Razors, releasing a song on a Motor City Underground compilation called “Drunk On Rock Part 2″ on I-94 Recordings. Their outstanding guitarist, Jeff Ward, wrote some highly recommended books and released some cool music as Elektrajet, and still performs onstage with NY JUNK and KEE CARTEL. He frequently does spoken word on eclectic bills with the poet, Puma Pearl and Danny the exploding sax from Mad Juana, and remains an insightful activist and brilliant musician. A tiny label also released a compilation of all the old GUNFIRE DANCE classics called “Archway Of Thorns”. It’s definitely worth owning and often available on E-Bay. Ray and Ozzie, the Gunfire Dance rhythm section, also had a band in Birmingham called Head-hunters and played shows backing Walter Lure in the U.K., and steadily continue to generate a growing catalog of exciting rock action, as the Headhunters, or other evolving incarnations, the likes of which we infrequently are privileged to be exposed to here, in the sadly gestapo confines of Fratboy, USA. They still have that vintage fire and style. Fantastic. They and their pals from Birmingham have not forgotten what real punk rock sounds like. Even their new 45 comes with collectible stickers and a wraparound poster like some old Crass record, it’s a package lovingly put together by Birchy’s new band, BLACK BOMBERS, who obviously are lifelong, diehard, fans at heart. They are the kind of Stooges and the Damned aficionados who can’t help but rock like motherfuckers. There’s very few bands like that in America, because everyone has been conditioned to blindly compete like it’s sports, there’s no spirit of camaraderie, and there is no support. Everybody wants to make a buck, nobody wants to rock like fuck. The days of indulgent club owners like Hilly Kristol and kindhearted impresarios willing to help cultivate raw talents, like Peter Crowley and Greg Shaw did in the old days, are long gone, like Long Gone John. Bars exploit talent, pay nothing, overcharge their clientele, prefer DJ’s. No one goes out anymore because of greedy bar owners and overzealous cops. Nowhere for working class bands to record-Seattle never would have happened had Jack Endino not recorded all those bands on the cheap. Greedhead barowners ripoff bands and their own clientele, no one can afford to go out anymore-fifteen dollar packs of cancer and ten dollar beers? Everybody stays home and stares at their flickering screens. Developers have bulldozed all the affordable housing, so few can rent rehearsal spaces. The bogus war on drugs allows cops to stop and search band vans constantly, gentrification squads have outlawed sleeping in vans-so constantly cops are banging on them and dragging people out of them to search and harass. Rockgroups get hassled at the border trying to play Canada nonstop and regularly have to cancel gigs. Plus there are almost no indie labels anymore and the remaining print media is dominated by richkids who reliably only write about Kanye West, Jay Z, Miley Cyrus and the Flaming Lips. It’s pretty dead, here. They’ve even erased our historical rocknroll landmarks and expect us to feel privileged to pay too much to stand near where they used to be. It’s fucked. Fortunately for us, there are still groups like Black Bombers, who fly the tattered black flag for brooding, old style, true punk, even if they are on the other side of the world.


Alan Byron has an immediately likable, spooky, sick croon very much like Dave Vanian or Iggy Pop. Black Bombers songs like, “Early Warning” throb with suggestive menace and sultry retro chic. Ain’t heard nothing like this since I left my “New Values” LP back in that last bedsit by the railroad tracks. “That Kind” is reminiscent of slinky Pillbox, Sour Jazz, and Dragbeat. Killer basslines courtesy of the always dapper Mr. Birch and the great Dave Twist on skins. Mad cool. I’m wild for it. Guitarlines as snaky and erratic as some libertine painter’s vomit on a be bop canvas on the floor of a Stanton Street studio apartment circa ’83. “Crazy” hits you in the face like a big fish with a sound that is classy, powerful and should be blasted loud like “Funhouse”. Ain’t heard nuthin’ this swanky since Throbbing Purple’s essential CD, “Let It Writhe”. Part garagepunk psychotic, part urban film-maker sophisticated. Smoky, muscular, tight punknroll for apocalypse girls and motorcycleboys who wanna get freaky on red-lit flophouse floors. Pummeling beatnik music for speed freaks with false eyelashes and white thigh high boots to get loose to. This is ominous Super 8 film music for angry eyed adults who don’t go to malls or watch sports or read glossy magazines about fat actresses or say nothing capitalist rappers. “Come On Over” is an urgent and propulsive soundtrack to some dangerous James Bond style heavy drinking. A crackpot’s catcall to a woman with a taupe beret who looks like Leg Lung. “Rush” is the signature Black Bombers tension and circular riffage that makes you want to move your hips and prowl the room like a panther. If you liked the Phantoms, Boys From Nowhere, or the Damned, you’ll love Black Bombers. I talked to Birchy:

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE:  When did Dave Twist join the band? I love Kusworth’s Tenderhooks albums, does Dave Twist’s daughter still have the all girl band?

RAY BIRCH: Me and Alan have been friends for years…I play in a band called Horsefeathers with him and his wife,we’ve been doing that since the late 90’s but only play sporadically these days it’s a kind of dusty Morricone influenced thing…Maybe we’ll do some recording next year???

Dave joined the band just over a year ago now,our old drummer Tim now plays in The Godfathers…Again Dave is someone I’ve known for yrs….We dragged him out of retirement!!!!

His daughter Poppy now plays in a punk/blues duo called Table Scraps,they’re on facebook check ‘em out….

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: The single says it’s recorded by Paul Gray-would that be the Eddie & The Hot Rods and Damned Paul Gray?

RAY BIRCH: The Paul Gray who did the recording is another old friend not the former Damned bassist…..

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: How was it gigging with Walter Lure and opening for Jim Jones? Did the Gunfires ever play with Thee Hypnotics, back in the day?

RAY BIRCH: Gigging with Walter is always fun,it’s become a regular thing…We’re the English Waldo’s…It’s great to play those songs, and hope we do them justice.The gig with JJR was great, good to play to a virtually sold out Forum,and an ideal crowd for Walter.

The Gunfire’s did a couple of gigs with Thee Hypnotics on their Soul,Glitter and Sin tour, great gigs, and I still love that album.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: I noted that Brian James hopes to share some stages with Black Bombers when his new cd hits the streets-any concrete plans yet?

RAY BIRCH: I spoke with Brian recently and yeah he likes the stuff and wants do do some shows when his new albums out which will be sometime in the new year which should be fun!!

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: I see you played a show with Hip Priests, what did you think of them?

RAY BIRCH: We’ve done a couple of shows with the Hip Priests here in Birmingham…Yeah they’re good fun…Kindred spirits…Actually me,Ozzie,Alan and a couple of other friends put a band together and played a shambolic set of covers at guitarist Austin’s wedding a couple of yrs back…Glad that’s not on youtube!! Ha.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What is on the agenda for Black Bombers in the near future and what did I forget to ask you about?

RAY BIRCH: Hopefully next year we’ll record an album…And if we’re lucky somebody might put it out for us..See what develops, we’ll just keep on makin’ our noise!!!

If History Has Taught Us Anything: