Tag Archives: punk rock

Michael Hendrick Looks At Nipples

nipples

Curious Readers,

The title of this post may not come as a surprise to some, yet even Michael Hendrick admits that there are some nipples he does not want to see. Like Chris Christie’s…in the attached photo we see the big lug (Christie, not Hendrick) looking down to see if his nipples have stiffened from the touch of Mitt Romney. Christie will never be a US president unless an assassination occurs when he is a veep.

For many years, whoever was president on the twentieth year died in office. It started in 1820 when Henry Harrison stole more land from the native americans. He defeated Tecumseh at Tippecanoe and made a slogan of the event to run for president…and won. Tecumseh’s half-brother and medicine man, Tenskwatawa, threw a curse at all ‘great chiefs’ of the US, who were chosen every twenty years. Their deaths would be a reminder of what the US did to the Shawnee.

Christie is smart to (try and) run now. No prez had died since G.W. Bush’s buddy’s son screwed up his attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan. It goes largely unreported that John Hinckley Jr. had a scheduled lunch with Neil Bush, son of you know who, the day after the shooting. He did not make it.

It is well-known that the Hinckleys and Bushes have not only been in business together since the early 1960s but that the Bush family and the Hinckleys share a common ancestor – an oilman no less, Samuel Hinckley. Of course, after all that trouble Dubbya Bush, the last president before Obama, managed to kill any respect people had for him – but he lives.

But what about the nipples?

We promised you nipples, you are thinking…

It all started when Hendrick set to work merchandising the books he likes to sell. One of them is this one from 1974. comics

Just about to hang it on the wall of a local merchant who kindly gave him space to sell, he thought he should ask the owner if it was alright to post partial nudity. The store owner is a woman and when describing the cover, he got to the part about the cartoon images covering the nipples. He started to describe the cover but ended up pointing vaguely towards his own chest and saying ‘private parts’.

Damn it – he was embarrassed!

But why?

It does give us pause to ponder, however, why male nipples are legal to show anyplace in public but showing female nipples can result in a fine, sometimes even for breastfeeding in the wrong spot. It has happened.

Back in the 1970s at the start of the punk rock movement, singer-songwriter Shane MacGowan, seen below,  ran into problems with his first musical group…The Nipple Erectors. The record company would not accept his ‘male/female both have them’ logic and so he changed the name of his group to The Nips. Later he formed The Pogues, based on the term Pogue Mahone, which was a derivation of the gaelic phrase meaning ‘kiss my ass’. In this world kissing ass is preferred to mentioning nipples – for some people, anyway.1shane

Even male cats have eight nipples…or six…it is hard to hold the rascal steady enough to count them. Male cats allow tiny kittens to pretend they are nursing on them. They do this when the momma cat is out hunting and it keeps the little ones secure. We wonder if Chris Christie ever tried that but we do not want that image floating around our cerebral cortex…or yours! Sorry for that – blame it on Hendrick.

There are many types of nipples and even more ways to look at them. Instead of listing them all, we turn to Hendrick.

At fifty-seven years of age, he has seen more nipples than the average man (in person, that is). He chose to relate a bit about ‘funny nipples’. Some people, who have little sexual experience, find them funny just as diners who have never eaten a falafel think that sounds funny.

In his now-out-of-print novel (Portrait Of The Artist As A Little Bastard, TumbleWeedBastard Press, 2014) he tells of going to grade school in Upstate New York’s Mohawk Valley.

Sitting next to him, at the back of the classroom in the ‘tall’ section, RandyNiples always flinched at the muffled laugh which arose whenever a nun called his name. He could not do much about it in class but he frequently ran in circles on the recess yard shouting, “It’s Nip-PELS!!!…I tell ya!!!…Nip-PELS!!!”

Our Dear Michael occasionally wonders what happened to Randy. The way he ran in circles would have made him true presidential material!

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Michael Hendrick on The Clash – “I Made Joe Strummer Avoid Drugs!”

clashWorldly Readers,
We miss Joe Strummer. Today we listened to The Clash Live At Shea Stadium and it brought back all those years to the Punk Rock days. Joe’s star still shines bright. He will always be missed by many. He was a good man.
In 1980, the start of the Reagan Era, we bundled up and went to the Sears Store at the mall and stood in line to buy our tickets. That is what you did back then. If you got there early, you got a better seat – it was that simple. We ended up with seats around the seventh row or so…good seats but we must have arrived late since we cannot remember who opened the show.
In the early days of punk, band members made a habit of spitting on the crowd while playing live and the pogoing crowds reciprocated moistly.
Like standing in line, it’s just what you did.
With this in mind and the spirit in our hearts, we set out in the cold last days of February (a crueler month than April, really)to get some drugs for the show. Two things daunted us…Reaganomics and a dry spell, translated ‘no money, no drugs’. As oft happened, we ended up at the door of Crazy Timmy. Crazy Timmy is actually the only person so crazy that we don’t have to change his name here…like Ferd. Timmy had been tossed by the Armed Forces after some schizoid incident involving a stolen tank and a German village.
His Section Eight got him plenty of pills – all the wrong kind. Psyche meds were more primitive in the seventies and eighties. They made you fat and sleepy and depressed. Today we have much-improved meds which give wack-jobs the gumption to initiate a school shooting.
Timmy dispensed a variety of pills that we never saw before. Even Timmy didn’t take them but he had to get the prescriptions filled so he could keep claiming his full GI benefits for being nutzed. So we pocketed the crappy tablets. We went there to see if we could get some pot to smoke before the show, actually, but even Timmy had no reef. He bought an ounce a month with his VA check and then cut it up into thirty bags or thirty one, for each day of the month; then he would smoke his way through them in the first week.
The pills were an afterthought because we thought he may have something abuse-ably fun.
The main thing we recall is the solid front they put up; Strummer out front, writhing around the mic-stand as he sang, Paul Simonon laying down the bass with legs spread in shooting stance, Topper Headon banging away on the skins and Mick Jones up there with Strummer, playing off him.
They launched into the London Calling Tour and they rocked the Casbah. Michael Hendrick, who drove us to the show, launched a handful of lithium, depakote and other odd dopamine blockers directly at Strummer’s head. Strummer clocked them coming from his spot at the edge of the stage. He ducked to stage left without missing a note. Hendrick volleyed a second, smaller batch of meds at Joe, who avoided them by ducking to stage right.
Yes, Dear Friends, he avoided the drugs.
We were there and saw it happen.
A great show!
God Bless Joe Strummer. We are not sure about Michael Hendrick.

This is a free blog. If you find any errors, report them to the authorities.

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A Fiendish Threat..Hank III’s latest punk project…reprint from Steel Notes Magazine

fiendishGentle Readers,

This is a reprint. We shared our last interview with Hank with you and this one appears in the recent edition of Steel Notes Magazine, http://www.steelnotesmagazine.com where we also do some writing.
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Like seeing Hank III play live, reviewing his records can be challenging. At the shows, he will play three, sometimes four sets of music, each a different style – ranging from country to hardcore thrash metal to doom metal to his own progeny, ‘hellbilly’ and maybe even back to country again. A mini-festival of his own, he presents concertgoers with four sounds, four feels, four genres and (the most challenging for the audience) four hours or more of playing each night.

While you listen, the songs absorb you and you feel what Hank feels.

It’s the same way with his records. In September 2011, he released four discs in one day, as three different LP packages. Each had its own sound and texture. This time around, He hit us with three discs, two on the country/hellbilly Brothers of the 4X4 and also a new venture – this time into punk with A Fiendish Threat.

On the latter, he uses a different singing voice and the song structures are reminiscent of the original punk of the seventies. A completely different sound is achieved here by using all acoustic instruments like the doghouse bass, played by Zach Shedd, and acoustic guitar (wired for distortion and fuzz added, of course) on the classic three chord compositions. Actually, it sounds like he throws a minor fourth chord in here and there.

A personal favorite is Different From the Rest, a true example of classic punk form led by strong vocals, with Hank singing and playing acoustic at the same time, as he did on the whole project, adding his own fast, furious drumming while mixing it. It’s not just the punk sound that runs throughout but also the attitude as stated in the lyrics and titles, as in There’s Another Road. Kicking off with a nice bit of slide-down-the-string feedback, the galloping drums on it hit like an AK47 and keep strafing the listener into Broke Jaw. Broke Jaw, in itself, is unlike any other punk song before it. It sticks to the standard form but here is where the hellbilly-style instrument line-up really hits home. After nailing the vocals and beat, the vocals end and what almost sounds like a steel guitar on acid fills the lead. No steel guitar is listed so it was either coaxed out of the fiddle, banjo, bass or acoustic, perhaps…but the effect is wild! It evokes Television’s Marquee Moon in the way the notes swirl around each other to a climax. It is an excellent song that would have blown the whole NYC set off its feet in 1977.

Similarly, on Watchin U Suffer we hear what could be gypsy fiddle crossed with police siren during instrumental breaks near the end. This also separates them from the rest of the punk genre because these instrumental forays add time to the standard two minute or three minute formula. Then again, it’s not 1977 anymore and this is a fresh new look at a genre people do not attempt that much anymore. Punk progressed but the original style was purest and this is old-school punk done in a completely new way.

The only problem with the next song, Face Down, is that it has to follow the tremendous instrumental at the end of Breakin Free, which you have to hear to believe.

In some ways, A Fiendish Threat is like a cross between Rocket To Russia and The White Album. There is so much to it, so much diversity. Listen to the opening of New Identity and you wonder if Roy Rogers ever took peyote. If that last line does not make sense, listen to the song. To imagine the first few notes going into what they do…well, it’s an adventure in listening.

It’s one thing to jazz up country by adding hardcore to it but boosting punk with a shot of country can only be a stroke of genius…because it actually works.

Billy Contreras comes on strong with the fiddle throughout but especially on Feel The Sting. He moves in and out of the melody, runs along with the vocal, creates tension and is simply extraordinary.

On Fight My Way – the title says it all. Always keeping lyrics relevant, this covers the angst-filled side of the emotions while packing a punch and even holds it’s own after the tremendous finish on Feel The Sting…but then Full On knocks you out of your seat with the sheer strength of the beat..

Daniel Mason, Hank’s main man banjo, is here but this listener could not place the sound of the banjo. A hellbillied-up banjo is liable to make a lot of noise so maybe he is hidden in the backbeat…we’ll have to listen closer.

Your Floor is more doom than punk. He sounds a lot like Ozzy on the vocals here. He must have snuck those Black Sabbath LPs back in after his mom threw them away. The second from last song, it doesn’t really seem to fit the rest, although it is a great song for the style it is. We return to the old school on the final selection and title track It, too, seems to drift to the Ozzy voice at times, as if he were turning the record in a new direction right at the end. With much highly-experimental music, often we don’t ‘get it’ the first time we listen because of the foreign aspect. It grows on us.

These songs grab you with the beat and then slowly insinuate themselves upon you as you notice new details here and there.

This is one of the most original ‘punk’ records to be released in many years.

To get a copy, buy one directly from Hank at http://www.hank3.com. While you are there check out the videos of his new stuff while you wait. Ours arrived in two days.

Don’t use another service when you can have it sent straight from Hank’s Haunted Ranch in Tennessee!

While you’re there, get a copy of Brothers of the 4X4 – we will be reviewing that one next month!

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In the Poetry Corner With the Metal Machines

     Brilliant Readers,

     We were happily surprised that our last blog from the Beat CookieJar went over so well! We had been trying to think of new subjects, like K2, which would cause a stir but were happy to see that a bit of poetry gets more readers than a rant about our less-than-stellar form of government. The last poem got more views than anything we posted since the one about Obama getting the shotgun blast to the face.

     You may wonder what iambic pentameter is doing in the Beat jar but Allen Ginsberg told me I had a gift for the rhyme and that a lot of my poems would make very good song lyrics. It is on record in the Ginsberg Archives, if you care to see. Ginsberg, himself, had taken an interest in songwriting and rhyming meters at the time, which was during the heady ‘Punk’ days of the mid-1970s.

     All of my poems are open to interpretation since I will never explain them, so take it as you will and this one is titled, Metal Machines.

                                

                                    The metal machines move, mashing,

                                    gleaming, reaming blades all gnashing

                                     – a million daggers slashing,

                                     slicing, tearing, digging, thrashing –

                                     and chains that strike home smashing.

                                      like a billion forearms bashing;

                                      the victim stands alone.

                                      The victim’s skin flies, splashing,

                                       his life before him, passing –

                                       – before his eyes all flashing –

                                       like a flaming film impassioned,

                                       while the machine keeps fiercely crashing

                                       through the skull and finally smashing

                                       dead, bruised skin and splintered bone.

                                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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