george orwellPOP HEART (-Geordie Pleathur looks back on his wasted youth, dead friends, assembly-line glam-metal, the grunge hoax, unreality programming, and wonders what became of the teenage dream…)

“The Democratic Establishment: corrupt, mendacious sellouts.” (-Alan Grayson)

“The Obama Administration has embraced the policies of George W. Bush, and then gone much further. Wall Street bailouts went ballistic under Obama-$700 billion under Bush, but $4.5 trillion under Obama, plus another $16 trillion in zero-interest loans for Wall Street.” (-Jill Stein Green Party candidate for President of the USA)

“Americans are gathering the courage to just say no. We are saying no to addictive consumer lifestyles. We are saying no to wars and corporate takeover and the IMF loans that gobble up people and their resources.” (-Cynthia McKinney)

“In this rigged, two-party system, third parties almost never win a national election. It’s obvious what our function is in this constricted oligarchy of two corporate-indentured parties – to push hitherto taboo issues onto the public stage, to build for a future, to get a young generation in, keep the progressive agenda alive, push the two parties a little bit on this issue and that.” (-Ralph Nader)

“Check this out, kids, there is no left in US politics…there is rhetoric that is parsed n thrown around, but there has never been a real ‘leftist’ elected to represent people or push ‘leftist’ agendas on all the poor colonialists that the FBI was put in place to protect US colonists from…there has never been a law passed that was a ‘right-left’ compromise…it’s never happened…even if one seemingly nice New England merchant (secular Jewish) grandpa who utilizes the rhetoric really well gets elected it would actually take a political party of ‘leftists’ that were organized and running candidates in all state assembly and congressional seats in November and it would take at least a 30% win ratio in those elections before there would be the reasonable acknowledgment of the emergence of a real ‘left’ in American colonial politics…and then it would take HUGE amounts of reform and law passing, amending of the constitution and such to actually have ‘socialism’ per se…I know a lot of folks I love & care about are excited about what all these actors have gone on about the last year, ‪#‎feelthebern n all that…but, I just got to throw that out there, the facts, u know?…not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, but I have to steady listen to this shit for the last year out of everybody n I want folks I love to have fun n be happy about electing someone who makes them feel represented, but the truth is everyone I. Congress n the president n the Supreme Court all wear a uniform and take action along a very entrenched & scripted format of singular capital based ideology that hasn’t changed since the British & the French fought over this land & were able to use the indigenous population as pawns, then as Euro feudal control fell prey to market venture capitalists (I guess u could call it a revolution, I look at it as more of a power template shift that never took power away from who has violently held it, it just changed the rhetoric so as to foment the continued building of empire) it just incorporated corporate rule, with corporate law n corporate articles of federation & continued to used militarized force to enlist slaves n servitude to ‘conquer’ (rape resources) the new empire all the while creating a bipartisan side show & a whole lot of speechwriting that has only changed empire where empire felt it had exhausted that resource already anyway…so yeah, no real ‘leftists’ anywhere, save for labor movements, which, if you are to be historically accurate, have done nothing but compromise for changes that colonial powers gave up in order to preserve the empire (Union)…I know, this smacks of cynicism to most of you, especially those who worked away the better part of your youth in the institutional education system that taught u #feelthebern made you an edgy lefty…sorry if this burst any happy bubble…I doubt that u take me seriously enough for that to happen…carry on lil troopers, carry on…we will keep surviving somehow…until the wars conflagrate too large or the weather brings up the ocean n water is poisoned everywhere to the point most humans, if not all, die off….which, I got news for u, u could elect the Green Party by a landslide this next election and it would be too late…the clock is already ticking on those 2 mass extinction scenarios n they cannot be countermanded now…too late…sorry…have a good rest of the year with this whole election thing. (-A. Razor)

“I finally got around to understanding why current hip hop is sorta boring and slow- all those motherfuckers are drunk on cough syrup!! Which also explains why white people love it so much- it no longer confuses, confounds, or confronts. It also represents a political coup d’e tat for the music industry and other government agencies in keeping any potential threats sedated, rich, and solipsistic so as not to rile the troops into any other action than big booty, tattoo your face party town nothingness. But hey, it’s only entertainment- that’s cool.” (-Frankie Delmane)

“Status-seekers, I never cared…once I found out they never dared, to seize the world and shake it upside down and every stinkin’ bum should wear a crown…” (-Iggy Pop)

“No government fights fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges.” (-Buenaventura Durruti)

“The parking lot is empty, they switched off the Budweiser sign, it’s dark from here to San Jobete, it’s dark all down the line, they ought to hand the night a ticket, for speeding-it’s a crime, I had so much to tell you, but now, it’s closing time…” (-Leonard Cohen)

“Where does it go when its all spent and gone
When you’ve downed your last shot and sung
your last song
His wild-haired companions, he’s out drunk them all
Now the willowy women won’t answer his call
They won’t answer his call, they won’t come to his bed
The nights last forever for the Suicide Kid
His hands they tremble, his voice cracks and breaks
The Suicide Kid wakes up with the shakes
He rants and he rambles alone in his room
He falters and stumbles and fades like the moon
He fades like the moon at the dawning of day
But the Suicide Kid won’t fade away ” (-David Olney)

“Americans do not feel entitled to food, shelter, pensions or health care. Citizens of other countries may be entitled to such things, but, by God, not us! Eat your bootstraps, if you’re hungry. Sleep under a bridge, unless the Super Bowl is coming to your town, then get the hell out of there.
Americans DO, however, feel entitled to tell other people how to run their countries, and Americans DO feel entitled to overthrow other people’s government, bomb them, and invade them and Americans DO feel entitled to taking over countries resources and seizing their assets.
Most Americans do not even realize that attacking other countries is a war crime. This article, from last year, is well worth reading again.
And this is a relevant quote….’To initiate a war of aggression…,’ said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, ‘is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’” (-Paula Densnow)

“I’ll make you a deal, like any other candidate
We’ll pretend we’re walking home ’cause your future’s at stake
My set is amazing, it even smells like a street
There’s a bar at the end where I can meet you and your friend
Someone scrawled on the wall ‘I smell the blood of les tricoteuses’
Who wrote up scandals in other bars
I’m having so much fun with the poisonous people
Spreading rumours and lies and stories they made up
Some make you sing and some make you scream
One makes you wish that you’d never been seen
But there’s a shop on the corner that’s selling papier-mache
Making bullet-proof faces, Charlie Manson, Cassius Clay
If you want it, boys, get it here, thing
So you scream out of line
“‘ want you! I need you! Anyone out there? Any time?’
Tres butch little number whines ‘Hey dirty, I want you
When it’s good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad I go to pieces’
If you want it, boys, get it here, thing
Well, on the street where you live I could not hold up my head
For I put all I have in another bed
On another floor, in the back of a car
In the cellar like a church with the door ajar
Well, I guess we must be looking for a different kind
But we can’t stop trying ’til we break up our minds
Til the sun drips blood on the seedy young knights
Who press you on the ground while shaking in fright
I guess we could cruise down one more time
With you by my side, it should be fine
We’ll buy some drugs and watch a band
Then jump in the river holding hands…” (-Bowie)

“If you had asked me why I had joined the militia I should have answered: ‘To fight against Fascism,’ and if you had asked me what I was fighting for, I should have answered: ‘Common decency.” (- George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia)

“If you’re bourgeois, money is it. It’s all the questions and all the answers. Ain’t no E-flat or color blue, only $12.98 or $1,000. If it isn’t money, it isn’t nothing.” (-John Coltrane)

“Facing long years in prison, Aaron committed suicide three years ago yesterday, at the age of 26. Today, I’m sharing with you the remarks I gave at his memorial service, in hopes that the world will remember Aaron as the courageous and brilliant man I was so fortunate to know. Aaron worked in my office as an intern. He had a quality that I found unnerving. He could come up with better things for him to do than I could come up with for him to do. Time and time again, I would give him something to do, and he’d say, “Is it okay if I also work on this other thing?” And ‘this other thing’ turned out to be much more important than anything that I could come up with. I learned to live with that. I learned to live with that shortcoming, which I took to be a shortcoming of my own, not one of his.
The other unnerving quality that I found in him was the fact that when he would conjure these assignments, they actually came to fruition — an unusual phenomenon here on Capitol Hill. He’d give himself something to do, I would recognize that it was very worthwhile, I let him do it, and it got done! He was a remarkable human being.
Another thing that I found unnerving — but also very endearing — about Aaron was that Aaron wanted to rock the boat. Now, we all hear from a very, very young age, ‘Don’t rock the boat.’ I would venture to say that of the 2000 languages spoken on this planet, probably every single one of them has an idiom in that language for that term: ‘Don’t rock the boat.’ And yet Aaron wanted to rock the boat. Not just for the sake of boat-rocking, but for the sake of improving the lives of ordinary people. And that’s a beautiful, a wonderful quality.
We’re talking about somebody here who helped to create Reddit, an important world-wide service, at the age of nineteen. Honestly, somebody who probably could have spent the rest of his life in bed, ordering pizzas, and left it at that. And yet he didn’t. He continued to strive to do good — good as he saw it. And that’s a rare quality in people. Many of us, we just have to do our best to get through the day. That’s the way it is. Many of us struggle to do just that. Very few of us actually can think big thoughts, and make them happen. But Aaron was one of those rare people.
And he was willing to take the heat for rocking the boat. Now, you know, sometimes when you rock the boat, the boat tries to rock you. That is exactly what he encountered, right up until the end.
And it’s a sad thing, that that’s the price you have to pay. For some of us who rock the boat, we end up losing our property. For some of us who rock the boat, we end up losing our freedom. For some of us who rock the boat, we end up losing our families. And in Aaron’s case, his life.
And yet, he was willing to face the facts, and to let that happen. To keep striving, to keep struggling, to keep trying to shake things up.
Aaron’s life reminded me about a different life that came to the same end. It’s the life of Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician. He lived in England, and was born one hundred years ago. Alan Turing was the greatest mathematician of the 20th Century. He not only invented the Turing Machine, which is the basis for all modern computing, but Alan Turing also broke the Nazi codes during World War II, and allowed the English and the Americans to defeat the Nazis.
You would think that someone like that would be cherished. Someone like that who, if he had managed to have a full life, might have won one, or two, or even three, Nobel Prizes. But in fact he was vilified, because he was a homosexual, which, at that point in England, in those days, was illegal. And I’m sure that at that point in England, in those days, there were people who said, ‘Well, the law is the law. And if you disobey the law, then you should go to prison.’ Because of that, because his boyfriend turned him in, Alan Turing was convicted of perversity, and sentenced to prison.
Given the choice between spending hard time — years and years of his life — instead of doing the mathematics that he loved, or alternatively, to accept estrogen injections, well, Turing took the estrogen injection choice. And that broke not only his body, but his mind. He found that he could not do the thing he loved the most, mathematics, any longer. So after two years of this, Alan Turing committed suicide.
And who lost, out of that? Well, Alan Turing lost. But so did all of we. We lost as well. All of us who would have benefitted from that first, and second, and the third Nobel Prizes that Alan Turing had in him. And that Aaron Swartz had in him. We’re the ones who lose.
If we let our prejudices, our desires to restrain those with creativity — if we let that lead us to the point where that creativity is restrained, then going back all the way to the time of Socrates, what we engage in is human sacrifice. We sacrifice their lives, out of the misguided sense that we need to protect ourselves from them, when in fact it’s the opposite.
Our lives have meaning, our lives have greater meaning, from the things that they create. So we’re here today to remember Aaron — and also to try to learn from the experience. To understand that prosecution should not be persecution.
This morning I reached into the closet, randomly took out this tie [showing necktie], and wore it. And I have a sense that sometimes, things are connected in ways that are not exactly obvious. It happens that this tie is a painting of ‘Starry Night’ by Vincent Van Gogh, someone else whose life ended all too soon.
In a Don McLean song about Vincent Van Gogh, it ends this way: ‘They would not listen. They’re not listening still. Perhaps they never will.’
It’s time to listen.” (-Courage, Rep. Alan Grayson)

“And when no hope was left in sight,
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.” (-Don McLean, ”Starry, Starry Night” )

“One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”(-MLK, Jr.)

“Revolutionaries do not make revolutions! The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lying in the street and when they can pick it up.” (- Hannah Arendt)

“It’s a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
(- Naguib Mahfouz)

“Hillary Clinton thinks 12 Dollars for minimum wage in fine. She has smoked so much corporate crack and has been so high on government meth for so long she must still think it’s 1972. Eject this creep.” (-Frankie Delmane)

“We were aware of the fact that death walks hand in hand with struggle.” (-Stokely Carmichael)


Kevin Junior is dead. Honestly, I’m still mourning the deaths of people you’ve never heard of, street musicians and true poets, and houseless advocates shot dead by cops for bankers, who never made it big in the media consolidation age…plus Bowie and Brett Smiley, and this was like another needless sucker punch that I never saw coming, even with the medical issues. Aw, man. Kevin Junior. Yeah, I remember being really jealous of that guy when I was eighteen and nineteen-back then, he was in a band called the Mystery Girls, milkin’ that same glam-trash-glitter-punk vibe and attitude as my own band of flashing stars in cowboy shirts and Johnny Thunders haircuts. When he first sent me his Rosehips cd for review in my shitty fanzine, in the early nineties, I was initially dismissive, because it was such flagrant homage to my beloved Jacobites, and Bounty Hunters, but over the years, I saw him shed the copycat gutter brat shtick and emerge from all that lace and smoke with a poignant stack of classic songs and a really unique voice, all his own. He sang like a bird and wrote sad songs about lost love and fallen comrades I could always relate to. With heart on his ragged sleeve lyrics and soaring, candy apple flavored melodies. He totally charmed me and I really came to admire his self-deprecating sincerity and sweet and touching sense of humility-we had a lot in common, and while he got to tour with our mutual heroes and steadily recorded music in decent studios with excellent players, and spent years in Berlin and London and New Orleans seemingly embedded deeep in the soft warm glow of rosegold bohemian cotton candied nightlife, he easily could have gloated, or been petty or vengeful, or smug, about the way I belittled his scarved and long ashed persona, way back in our hairsprayed youth, as all our friends and rivals seemingly made it big while I spiraled and spiraled, but no-he was always gracious and sympathetic to my artistic and personal failures, we were both kinda fuckups and self-aware enough to want to overcome it, we became supportive of each other. He was funny and honest about his own desperation moves and fear as he wrestled with poverty, shame, addiction, and chronic health problems. He was always making light of the futility of it all, cracking wise about the terror of knowing. He was elated to sing with Nick Lowe and totally excited about the re-release of his pal and sometime collaborator, Epic Soundtracks’ music, he was always such a genuine fan, at heart. He loved Cheap Trick like I loved Hanoi Rocks at fifteen–he was crushed when Bowie died. Like all the real rocknroll people, he was stunned and shaken by the seemingly sudden death of the Leper Messiah. Kevin’s own Chamber Strings music just wept and bled elegant bubblegum soul, like Big Star, and Burt Bacharach, and Badfinger-he was so fuckin’ great. Look for his Chamber Strings stuff online, if you appreciate wonderful, sentimental, heartfelt pop music. I am kinda struck numb at the moment, by the deaths of Brett Smiley and Kevin Junior, and will likely pen something more worthy about him/them at a future date, but right now, I’m just kinda still in the denial stage of mourning, it all feels mechanical, as I have to keep my own emotional shit together, but suffice to say, I so dearly wish I could come spend the night monopolizing the vintage stereo at your house and emptying all those bottles behind the bar and playing all your scratchy old records and weeping about my dead dreams and long lost loved ones and saying inappropriate shit in front of your wife who thinks I’m nuts. Ya know mess and fool around like we used to. It’s an endless procession of sad goodbyes. Those loathsome material girls all love to remind us that we all lose our charms in the end, but I feel particularly sorry for those Botoxed beasts whose charms only consisted of stuff they received from their moms and dads. It’s harrowing how all the inspirational artists and entertainers and bards and truth-speakers are dropping like flies and seemingly, all that’s left, are those ghastly clones on I-Phones, all those low talent and no talent, idle, do-nothing, rich people like Taylor Swift, Kanye Kardashian, and Lady Gaga. Even the sexiest bombshells of my shimmery youth are gone-Chrissy Amphlett and Vanity-it’s suddenly dark. I’ve had three or four eras in my life where trusted advisers, muses, confidantes and protectors have died all at once, in rapid succession, it’s uncomfortable, to say the least, watching the greats fade away, the sentimental landmarks get steam-rolled over, losing your own sacred mementoes when temporal relationships dissolve, and your belongings get pillaged and shit-heaped, and recognizing there’s no such thing as home. Dumb, fat Amerikkkans cheer for war and murder like it’s sports and strippers, and most all the former rebels of my age group settled for conforming to be popular at the sports bar, or the comforts of joining their parent’s fucking grotesque country clubs. Meanwhile, I just flipped around the tv and saw some American Idol emo Hot Topic kid turn “Rebel Yell” into a Color Me Badd “Sex You Up” dick in a box Robin Thicke boyband-smooth falsetto ballad. Kevin Junior is not someone I expected to outlive. I hope he’s clinking glasses with Nikki and Epic and Ian Mac on the other side and laughing merrily about no longer being subjected to all the unforgivably insincere, insufferably wretched, garbage product, techno-muzak and bullshit Kafka prison-state concentration camp culture. Brutal stuff. Ahh, he was a good one.


“In this glass and wire world
Surly leeches gain the right
To send their message screaming
One that has no meaning
To people who feel”  (-Iggy Pop)

Man. ‘Ever come across one of those nauseating meatheads, who think that owning that Nirvana CD and some expensive outdoor camping apparatus for attending high dollar music festivals, somehow qualifies them as, “punk”? They never even liked Cobain because he was a sensitive artist-they liked him because he made a lot of money. They think they are “punk” because they are obnoxious. Because adult cartoons and oafish sports commentators, somehow, gave them the idea that farting on the couch like Al Bundy; while complaining about immigrants, like their fat dads grilling on the sundeck was supposedly so cool; or that cruelty was creativity…They all see themselves as little Simon Cowell authority figures, judging everything like it’s Olympic figure skating, because they saw Rev. Horton Heat when they worked at that bar as a bouncer back in school, and still like to pump iron to Social D, or Papa Roach, or the Rollins band, and get misty-eyed listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers ballads? Ford truck polishers, who drink Jagermeister and Redbull, who read Maxim magazine, while guzzling morning protein shakes, and try to tell you that Velvet Revolver cd had some pretty good songs on it? If you ever have to ride in their truck, though, you’ll note they are usually tuned-in to commercial country sap, or rightwing 700 Club talk shows about how lesbians are going to Hell. If you talk to them for two minutes, it’s clear they know little to nothing about rocknroll, but absolutely, every motherfucking thing, about installing elaborate name brand sound systems. Bigger, louder, over-compensation, primary process. I notice all the porky, gloating, pharma-bro type, fratboy douchebags smirkin’ around with their cans of Budweiser and faded “security” t shirts and Super Bowl Sunday fratboy drinking contraptions calling themselves “libertarians” and even “punks”,  because they think punk is that Warped Festival energy drink spazzy-pop garbage that soundtracks skiing or BMX extreme sports videos, or something that golfshirted bully smartasses can buy online with Dad’s company slush fund credit card. Pudgy, white, suburbanite, camo shorts wearing,  Ayn Rand wealth-worshippers who’ve only read two books in their lives and one was Mein Kemf, except for skimming some coach’s memoirs, or “The Art Of War” back in their freshman year gangsta-rap stage. They frequently quote “The Simpsons”, “and “Scarface”, Howard Stern, Ann Coulter, and every other overpaid cable tv attack dog loudmouth, who blames black teenagers in hoodies and immigration for their personal problems. These dudes may own their own business, but usually, they go to college for four years of heavy drinking, before assuming titles at Daddys’ firm. Usually, as glorified lightbulb changers or telemarketing supervisors. They all seem to love affecting a metal lunchbox “working class” image, but the hardest thing they do is hose down the truck, or some lifting at the gym with their tight dawg, who they refer to as David Alan Bro, or,  Brocephus, or Edgar Allen Bro, yo. You’ll hear these goobers try to tell you shit like being a footsoldier for fascism and whores for wars is rad and tight and how we need to drug-test more poor people, and arrest the homeless, and criminalize panhandling, and  target gay folks for harassment, and build more walls to keep out immigrants fleeing America’s proxy-war on Syria, and torture more Muslims, because they inherited their buckets full of chicken wings and kegs of fancy craft-brewed draft the old fashioned way, by earning it, by sucking up to Mom, and cleverly embezzling from Dad. Jockstraps. Axe cologne wearers. Foo Fighters fans. Baba-booeys. These guys think golfing is punk because Iggy Pop does it. Whenever someone representing coolness appears on the scene, making a stand for truth and soul, and justice and love, the ruling class always promptly dispatches adjustment bureau hitmen, corporate pain-compliance officers, and Pinkerton thug brand reps to create suspicion and foster senseless debate and division among radical sects and insist that a genocidal prison state is good for the economy and creates jobs. And everybody nods along with the old faux hip-capitalism clichés about freewill and the “free” market. Dudes with dumb tribal tattoos, who think Dave Navarro is like, deep and mystical, maan. They are always smiling like Carson Dailey while they brag about all their monogrammed collector stuff. They resent their soft office jobs but like to spew tough guy anti-immigrant rhetoric like the chickenhawks they hear on talk radio, because it makes them feel all puffed up and proud like their Dad, and John Wayne, and Archie Bunker and Drunk Uncle. These guys honed some debate team tricks in college and pride themselves on being clever contrarians, who want to bait you into pseudo-intellectual discussions about the merits of Kanye West’s artistry and shit-they all like Jay-Z, too, in spite of their barely contained racism. They are always pro-war, pro-torture, pro-prison, pro-death-penalty, pro-fracking, pro-police state. Mostly, they unconditionally venerate anyone who has acquired wealth. Arab sheiks, smalltime mobsters, hedge fund scam-merchants, Metallica lawsuits, or former bouncers from the Jerry Springer show. Of course, they are all foaming at the mouth about Donald Trump, because fratboys love a douchey loudmouthed authoritarian with a hot stripper girlfriend because they all hope that someday, they will also be able to purchase a woman by mail order, online, from overseas. These guys are lapdance purchasers, shmucks, lawn waterers, collectors, greedheads, toolbelts, corrections officers. Super Bowl Sunday Partiers, they love marines, mercenaries, cops, drone operators, torturers, DEA shows on the Discovery channel, their mancave with the framed Coop posters, chrome weapons, CEO’s, mobsters, “winners”, boxers, violent video games about being assassins, these guys got all their stuff from their dad, they’ve organized their powertools, they have many spare rooms full of exercise equipment gathering dust. They, mostly, like blasting bad outdated rap music, like Flow Rida, their pinup pictures of Jessica Alba from “Sin City”, or Jessica Simpson from the “Dukes Of Hazard” reboot, their precious pit-bulls named after random blustering pop culture impresarios, flatulence, speeding down residential neighborhood streets for no reason, forever racing to the red-light to demonstrate their tool-guy manly aggression, and they never stop bragging about their mad DJ skills, having learned about the Bee Gees forty years later, most likely from Beck. They want you to know they are cool with officials outlawing consensual adult sex acts, and poisoning the water and Michigan, because they think Michael Moore is fat and “Un American”. They belong to gyms, pick fights with strangers whenever they are accompanied by several of their inebriated, oversized friends, even in middle age, they still strut around like highschool wrestling team boys, spewing ridiculous Bill O’Reilly bullshit about how liberty is the right of the privileged to bully, poison, or profit off the misery and suffering of the meek. They look up to Gene Simmons and George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the Nuge. They are usually personal friends with government thugs who have the best drugs. They get absolutely giddy whenever some blowhard cigar chomper like Rush Limbaugh, or those flagpin on their lapel wearing robots on Fox promote KKK ideas, ’cause they can’t wait to behave even more abusively, as the country falls deeper and deeper into corporate fascism. They are the smarmy, smiling, dickhead guys who make excuses for bankers, mortgage brokers, big pharma, and cops who kill unarmed children. These goons ain’t punk. These are the eager minions of Rudolph Giuliani–obedient white power stormtroopers. They are bully mainstream monoculture sports fans. Lowest common denominators. All the other Shadies who are just imitating. Warpigs. Nazis, racist scum. Skrewdriver apologists. Squareheads, dollar bills, Quarter pounders, the dummy vote. Beware the white greedy douchebags, the loss prevention store detectives, the taser wielding rent-a-cops, the neighborhood watch groups, study hall monitors, and vigilante snitch patrols, and their big white off-road trucks and fucking golfbags. You can usually smell ‘em comin’. Like sulfur and nasty locker rooms and frathouse bongwater. In a honky death spell, waving flags, with Supercuts hairdo’s. United States of Generikkka. “Woof! woof! woof!” “Who Let The Dogs Out” is their national anthem. They know the words to “Fight For Your Right To Party”, “Where It’s At”, “Ice Ice baby” and “Pretty Fly For A White Guy”. They think being lucky enough to inherit rental properties is the same thing as being self-made. Mooks. Cheering for violence. Counting their money. Stinking up public restrooms and never flushing. The white man dancing. Talk radio listeners.


The Bush selection was fixed, the activist rightwing Scalia Supreme Court gave corporations more rights than people, and the whole 9/11 scam and sham was designed by neo-con hawks to take away your rights and whip us all into a bloodthirsty, frenzied, hysterical, war loving, prosperity gospel Mammon worshipping country of vampires and zombies who unconditionally pledge allegiance to privilege and violence and fascism and fear and it all worked as smoothly as Colt 45 in an old Billy Dee Williams commercial. Profit-driven media corporations and the two faced war hawk empire duopoly continue to silence the anti-war left and shut Green Party candidates out of debates and blow smoke in our eyes. Hillary is paid five grand a minute for secretive speeches to Wall Street insiders behind closed doors. She has promised her backer, the Power Rangers billionaire, that she will redraw the entire Middle East for Israel, starting with a war on Iran. Trump groans and growls and grimaces and makes ape noises and beats his chest and dominates our airwaves. Frank Zappa once called politics the entertainment wing of the military industrial complex. Bernie supporters overlook his support for drone attacks and white phosphorous used on Palestinans, insisting Ted Cruz is “worse” and employing the same divisive bullying tactics on Jill Stein supporters that Hillary’s deluded fans use against Bernie. “Can’t win.  No one’s heard of her. Incremental change and hope in one hand and future supreme court appointments and pragmatism and lesser evils and hold your nose and vote for the same old warmongers and fascists.” A coin-toss in Iowa determines the candidate(??!!!) and the CFR and Goldman Sachs rich lady wins six coin tosses in a row? Really? I told you the hanging chads and Brooks Brothers rioters and Bush style dirty tricks fix was in, again. We saw no hope and change under Obama, just an expansion and acceleration of Karl Rove/Dick Cheney neo con policies. All too often, we learn that atrocious acts are committed by proxy armies, regime change mercenary rebels funded by the West, that the masked contractors and boogeyman motorcades are helping Nato allies redesign the Middle East for oil companies and the devil’s chessboard, scapegoating “Muslims”, so low information tv gluttons will continue to cheerlead for bombing hospitals in pre-emptive wars of choice and fascism like it’s sports and beer drinking. Feelgoodist scented candle making middle class liberals reserve their outrage for spewing lynch mob hate speech against pre-determined enemies based on superficial divisions and similarly refuse to acknowledge that the elections are fixed, the universities are businesses controlled by the deep-state security apparatus–even, employing war criminals like Yoo and Patraeus; that the health cares system is corrupt; that the debates are tightly scripted and choreographed and the entire consolidated media acts as a nonstop propaganda bullhorn to keep us scared of Zika and immigrants and Isis and Ebola and wanting “protection”. We expect to be coddled and cuddled by the dangerous uniformed goons we are taught to cheer for unconditionally as children, even as cops kill our pets, and shoot unarmed children, and kick down our front doors, throwing flash bangs in baby cribs, Afghanistan night raid style, because supposedly, someone said somebody else might have reefer. If you attempt to discuss the panopticon domestic spying, the second amendment, the racist war on drugs, the coordinated attacks on homeless people, the Democrats war on whistleblowers, the Cointelpro monitoring of Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matters leadership, Murkkka’s bombing of hospitals, deadly trade agreements, murderous police state, Flint’s water crisis where the poor are even prevented from suing the lawmakers who poisoned them, all under feelgoodist namebrand Democrats, etc., etc. all the “Got mine, Jack” purdy-talkers of gender-oriented gentrification pivet immediately back to their preferred boogeyman of choice: the Bundy ranchers, Palin, W, Isis, Chris Christie, Morning Joe, Fox news, “the Patriarchy”, whoever-to dodge the subject, Hillary-like, and stay firmly planted on their preferred “Gluten is Bad, Caitlin Is Good” Terra Firma. They may call themselves hippies, but they are believers in the system. They are stuck in their He vs. She, Red vs. Blue, Coke vs. Pepsi, Democrat vs. Republican worldview.



Some of my best friends were glam bozos. Me and a cuppla my once close compadres were scruffy hardcases and deeply committed rebel kings who never expected to become crossover People Magazine celebrities like Bon Jovi or the Foo Fighters, we dreamed of someday becoming as big as maybe American Soul Spiders,or the Ex Idols, the Devil Dogs, or purple haired Zeroes- we just wanted to release cool 45′s on a hip underground label on a regular basis. We knew our songs had worth, because they were immediately memorable even to people who did not like us personally, and punters always seemed to enjoy singing along with them, we were fortunate to taste the appreciation of diverse audiences and the encouragement and praise of our musical idols, but as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, it was the grunge era and suddenly all the bright florescent lights were on, it was indeed, “Friday Night Lights” and all those sports competitors and alternative-rock hoaxers were ferocious. We knew the music school nerds withdoa top dollar wireless headphone setups that allowed them to rehearse in their apartments with padded electronic drums and shit, but they did not write songs that connected like the ones we coughed up in brutal conditions bereft of consistent percussion personnel, or supportive sig others, or adequate food and shelter-we managed to puke forth some catchy tunes under major duress, in spite of being underfed and freezing cold. I think the lack of heat and other basic resources made us mean, for awhile, and that’s no way to live, but it was what it was, and we were singing. At least a few of us had a real “ride or die” attitude in those days, we were prepared to slog it out long-term, but the ultimate roll call we were seeking never quite coalesced. The right drummer is crucial for our kind of music to work-we needed our own Chuck Biscuits figure; and he proved impossibly elusive, after the first few mutinied, to go prog rock, or straight edge, or whatever. There was always another toll-booth, requiring another burnt offering, to the local gentry, always some more booking agent weasels and horny record store owners, and goateed college-radio egomaniacs and antagonistic bridge-trolls looking for a hand-out or a handjob, we were ruffian punk rockers, and had no interest, or means, to reckon with a pay-to-play world. All our best stuff had an undeniable tough rawness to it like the Skulls and Action Swingers, but with a sugary pop zippiness, like, say, Dramarama or American Heartbreak. Short, fast, melodic, hard. Fugazi fans thought we looked too much like L.A. Guns, and boy, did they ever let us know about it. “This is Boston, not L.A.!”, they’d yell at us everywhere we went, in our pyramid spikes and lizardskin and concho straps. College towns are always over-run with sports mooks. We may have gone to the wrong city to make it in show business. We were really into Aerosmith and the Real Kids, and by the time we started lurkin’ around Kemore Square, all that was left was SSD skins, Bullet Lavolta h/c, Slaughter Shack thrashers, and Buffalo Tom dorks…and armies of Bosstones tough guys with shamrock tattoos. I had my own rebel alliance for several years and even when individuals sometimes let the team down, I stayed faithful to the team and the dream. I always planned on coming back to retrieve everybody. No rebel rocker left behind. We were great, together. We could have made a difference, together.

Of course, we had seen all those old “I Love Lucy” reruns with out grandmas about the shark-infested music industry, but still had no idea what a shatteringly doomed enterprise we had undertaken with such careless overconfidence. Ever since the Alice In Chains surge brought waves of straights, and sportos, into our now overpopulated underground, it looked more like game day, or that campy seventies movie, “The Warriors”. Many rival gangs competing for turf. The local Jane’s Addiction clones, the local Red Hot Chili Pepper whiteboys, the Nine Inch Nails tech-nerds. Ever since smalltown Cobain had left Sub-Pop for Geffen, music seemed like an exciting career opportunity to all those college peeps. As, always, the rich kids were winning. My gang had started out as a ragtag bunch of show-off lost boys, and gone through many cha-cha-cha changes, as people came and went. First there was what I had hoped would become a five lads from Nowhere who shook the world operation, that crashed and burned, overnight. Collectively, we were potentially, a powerhouse band to be reckoned with. I always believed in those cats. We had to replace our Michael Hutchence lookalike, girl magnet, first bassplayer who left to pursue a solo career early on, with an outgoing, charismatic, bohunk, bassplayer; we boasted a creepy Cobalt Stargazer-this crusty old school Charles Manson fixated, raunchy punk guitarist who was mainly influenced by Buxton/Bruce, Johnny Thunders, and Brian James, he was a genius–”wet garbage stench always in the air, but we laughed like loons in that basement lair”; Additionally, a note spraying, splay legged super hero lead shredder in the fiery tradition of Wayne Kramer and Andy McCoy who looked like a dainty china doll Joe Perry; and a brooding Larry Mullen Jr. lookalike on drums. I was a junk shop glam version of John Cooper Clarke meets Texacala Jones, and it seemed like we were destined for amazing adventures together, until a couple of ‘em decided they wanted to do something less androgynous, more masculine and hardcore, and drafted a blond preppie kid to replace me as lead singer and they all got cars and trucks and crewcuts and started going to the gym. I was stunned when they defected, as their singer had been a fan of mine and was kinda primarily copying all my moves, while maybe better looking. That was weird for me. It was like if the Clash had replaced Joe with Dexter from the Offspring. Insisting he had better pitch. I’m not comparing my talent level to Joe’s, maybe my sincerity, but I’m definitely comparing that other guys’ talent level to “Keep ‘Em Separated”. He succeeded in permanently dividing, diverting and disrupting my whole thing. I guess you never get over your first love, or your first real band. I never unraveled the specific politics behind my curt dismissal, but most likely, it had something to do with incompatible tribal mythologies. Someone’s girlfriend may have thought I treated women poorly in those years, which is completely accurate, but honestly, the drummer only met his gothic girlfriend at my house because when she took me to the graveyard the day before, I suggested she meet him, and supposedly, my stand-in was gonna get less girls, or maybe help them all get more girls–something, more or less, to do with girls, probably, I dunno. The replacements’s stunning wife made it known she liked me, many times, but I thought we were friends, me and my fill-in. I recall helping the bassist get back with his longtime girlfriend after she dumped him for a rich kid, I physically brought him up to her at the big disco, pretty much put their hands together, so I dunno. There was another death rock chick who flirted with all of us, but that ain’t really my fault-who she dated or did not date. Anyhow, I was unexpectedly pink-slipped, my old lady tells me it would probably not make me feel better to discern the specific reasons I was jettisoned from that old gang of mine, cause it’s been twenty five years and no one but me cares anyway, and even I’m not that interested in returning to our old hometown Catholic Alma Mater stomping grounds to watch high school girl’s volleyball with all the other grey haired middle aged married people still wearing lettermen jackets, or receive validation from my former class-mates’ Omaha steak eating, gung-ho military in-laws, or drink Pumpkin beer on the patio, but truthfully, I already stuck around foolishly for years on end, repeatedly offering my services to those same four otherwise busy dudes, and it became embarrassing what a deluded sucker I was-I just believed in that original Honeycomb Hideout gang spirit. I was a Jet, all the way, can you dig it? I kept trying to reunite with those original guys, all the young dudes, but I repeatedly got the full Liquid Paper whiteout from some of ‘em. Deleted, expelled, REALLY thoroughly replaced, written out of the book. I was the original Darren on “Bewitched”. Nobody cares, and nobody remembers. Humiliating to be repeatedly rejected by former loved ones-eventually you suck it up and walk away. Needless to say, I still don’t have a truck to drive home shitfaced from Mexican restaurant’s macho Margarita guzzling muscle-bound Mondays watching Nascar on big screens, anyway. So, I instinctively drafted the Motorhead/ACDC/Four Horsemen and Circus Of Power obsessed roadie mechanic as my new primary songwriting partner and replaced the spark throwing deedle-hero with a moody, mystic, half lidded Brian Jones/Nick Drake meets candle burning Marc Bolan, and we soldiered onward, undaunted. Drummers and sometimes even, bass players remained a challenge. Overnight, we got my Irish friend from the record store job, to be the bassist and hung musicians wanted flyers and went through the painful process of auditioning stick twirling heavy metal drummers. A half dozen junkie guitarists in polka-dotted shirts came over and nodded out in the bathroom. “Next”. We had an indie-rock girl; a metal head; guys in suits with corporate dayjobs; a giggling stoner who only wanted to laugh and get stoned and he was a much better musician than we were, but he was stinkier than the rhythm guitarist who never changed his leather pants, and soon, abandoned us to manage a porn shop. We played some open mics in Revere Beach with a couple of fill-in guys from rival bands, including a  loudmouthed Andrew Dice Clay dude who wanted to be Paul Stanley when the Irish bass-player became too busy with American girlfriends because of his good looks and his exotic accent and started sheepishly skipping rehearsals. Searching for devoted replacements, it was an ignoble predicament. Even though we were receiving high praise and glowing reviews in the national magazines, we had trouble booking shows at the college radio bars. It was bewildering, because wherever we did play-country music jamborees, hardcore basement shows, cosmopolitan loft parties, or suburban sports bars, we were almost always well received and usually won over at least a half dozen ardent admirers who would purchase trays full of drinks for us and demand we knock them back with them, as we had somehow developed a reputation for being heavy drinkers. I’d accumulated a flash wardrobe of shiny clothes and we would dress the new recruits up like us in cowboy ties and brothel Creepers, and women would ask to take our photographs, which is how we lost the lead guitarist. We met some attractive rich girl at a Quireboys gig, whose dad owned a cigarette factory in South Africa, once he glimpsed that posh boy lifestyle, our fortified wines, Ramen noodles, hot plates, filthy futons, and mouse traps lost their appeal, for some reason. He was understandably disillusioned with our hardknock scrambling in the unpopular music margins-we moved into an apartment where someone had left a “dead end” street sign behind. It was pretty clear that the increasingly snobbier and less accessible venues and media were primarily interested in models and upper classers like Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield. Our humble kind of raggedy Replacements style garage punk and brightly festooned and feathered and sequined, frenzied performance style was brushed aside so all these sensitive and introspective Harvard types could share their diaries, like James Taylor-accompanied by string sections. We had dumb guts galore, personality, and creativity, but these other folks had trust funds and entertainment lawyers. This was the daytime tv era where all those talkshows focused on how men who weren’t yet incarcerated under the New Jim Crow for- profit prison, “tough on crime”, stop and frisk drug laws just needed to get another two fingersnaps j-o-b. The already rich ruled the airwaves. Liz Phair, Lillith Fair, Alanis Morrisette, Counting Crows, Sheryl Crow. Our primitive demos were circulating and showbiz wives loved us. Bigtime producer Phil Ramone complimented our humble originals. Even Wayne Kramer had kind words for our meager offerings, but we weren’t able to self finance music careers and felt jinxed. Aside from some recordings done at an older friend’s house on his eight track with drum machine, we just could not pay those rich people fifty bucks an hour to record at their studios. That’s one advantage Seattle people enjoyed, is they had Jack Endino willing to record them properly, at reasonable rates. We were always getting slagged for our nice shoes and leather apparel by all these booj uppercrust locals who looked like they worked at the carwash. Poor people always like to cut a dashing profile and dress snazzy while rich people tend to enjoy “slumming” so no one expects them to buy drinks. Pearl Jam and the Pixies were rockstars who looked like dishwashers and house painters. We were the dishwashers and housepainters who looked like proper rockstars. Of course, we reached out to our famous associates and people in signed bands who we opened for but they were usually more interested in our girlfriend’s music. The riot grrls were talking about gender oppression while the women we knew were way more able to get easy, breezy, beautiful recognition and make class transitions. In our neighborhoods, the males were all in jails. Mass incarceration destroyed the family units. Women were in charge. We got dumped by girls who dated dudes in more famous groups, pretty much everytime. “Cursed, poisoned, condemned”. We sucked at making money and even the licensed mechanic in our ranks got his tools stolen along with his El Camino his first night in Roxbury. We learned that not only did you have to “know somebody”, but that somebody had to want to see you succeed more than they wanted to steal your girlfriend, your songs, or your boots, or loot your ideas for their niece’s new girl band. It was all just every man for himself treachery and ruthlessness and plagiarism and backstabbing. Other bands started covering our songs, but only a select few mentioned us onstage, or bought us a pint. For awhile, we tried to create our own media, via home made fanzines, local radio shows, and cable access tv, but even those mediums were instantly copy-catted by the usual better-financed factions, and it was a drag seeing your intellectual property and original ideas and writing style so promptly pilloried by others. The emo dorks with the soccer shirts and backpacks and George Clooney haircuts even started dressing like us. That was freaky after all the guff we got for liking to cut a dash. The worst part about all these mainstream suburbans flooding the music scene and claiming they were now being “alternative”, is that they did not usually even know what they were talking about. Our band was very obviously influenced by the Deadboys, Beasts Of Bourbon, Gun Club, and Hangmen, but the girl band geeks and Fugazi nerds who booked the clubs and ran the labels and wrote for the local entertainment weeklies always dismissed us as Poison dudes, not Poison Idea, mind you–but the smiling, athletic, lifeguard-metal poofters(!!) in spite of the fact that we sounded nothing like them and frowned and dressed in black and most all our songs were usually ominous and angry and dark and mean, we were typecast as the party animal fluffband because we dressed like the Bounty Hunters and Coma-Tones, but the Soundgarden people had never heard of the Bounty Hunters or Coma-Tones. Aside from Thee Hypnotics and Manic Street Preachers, Hello Disaster, Humpers, and a few others, the nineties sucked. We met other bands whose girlfriends and parents were backing them, and it was a painful wakeup call that while we had learned how to compose little punk rock songs and command a stage, we had not cultivated any reliable organization or support network. We were not business-oriented, we were drunkard hoodlums and street rats. We may have excelled at penning snappy three minute songs about losing, the upper middle class and rich showbiz people had even hijacked the image of being a “Loser”. Peter Bagge’s $15 graphic novels and $25 Sub-Pop t shirts proclaimed the wealthy grungers even got to co-opt that image. Too romantic for us peasants and peons trampled underfoot. We were the last devoted crusaders of the high and sacred order of fuckoff, waving our tattered black flags for sex and drugs and rocknroll, and the irrefutable right to freak freely around the fire. We were troubadour true believers but our impossible knighthood was an errant, ever receding mirage, as we got creamed by those smalltown sadists and tiny tyrants, all those authoritarian bullies and trendoid gate-keepers with big flashlights and little cans of mace. They hired moronic football players to throw people like us onto the concrete, and when their blacklists and gossip slashing was deemed as not enough, they would come at us sideways, offering pills and positions to the women we kept company with. After that false flag operation used to justify every evil deed henceforth, the people became so casually numb and calloused to having their civil rights violated, that they quit even commenting when another teenager was summarily executed by racists in uniforms, so long as there is always another random lapdancing twerk-muppet, who was willing to flash her tits, on-line, to a stupid disco beat. “Agent Smith” was not a mere metaphor.

Every single last, fevered attempt to record our trashy originals on a broken shoestring budget at some far away music studio was always somehow sabotaged by some catastrophic event—juvenile on-the-clock fistfights, car wrecks, broken down vans, incarcerated percussionists, studio-owners on crack, studio owners abruptly called away to go yachting with their rich sailor parents, I would always catch a cold, always with the failure and death. We were shut-out of rocknroll eden, left to scavenge for cans, in the deadend wastelands of zero access, permanent exile, mired hopelessly in ridicule and deep poverty. It took a couple of us low-income diehards approximately three decades of extreme duress, unprecedented heaps of humiliation and loss and punishment, to even begrudgingly admit that Stiv Bators and Joe Strummer weren’t kidding when they warned us that rocknroll had been infiltrated by the corporations and co-opted as another insidious tool of social control. “Music Business” was the exclusive domain of loudmouthed blond women in white babydoll dresses and crafty, bearded craft beer sipping Sonic Youth fans for whom it was all just another put-on, con-job, leisure option, career opportunity, hustle…like selling insurance or being a lawyer, or working in advertising, or becoming a pharma-rep. We were supremely bummed out. It had always been more than a Nike swoosh, or vocation, or hobby or lifestyle choice to some of us-it was more like our religion and we took it dead seriously-it was our entire essence and way of life, but the real stuff had been outlawed by genocidal social engineers and shadowy think tanks, with their sic ‘em boy attack dog wars on the poor, and particularly, the utterly bogus war on drugs. They tore down the rocknroll landmarks, they reduced CBGB’s to a TGI Friday’s at the fucking airport in Newark, killed the prophets, ostracized the punks, and gave you unendurable shite like Bristol Palin and Snooki, Donald Trump and Brett Michaels, Jimmy Fallon and Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift, slutty mouskateers and Adam Levine and his pimple creams, Diddy, and whoever Sean Ono Lennon is boning this weekend. Sia and the countryesque corporate pop of that Australian model, with the emo haircut, Old Whatshisname, who married the actress. Horrible. I had first spotted the trend towards the phony and the photo-shopped back with the pay-to-play hair metal hacks, and then, the rich kid “Alternative” bands that enlisted models and portrayed them as emotionally unstable suffering artistes–tribal tattooed underwear models with six pack abs and goatees, in fetal positions affecting some tormented image of being an addict and moaning miserably about their parent’s divorce. Then, came the fixed-elections and late nineties shyster sham when all the girlfriends and their sisters and moms got addicted to remodeling shows on cable tv all about buying and flipping property and painting the bathroom purple and reselling it at twice the price hosted by Matthew McConaughey lookalikes in work boots and tool belts, while the only available  jobs were drywalling Mcmansions, or working as telemarketers for rip-off mortgage company predators. “Can I ask you a couple of quick questions about your home and mortgage? I might be able to save you some money or loan you some money”. They handed the public airwaves over to just six companies, controlled by two hundred executives, and banned the anti-war songs after Evil Dick’s epic staged event, and it all just got worse and worse, with the Patriot Act and financial collapse and bank bailouts funneling all the money upwards to the top one percent. They told us Jennifer Aniston was a sex goddess and Adam Sandler was funny and Caitlin Jenner was woman of the year and Coldplay were geniuses. No one paused to question why no policy changed under the hope and change peace prizer, or if Harry Connick Jr. was making a genuine contribution with his proper pitch cattle-calls that turned popular music into ice skating. Now, we got shit like R. Kelly and Lady Gaga, “Real Housewives” and Nikki Minaj, and even Paris Hilton and Kim K are “making music”, even the Pope. Flaming Lips with MIley Cyrus. Iggy with the Eagles Of Death Metal….and no one like Nikki Sudden, or Poly Styrene, or Lux Interior, or Stiv Bator is allowed anywhere near a microphone. Everybody I grew up with is dying young, getting evicted, or otherwise being hassled by the man.

I learned that if you are a male who survives into middle-age, you really are expected to drive a sports car, or luxury sedan, but also, a big white Bob the Builder, home improvement 4X4 white truck, or women with Lollapalooza tramp stamps and backyard garden mosaic tile projects are gonna treat you pretty lousy. She might be beautiful in all those drab and muted, brown and gray, gauzy clothes, but all that exists beneath her mystery is a bottomless pit of wanting and greed and the desire to acquire more high-dollar shit from Sephora in the mall. These white pigs in their navy blue suits with brass buttons call “we, the people”, a virus, but they are the ones who control the viruses and the secret cures and suppressed technology patents; who create the human rights crisises with their covert, shock doctrine, oil wars and emergency management zones that cause the tidal waves of refugees-they are the ones who send manufacturing jobs to Chinese sweatshops where small children sew your two hundred dollar shoes for pennies so you can feel fashionable in your buff Johnny Bravo selfie at the gym. They are the ones who bulldoze all the affordable housing and build high rise luxury condos, creating the homeless people you feel hassled by on your way to buy your ten dollar smoothie. They are the ones who recruit, train, arm, and fund the boogeymen armies. If their wars and poisons and invented diseases and killer cops and radiation leaks and fracking sinkholes and earthquakes and killer cops and corrupt hospitals don’t kill us early, the stress of coping with disaster capitalism and the death of hope for humanity, will. I see all those swanky car commercials and rich people lifestyle shows but the smart and talented people I know can not even approach a “middle class” standard of living in the no jobs, slave plantation economy. Years ago, I was foolishly dating someone from well out of my class and obliged to babysit a toddler daughter of the rich while her parents drank champagne with their meal ticket patriarch at the casino and recall making a wisecrack about how her showbiz parents would see to it that she would get to grow up and record her original music, before I really had a chance to. I was not wrong. She’s medium gorgeous and almost famous now. I’m old, broken, out of shape, and have to piss all the time. It got too tough trying to keep on rockin’ in the third world, under tarps and tents in the elements and smoke. Stay tuned for Caitlin Jenner’s Republican Rap Record produced by Kanye to help sell Hillary’s war on Iran, for women’s rights and transgender freedom. I mostly try to avoid any entanglements with rich people now-they will use and abuse you, and steal everything you love. All they care about is their personal comfort, privileged pets, and fucking non stop ego trip. They have all the power and none of the heart.


When I was a kid, in the Midwest, you knew who liked Hanoi Rocks and the Cramps and the Damned because they were always the ones who had a bloody nose and a black eye. In NYC, you always knew who was a NY Dolls fan from the Midwest, because they were getting their photo taken in their best spangles, and hand painted leatherjacket, in front of Gem-Spa. Pre-”American Idol”, pre-”The Voice”, pre-”The Internet”, there were only cell phones in Sigue Sigue Sputnik videos, and on “Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous” and they looked like gigantic walkie-talkies. It was much harder to locate landlords and persuade them to let you move in while being limited to using payphones on the corner and having no reliable return number, with a checkered work history and a purple Prince wallet, but there weren’t all these gentrification property management companies and online background checks, so if you could charm them, or more often, find a room mate or a sub-let, it was much, much cheaper to live in big cities, back then, and it was way, way more tolerant of weirdos, no one batted a false eyelash at one’s silver spray painted combat boots or nose ring in The City, so that’s where all us smalltown glam rats went, first chance we got. Just like in the Lou Reed song. We ate lots of canned beans, Ramen, slices of pizza, and discounted gallons of white port. We dined and dashed when we got desperate. I remember spending lots off quarters on pay phones trying to contact my future bandmates from musicians wanted ads in the Village Voice and potential employers and elusive landlords in NYC. Answering machines were still chic and sexy and you felt like Jim Rockford, when you finally achieved bona fide land line status: “leave a message and I’ll call you back”. We wrote each other letters, made each other mix-tapes, ran up big phone bills trying to negotiate bands over the phone, because there was no such thing as free long distance, but you could take a plane across country for about fifty bucks on Piedmont, or People’s Express airlines, you could smoke everywhere, and no government agency felt you up in the airports. I was a skinny glam rock kid in love with rocknroll, girls, hairspray, second hand clothes, Trash & Vaudeville, and “Creem” magazine. Smalltown jock culture hated me, and it’s still very mutual, so eventually, I fled the bullies, evangelicals, catholic school preppies, and juvenile authorities, and mostly hung out at Ray’s Pizza on Second Avenue and 8th Street, watching all the older punk rock people who congregated in that carnival-esque neighborhood, back then. You would often spot a member of the Deadboys, Ramones, Princess Pang, or Skin N Bones shelppin’ around with a couple ‘big pieces of pizza on a greasy paper plate, or a forty ounce of malt liquor in a brown bag. It was a pretty good time to be young in Manhattan. Everyday was like the Halloween Parade. A studio in the filthy Bowery with all the brown junkie-blood splattered all over seemingly every wall in every building was $500 a month, you split it three ways and really had to hustle to make rent. Now, it costs $5,000 a month to live on the same block. So you better be an Olsen Twin, or Zoe Kravitz. Lacking some kind of unspecified organizational skills, independent wealth, and the ability to sing really high like the metal screechers, all my juvie bands always seem to break up overnight. The other dudes would always fire me unexpectedly right when we started gathering momentum and generating enthusiastic reviews in the fanzines and developing a tri-state following, they’d go and get new haircuts and try to become the next big thing that was usually already yesterday’s news, a whole lot of bandwagon chasing was happening, back then. Dogs D’amour were becoming known, so everybody started wearing cowboy boots. Social Distortion had that prison record, so everybody ran out and bought Murray’s pomade and an unbreakable comb. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion came along and all the followers started doing an Elvis From Hell shtick with Beastie Boys drum breaks and loud, squeaking feedback. Manic Street Preachers even had my determinedly apolitical cohorts spray painting their clothes and writing songs about class politics, which is cool, but those guys were KISS collectors, they didn’t really give a fuck about shit, besides their own fucking wardrobes and collections. New Bomb Turks had people scrambling to wear sweater vests and sing fast songs about strippers and hot rods in fratboy college towns, etc. etc. Oh, man, then, it was Nirvana with the  Mr. Rogers sweaters, and all those hideous rich kids who refused to wash their hair, followed by D-Generation, and abruptly, everyone wanted to wear Creepers again and for five and a half minutes, it seemed like trashy punk rock was back. It was already seemingly tough to pay rent, let alone finance travel and studio costs, rehearsal spaces and enormous alcohol habits and shit; on minimum wage record store job or print shop salaries, even back then. Somebody put out a popular fanzine called “Wage Slave”. I worked at the corporate record store and hated hearing Crash Test Dummies and Bare Naked Ladies and Pearl Jam, all day. I wanted to make wild records and go on tour. ‘Always had bad luck with drummers quittin’ the group, and goin’ ska, or straight-edge, or Born Again Christian, always right when we started attracting people to local shows. This one would quit to join a costumed tribute band that made $500 a night which was a lot; or that one would quit to please his parents by attending culinary school and abandoning his alternative rock dreams. We’d get another one and a week later, he’d meet some of our rehearsal space hangers-on, and he’d immediately get shacked up with some goth chick who wanted to quit her pole dancing gig, who’d badger him to get a haircut and get a real job. We got one veteran older punk drummer and he lobbied to oust me and replace me with someone more jockish with a “better range”. It was tough, keeping a sense of unity and solidarity while sleeping on cement floors in freezing, unheated basements that smelled of piss and moldy beer cans. I remember always being fucking cold and we’d all be so  hungry, smoking stale cigarette butts from old ashtrays, we’d make up songs about food. One drunkenly improvised Dylanesque masterpiece entitled, “Wendy’s Salad Bar” was a big hit winter anthem in that musty sub-basement, one year. It was easy to stay skinny because we only ever had enough money for beer and smokes. Eating was a secondary need. In some zip-codes, we’ll never live down the nights of ceaseless merry making and bawdy revelries. It was rocknroll, you see, and we were eighteen and we liked it.

Me and a couple of my similarly impulsive, seventies van dwelling, diehard sidemen kept moving from town to town, trying to find the right rhythm section to help us flesh-out our own glam damaged street punk skuzzy super group, but the grunge hoax had exploded and all the college people were slummin’ around the bars and record stores, and it was exhausting trying to infiltrate their locals-only music scene hierarchies that were usually only extensions of their high school sports cliques. These fuckers weren’t even rocknroll people-they were all like,  business people and rich kids, former hockey players and high school wrestlers, chasing that macho Sub-Pop sound. Trust-funders and music school grads were suddenly trying to sound shitty, on purpose. Thurston Moore became the Only Opinion That Matters. Goatees and big, ugly piercings. Horrible. Mean girls and jock Tarzans. Lollapalooza ’99 and tribal tattoos. MTV just started sucking the life out of the underground, and glossy magazines proclaimed camouflage shorts and long-johns were now supposedly high-fashion and everybody and their mom was saying Cobain was a genius, as if hundreds of others from Killdozer to the Pixies to Happy Flowers and Husker Du and on and on had not sounded pretty much just like that for decades. Choreographed boybands were being styled in Bauhaus t shirts. The yuppies on “Friends” were wearing MC5 shirts. That pissed us all off. And some skinny, tall fucker who talked in a fake Spicoli voice supposedly won some Carson Dailey audition to become a guest VJ introducing Backstreet Boys videos and shit and his backstory was exactly my own, supposedly. Glam brat runaway discovers Lords of the New Church on St. Mark’s Place, sews Rolling Stones tongue patch to his denim jacket, and ties too many scarves on his body and somehow, that guy even gets a record deal. It was tough to take. Some fuckers said I couldn’t sing as well as Bryan Small or Taime Downe, well…That dude could not sing even as well as Jesse Malin, who now owned a million dollar nightclub, Coney Island High, but both of ‘em had big money record deals and goofball Jesse Camp was making records with Dogs D’Amour and doing duets with Stevie Nicks. I was being hassled by a prick record store owner for six bucks an hour because apparently, I not ripping off the community enough as a buyer at his greedhead, ego-trip, Republican record store. Band mates were flaking, one overdosed and died. My pals and I had written dozens of promising, catchy songs, but we weren’t friends with anybody who owned decent recording apparatus who was willing to capture our tunes, on the cheap, so it was all just shoe boxes of fucking cassettes filled with songs recorded on broken ghetto blasters in echo-y kitchens. I’ll be honest, I started getting real depressed about it. Every private school dweeb and untuned guitarist in the world had a band steadily and seemingly effortlessly releasing vinyl, except me. Now I realize jealousy is a weakness and in the post Bush Amerikkka you’re never supposed to admit anything unflattering, but if you’re gonna tell a story, you gotta set the scene, and being frustrated and fed up and terminally jealous of all these come lately hockey-sticks and grunge kids and stonewashed metal blouses who had infiltrated the underground music culture, was a big part of my story. Plus, the women in my life were all steadily arriving at that age where their moms were pressuring them to find a careerist office professional and weekend tool-belt wearer, and change their entire religion if need be, just to marry up, so that added significant stress and drama, whenever one would quit a record store job, or if the hungover sax player room-mate was sleeping all day when he was supposed to be out driving the cab, or somebody ran up a phone bill trying to keep  in touch with their children, out of state. The communal lifestyle was losing it’s novelty, when none of the deadbeat musicians ever ponied up their share of the bills and no one could be bothered to wash the dishes and the garbage piled up in the back hallway and there were actual rats in the cellar, and everytime anyone tried to four track a song demo, a drunk woman could be heard on tape, slurring threatening obscenities in the background. The junkie lovebirds in the other bedroom would pass out with Mazzy Star playing and 100 candles burning; the Malcolm Young-ish hellraiser guitarist would come home bleeding having mouthed off to some football players at the bar after a long night at the telemarketing job; people were discovering crack; the downstairs neighbor died of Aids; our ace in the hole whiz kid lead player started playing in insufferable House Of Blues style, honky “BLUES” bands with rich, overweight, older middle class suburbanites and going to college. Another close friend who always believed in all our doomed little bar bands died, and for the first time, I started thinking maybe rocknroll stardom was not as imminent as it always seemed as long as the music was still blaring, the rocks glasses clinking, the sidemen were on standby always ready for another spontaneous road-trip, or short notice opportunity to serve as a warmup act for some better known group, or to busk in the subway for bottles of booze; or eagerly on hand for yet another raucous, drunken singlaong when the girls showed up with stacks of heavy metal magazines, and beer, and liquor, and hot pizza, and cigarettes. Even local nightclubs were telling us we were “too metal”, which just meant our hair was too long, cause most of our songs were two minutes long. Fast blasts of adrenalized anger and middle fingers from the depths of our pained souls. The corporations were changing mass-culture with social programming and my age group were looking to get diplomas that were supposedly their ticket to home ownership, and respectability, and now, girls were quoting “Reality Bites” dialog in now daily arguments about our supposed immaturity, and the importance of securing health insurance and peer-group approval, of “growing up”, or whatever. The Offspring and Rancid became popular. The Offspring. Hard times.

It makes no sense at all, to emo flat-ironed youtuber hypno-gadget addicts now, who have been trained to believe that art and music should only be made by bored rich people who hire dope beatmakers and vocal coaches, or models, celebrity kids, or smalltown fatties who can belt out the big Broadway note like the “Kids From Fame”, on demand, it’s all been reduced to sporting-like contests, that determine who has better pitch and is willing to suckup to disco hasbeens who judge them on tv, but in my day, you did not have to bow before middle of the road rich people like Paula Abdul or Gwen Steffani to make music. Few people in my age group who made it big would be considered “proper” singers in this competitive assembly-line environment. Boy George had pitch problems. Ever heard the Cure, who sold millions and  millions of records? I suppose Cyndi Lauper could carry a tune somewhat better than Nina Hagen, but  there was still room for anyone with a unique vision, or new message, or a head full of magic, who wanted to perform for throngs of punkish kids discovering punk and goth and jangle and DC hardcore even in most deadend towns…At first, MTV awakened the sleepy masses, which is why they had to take the mind opening music off the air, and make it all about fitting-in and shopping. In the eighties, even us hick freaks from Smalltown, USA were endeavoring to find meaning in life beyond owning a truck and having bills and a paycheck, and starting to express ourselves. John “We’re Gonna Paint The Mutha Pank” Cougar even wore an earring–ya know? For a long time, “generic” was not considered a virtue like it is now, when we vote anyone dangerous or different off of Celebrity Rehab Island. Back then, we sought-out shit like Throbbing Gristle and Devo, ya know? We wanted to hear new transmissions. We liked These Immortal Souls and New Model Army and Rick James and Cameo and New Order and Neil Young and old Aerosmith, and Speciman and Visage and Toni Basil and the Sea Hags and Disneyland After Dark and Soul Asylum and Celebrity Skin. The stranger, and fresher, newer and more original, the better. We all gravitated to the rule breakers, aside from the sucky power balladeers, it was not so formulaic. We had Doug E. Fresh and GG Allin, Upside Down Cross, and Biz Markie. Prince was wearing pink bikinis and shit. Michael Stipe mostly mumbled and improvised and did spazzy dances and refused to face the audience. Morrissey was odd and offbeat and broke every mold. Texacala Jones was a soul powered pistol, swingin’ a bottle in her hand. Sinead O’Connor challenged our programmed mindsets. Westerberg and the Stinsons were shitfaced former janitors and dropouts in their mom’s dresses. Jello Biafra and Keith Morris would have had as much chance of having rich dweebs, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton “turn their chair around” as Joe Strummer, or Ari Up, would have. No chance, whatsoever. In the late nineties, MTV had already quit playing rock music, aside from maybe a handful of warbling grunge lite bands, and was already ushering in the N Synch and Snooki age. Sugar Ray was the best shit on the radio with their elevator music for ska peeps who ironed their clothing and wore cologne. Ricky Martin was on the cover of People magazine. “Mambo #5.”  Do you prefer Xtina in the blue eyeshadow, or Brittney in the plaid skirt? Phone-lines are open. Make a difference, they told us. Coke or Pepsi. Pearl Jam or Nirvana. Vote now.


Jesse Camp was a better looking spin-off of grating show-biz kid, Pauly Shore, with his party dude “Tha Weasel” Beer-Bongs At Spring Break Shtick and audiences enjoyed imitating his preposterously affected surfer dude cartoon valley speak, which was extra absurd being as how he was apparently a college professor’s poncey prep school son from Connecticut who was only a “runaway” on the weekends with money in his pockets. One thing was certain though-he really DID lookup to hair-metal Beavis & Buttheads like Sebastian Bach and Tommy Lee, bro. So while hair-metal was being vanquished from the airwaves by grunge and reality show programming, Jesse Camp was already anticipating the straightened bangs and hair irons of the selfie-stick future. He was the first Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson and Sawyer Fredericks media sensation tv contest “reality” show idol, before Paris and Nicole, before the Situation, there was Jesse. I remember having a new girlfriend while he was on tv who had never been to NY and who was not a part of the rocknroll subculture and she did not understand why I hated “Friends”, and “Seinfeld” and even “The Simpsons”. I had come from a world of subversive fanzines and basement parties, after hours nightclubs, and college radio-shows, and was ill prepared for a lifetime of manufactured celebrities, shopping at Target for appliance upgrades with Sunday coupons, and stay at home tv watching. I kept going out to bars every night–even when they stopped having bands play and brought in suckshit DJ’s, but then, they started turning TV’s on-and watching all that reality show and sports and adult cartoon shit, AT THE BARS, so that’s when I knew it was all over. Years later, I saw a clip of a haggard Jesse Camp clowning around with his tight bro from way back, Steven “Popcorn” Adler, and found them both refreshingly entertaining and fun loving and spontaneous and dare i say, “real” (!!!??!!) after the past fifteen years of bummer music and celebrity ho’s, I was ready for some retro dude rock, and made a mental note to buy that old Jesse Camp cd at the thrift store among the stacks and stacks of “Ten” and “Live Through This”, because I was ready to reassess the old character with the wet dog charisma and doofy vocalisms. I wondered if he sang with that affected Scooby Doo voice. I remembered I had picked it up at the nearby second hand shop like four different times but always ended up putting it back on the shelf because they wanted four bucks for it and for the longest time, I just could not wrap my mind around paying four bucks to hear Jesse Camp singing. I don’t really even like to go the thrift store, anymore. It’s packed with pushy middle classers who obnoxiously, consciously, defiantly crowd the aisles and refuse to share space like those of us with some consideration for other people, and besides, professional buyers cherry pick through all the used vinyl, western shirts, Doc Martins, and old comic books to sell on-line, before any of it hits the floor, so what usually remains are Duck Dynasty t shirts and books “by” Sarah Palin. Gone are the days of filling a bag full of vintage Van Halen concert baseball shirts, and mint condition Tiger Beats and Rock Scenes and stacks of old Cure cassettes and Sex Pistols eight tracks. I hate going out, people are uncivilized, they see you smile hello, and stare down at their texting device, terrified you might be a panhandler. Ever since every chain store adopted the almost no cashiers model pioneered by the Walton family of penny-pinching dollar worshippers, ya always have to wait in line with a fidgeting kid who’s forced to stare at racks and racks of ripoff fifteen dollar Star Wars magazines and low merchandised candy while the initially endearing, short sighted, lonely old people squint to write checks and inquire about special club card discounts and ask the lone cash register attendant to read them the small print on the back of the cigarette pack and talk about their dog and medications, their grandkids in Florida, and their grandkid’s dog’s medications, then, it’s the scratch-off lotto card maniacs who want five of Bang Shazam Jackpot and gimee ten Winner’s Circles and fourteen Rah-Rah Surethings and six of those Lucky Shamrocks and they wanna get rid of all their change so they gotta dig through their purse and pull out all their make-up and inhaler and orange sunglasses and dump it all on the counter while muttering about the weather, next, a dork adult college grad cuts in line to ask if the new action figures have arrived yet-the manager on the phone said they’d be here by Monday, FINALLY, my turn arrives at long last, and they’ll need my phone number for my sale price on discounted items and do I want to donate to some charity today and they still charge me a jackedup toilet paper price, but with sick people in-line, coughing behind me,who wants to make everyone wait around another fifteen minutes while she calls the manager who is outside smoking behind the building for a price check, so whatever–they beat me out of two bucks, the corporate rat bastards, I’m just glad to get out of there without having to buy candy which makes certain people I know go nuts. So anyways, I finally figured, might as well jump, and I bought me a used copy of the 8th Street Kids disc. After some highly rated Headbangers Ball oriented talk shows featuring the unintelligible boy smiler, the brain trust of MTV and Hollywood Records decided to market the Camp Man as an Osmond Goes Hairmetal Youth Gone Wild teen idol to sixth and seventh and eighth grade kids who might like a mischief making, fake stoner, holding a skateboard he probably coudn’t really ride, cackling and babbling in a high pitched voice about Blackie Lawless and Rudy Sarzo, in spite of the fact that MTV had pretty much stopped playing any rocknroll at all besides some phony baloney snot merchants like chronic masturbating booger flickers, Green Day; and rich redneck Fortunate Son gets a high-top fade and goes Kid N Play for five minutes before returning to his Beastie Boys via David Alan Coe roots, white trash pimp, Kid Rock. Not coincidentally, that’s the very producer they got to preside over the lanky VJ’s failed Ramones meets Poison lp. Rocknroll has to have some element of danger and sensuality, it can’t just be spazzy bmx dorks telling fart jokes and sipping strawberry milk from the carton like it’s a wild act of defiance, or vandalizing the wreckroom drywall with anarchy symbols and “Up the pizza punx!” It’s still fascinating in many ways-to study the bogus p.r. power of MTV and their tall tales about Jesse being a homeless ragamuffin, when he was, in fact, the affluent son of a college professor with a fancy name and shit. So he co wrote some corny Quiet Riot meets Green Day style pop metal songs with hired gun all stars from bands such as Antiproduct, Bubble, Life Sex & Death, and Dogs D’Amour. Somebody paid Steve Hunter and Rick Nielsen and Greg Bissonette from the mighty David Lee Roth “Eat ‘Em & Smile” band to appear, and it’s still crazy to think about how many of these rich kids have captured the spotlight and got to bask in their fifteen minutes only to later become punchlines to worn out, morning zoo drive time DJ’s jokes, while I was still applying for deadend jobs at pretentious bakerys and getting ditched by a long string of pretty women for failing to make it big in show business. Whew. It’s a rough calling. He even got to gig out some, opening for Alice Cooper(!) backed by guys like Sami Yaffa, Todd Youth, and Screamin’ Joe Rizzo from NYC’s best REAL rocknroll band of that era-PILLBOX starring Chris Barry from 39 Steps and Mister Ratboy from Motorcycle Boy. I had no idea when I really was a drunken street waif crouching under stairwells and sleeping on roofs how bought and paid for the whole music-biz sham was. I really believed you just got together with your friends and practiced a set of originals until it was really tight, and silk-screened some shirts with your logo and played basement shows, Boys Clubs and Sunday H/C matinees and you’d get discovered. That did not happen for me. My destiny was a lot of drifting, sleeping in the car, broken hearts, walking around aimlessly in circles outside in the harsh cold, and heavy drinking, before retreating deep into retirement and resignation and rambling on-line, trying to make sense of whatever the fuck went so terribly wrong. It was pretty horrifying to observe the ease with which our more trusted intimates may abandon us when they become ready to “get stuff”, to make their moves to become their “real housewife” moms, to be the one holding the remote control, they constantly want to upgrade their haircuts, friends, and collaborators–like appliances, for richer more, famous ones. A sofa or a girl. The fragility of these things we rely on-the relationships, the buildings, the music. Poof. That sound a cigarette makes when you drop in the toilet. I do remember being young and working at all the hip indie record stores: how annoying all those bitter, old, balding, fat, failed, old men who never made it in rocknroll were. I never believed it could happen to me.


On the album cover, Jesse holds a sax, like David Bowie, and the Hanoi Rocks guy, but I kinda doubt he could play it-the product was the story of Jesse and his chiseled cheekboned band of runaway guttersnipes defying vague Charlie Brown authority figures by throwing devil horns like Alternative Dave Grohl while riding around in flashy cars with the top down and mumbling and and sleeping late, but as we’ve established the kids in the pictures and video were hired models. Jesse did write summa the lyrics, so it was not entirely a Milli Vanilli operation, but one can see how heavy handed the producers were with burying him in the mix underneath an avalanche of slick keyboards, fancy deedling, and Kim Fowleyesque “whoa hey yeah” sloganeering directly targeted at ten year olds who eat breakfast cereal in front of Saturday morning cartoons. He was like Captain Crunch, or Count Chocula or Tony the Tiger. He thought Skid Row were grrrrrreat. He was koo-koo for Motley Crue, dude! He was like Toucan Sam, or Sonny the cuckoo-bird, or the Trix rabbit, whenever you heard his voice rising out of all the polished snap, crackle, and pop, he was saying some upbeat catchphrase about how “tricks are for kids” or “magically delicious.” Imagine if Quicky the Nesquick bunny reeked of reefer and nicotine. ”Awww! We’re jes KIDS!” They marketed him as a high schooler and the big money comic video had him wakin’ up late for school ala “Sexy & 17″ or “Hot For Teacher”. Jesse and the gang gotta flat-iron their hair in the backseat on the way to homeroom, or they might miss the principals announcements and the pledge of allegiance. The bubble gummy tune, “See You Around” reminds me of that McDonalds Egg McMuffin commercial, “Who’s the Rebel, Now”, or the Extreme Taco Bell Revolution, he’s an energy-drink in velvet pants, the guy with the deli tray from the party scene in the 80′s comedy saying, “LET’S GET WASTED!” He’s less threatening than Poison’s “Unskinny Bop” or “Nothin’ But A Good Time” or the Crue’s “Smokin’ In The Boy’s Room” cover, but 20-something Jesse really shined-out as the rebel bozo stoner metalhead big mouth with a heart of gold who just wants to snuggle. Definitely a throwback to the spandexed days of Quiet Riot but without the sex and darkness that the P.M.R.C. disapproved of. Think of him as the Biters and Prima Donna’s cheerful Brady Bunch Dad. This breakfast cereal mascot made kids want to maybe paint their nails black, or spend a lot of money on Lip-Service clothes at Trash & Vaudeville, or Hot Topic, but there was very little in the way of sex on this record and drugs seem to only make you feel peppy and excited to be introducing the next whiteboy rap-metal video, they did it all for the nookie, as campy vamp Jesse lipped off in his nutty ducky DJ voice, about how he still likes Kiss and Warrant better than Britney Spears and N’ Synch, and the studio pros are doing all the heavy lifting. Power chords and layers of wanking solos, here’s a cool Bolan lick, some hand claps, “hey hey heys”. Jesse Camp was clearly discouraged from cussing and steered away from subject matter that was not PG-13 appropriate. “Break It” is like some kinda “Pac-man Fever” novelty record almost, but nevertheless, it is harmless and upbeat donut shop “FUN”. “Let’s Get it On” is our anime scarecrow in a pink lip-glossed loverman mood, whooing some spiky belted underaged retail sluts, in the donut shop commercial, like, um, say, solo Vince Neil meets the Archies. I don’t know if Andrew Dice Clay, Angelyne, and Sam Kinsison were cameo guest stars in the video, but they should have been! “Summertime Squatters” has some immediately likeable music, kinda second-rate Enuff Z’Nuff, but is kind of marred by Jesse’s scrappy rapping. “Yeah we’re jes KIDS!” If you were 13 and liked his “big brother”,  goofy, gutter-punk, put-on persona, this is probably all good clean fun that even the p.c. kill-joy new puritans of today with their magnifying glasses and fine toothed combs could probably not find any faint menace in, but me, personally, I will probably never play this song again, on purpose. You gotta remember Jesse Camp was not the only fussed over kid from a beautiful home with undeniable privilege claimin’ he was straight out the trailer–Beck, Jewel, every big star with stage parents and major showbiz connections were living under that homeless, hard luck bridge with Kurt and Courtney and Anthony Kiedis and Slash. You had to be the son of somebody famous to audition for the role of “Loser” in the post-slacker grunge era. “So Down” has him actually singing in his real voice in a melodic way that makes me wish the first four songs had been more like this, and less, “Chipmunk Punk”. It’s not bad, at all, better, in fact than a lot of that assembly-lined Slaughter and Nelson and Extreme and Firehouse shit that soured so many on long haired guitar rock for so many years. It’s what the whole album shoulda been more like. If you are looking for a lost classic from the eighties, look for “Whatever Happened To Fun” by Candy, or the Sea Hags, or Celebrity Skin, Motorcycle Boy, D-A-D, or even Buck Cherrys’ first lp. This ain’t a lost classic.  I guess they didn’t really have time to help “the artist” find his voice, gotta strike while the iron is hot. They should have  signed orange haired Alice from the Ultras and put all this money behind him. Skip the first four songs.  “I Want You & I Need you” is straight back to overproduced Danger Danger hairmetal. Boyband apologist, Rob Sheffield, might praise this, but he cashes major paychecks as the excuse maker in chief for all the suckass Justin Timberlake and Nikki Minaj mediocrity that Spin and Rolling Stone and MTV Have thrust upon us in their Post 9/11 bullshit world. Remember when all those big-paycheck media-class people were enraged at the Oscars that year, because Michael Moore had the audacity to kill their L.A. spray tan coke buzz by saying we live in fictitious times? Jesse was exploited and discarded by the Man, not that he wasn’t a willing participant, but this is autopilot poof-metal. Pretty Boy Floyd, without the good parts. His daffy vocal shtick wears on me and it’s almost certain that his favorite Faster Pussycat tune was that awful rap song I always hated so much. If he was in a position to take it at all seriously, it might have made for a better product. I know he was on the clock and being squeezed to produce happy go lucky voices and squawks to accompany the crunchy power chords and cymbal splashing and I’m sure he was just thrilled to hang out with CC Deville and Rachel Bolan on the red carpet at the Hard Rock Café, but ain’t there some kinda kid underneath all that who would have liked to say something he felt? In some ways, he mighta been better off, had he actually found some real, no-name 8th Street kids, and rented a rehearsal space on Avenue B and sang something from the heart to no one. I was washing dishes at a fancy restaurant while he was making this album though, so take it for what that’s worth. When Glen Frey died, all the lovers of white bread hack mediocrity and Miami Vice’s throbbing keytar basslines were all saying he was the authentic dirty bandanna voice of Amerikkka and their mainstream radio people’s primary go-to defense of “The Heat Is On” and “Sexy Girl” and “Whoa-Oh Whoa-Whoah, Sweet Darlin’ You Get The Best Of My Love, You Get The Best Of My Love” and $300 concert tickets was that tired old baseball capped capitalist saw about how he sold ten million records and you did not….but you know-so did Adele and Diddy and New Kids On The Block, and Kanye and Matchbox 20 and Creed and Mariah Carey and Ke$ha and Nickelback–all those loathsome Hallmark Cards that Rob Sheffield pretends to like, for fun and profit, and I don’t wanna hear any of their shit, either. I can sort of identify with Henley’s “Boys Of Summer”, but Glen Frey was no David Bowie. Wouldn’t “The Pretender” by frequent Eagles collaborator, Jackson Browne, have been a lot better had he only substituted “Aerial Bender” for “ice cream vendor”? Into the cool of the evening struts Jesse Camp, in his tiger print tuxedo, and moussey bangs. “Crazy For You” was another kooky caterwaul full of precision-executed clichés, and nowhere near as good as that fluffy Madonna slow dance ballad from “Vision Quest”, and I am no Madonna fan. Let’s get real, though-the St. Mark’s Place Hotel was $100 a night back then. With complimentary junkies. Homeless kids ain’t got $100 a night-that’s what rich people call roughin’ it. This disc is a bit like unpacking my storage space, all the Andy Taylor guitars and pink and purple scarves, police sirens, and empty cans of Aqua Net and old pizza boxes come tumbling out, with a driving back beat and usually, I LIKE me some cartoon pop-I love the Banana Splits and all the Buddha Records bubblegum bands and Redd Kross and Trash Brats, but  the vocal approach is just not appealing to me for more than one song. Either my headphones ain’t workin’ right, or the studio band knocked out a bunch of whacky instrumentals and propped Jesse in front of a mic and instructed him to improvise some looney tunes, checkered Vans pounding skull, deep bong-hit, Spicoli-isms. Most of this LP makes the Hollywood Stars or Candy seem like Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds or These Immortal Souls. All surface, no feelings. It’s not without it’s redeeming qualities-the sonic fluff-metal cotton candy power pop-isms always perk my ears up, and here and there, it almost starts to rock, somewhat, but after all these years, I just so wanted to unearth an artifact with even some inspirational spirit. I mean, I like the more rocknroll end of the sleaze-metal era. I can listen to certain Sea Hags and Cinderella and Junkyard and L.A. Guns songs all day long. “Here By My Side” is the only other song besides, “So Down”, that I probably would have kept for the LP, if I was the producer-they mighta shit this whole album out in a long weekend, though If I’m not mistaken, rocknroll’s first couple, Bam & Share paid for their own home recording studio with the money they were paid from this project. “Sloppy Kisses” is…ya know…more of the same cheesy Faster Pussycat for tweens kinda stuff. “6,000 Miles Away” is not as awful as much of it. I can’t make out many of the tiny hand scrawled lyrics but I was able to confirm that Ric Browde-the guy responsible for that atrociously horrid, canny drum sound on the first Pussycat lp and for that reprehensible production that effectively sabotaged Shooting Gallery’s career is involved in this whole shindig. One imagines Jesse showing up with his purple spiral notebook, or maybe a cloth covered animal print gift shop journal full of pentagram doodles and the kinda band logos that got me  prosecuted by my suburban middle school for “Malicious Destruction Of County Property Felony 4″ and the Dogs good naturedly trying to turn his feelings diary into chipper pop chunes. “Saviour” is almost listenable, but it ain’t nowhere near as good as the Dogs D’Amour tune he nicked the title from. Only succeeds in reminding me of the old Alice lyric, “Kids want a savior-they don’t need a fake…” but I’d put that song, or “So Down” on a compilation. How they got Stevie Nicks to duet with him on this ho-hum ballad is a mystery for the ages, I thought she quit doing drugs. Definitely the best song on the record, and he’s really singing on it, he’s delivering an honest emotion, here. Pretty decent. If all his tunes were that good, we’d take him seriously. I’m not listening for someone to hit the right note like an Olympics judge-this ain’t figure-skating, just give me some real emotion. “Wasted Youth” is doubtlessly cadged from Slash wearing that shirt in the pages of “Hit Parader”and “Circus” all the time. It’s not bad for juvie mall-punk, it’s just more stonewashed, faceless booger rock. I guess it pre-dates Blink 182 and Sum 41, but it ain’t nowhere is good as Green Day, who I think suck. Bring back Poison. So they were able to wring 3 songs outta 14, and untold millions of dollars later, I still think that pretty much all my friend’s forgotten little nobody bands you’ve never heard of unless you read “Flipside” magazine or “Maximum Rocknroll”, are obviously way better, but it remains an interesting relic from the 90′s when that smug, suckshit, golfer, Carson Daley and his smirking buddy Rob Sheffield did what Tipper Gore could not: by destroying the last remnants of the rocknroll era, to make way for consumerist brand programming and the robotic glorification of rich kids from Beverly Hills and gestapo cops.