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Everyone needs to go to the Duo of the Dead event in Connecticut, happening this Saturday, November 9, 2013! Support Horror News Network, a great website!

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Everyone needs to go to the Duo of the Dead event in Connecticut, happening this Saturday, November 9, 2013! Support Horror News Network, a great website!

HorrorNewsNetwork.net presents Duo of the Dead! See George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” and Bela Lugosi’s “White Zombie” in undead black & white!

Plus prizes, raffles, costume contest AND get yourself drawn as a zombie by the guys from The Living Corpse comics!

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door so get them now before it sells out!

http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/tickets

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Chrissie Hynde, the vegetarian, skinny-jeaned, heavily eyelinered, front woman of The Pretenders turned 61 this year. She still looks fabulous and has lived a fabulous life. Here’s her story, well, what I can decipher from stuff I found online. Chrissie has fronted The Pretenders from 1978 up to today, even after having survived hit after hit, drug-related deaths of band mates, and a revolving door of band members.

Through it all she’s been a single mom twice over, an animal rights and vegetarian activist, a respected musician in a very penis-centric business and has maintained her unfettered demeanour the whole time.

She grew up in Akron, Ohio, but even as a teenager knew the boys in her high school were not even close to being cool enough for her. For fun, she would escape to Cleveland to see concerts featuring the real objects of her affection. She told a reporter that knowing guys like Iggy Pop and Brian Jones were out there in the world, made the local boys seem way too pedestrian for her. College was a time of awakening in which Chrissie became interested in eastern mysticism and vegetarianism. She attended Kent State University’s Art School and was, in fact, on campus the day of the infamous Kent State shootings. She had a band in college with soon-to-be Devo band member Mark Mothersbaugh, called Sat. Sun. Mat.

In 1973, Chrissie took off for London and got a job at an architectural firm for 8 months. She started dating rock journalist Nick Kent and got a job writing for NME (New Musical Express). That was short-lived, and Chrissie took a job at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s clothing store, SEX. This store was known to be a local hangout for young punks like Sioxusie Sioux and The Sex Pistols. It was there that Chrissie met a young Sid Vicious and tried to talk him into marrying her so that she could get a work permit. The story is that she did not get along with Westwood and lost her retail gig. She then began to write sex letters for Forum magazine. She did get Vicious to agree to marry her for the sum of £2, but the day it was to go down, he was busy in court on a criminal damage charge. It is also rumored that Chrissie gave Johnny Rotten his first guitar lessons, but that didn’t really work out.

She traveled to France and experimented with some bands. One band was called Moors Murderers, named after notorious English child killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. She went back to England and made music her focus. Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols claimed that he and Chrissie were casual lovers and spoke about it on his Los Angeles radio show, Jonesy’s Jukebox. He mentioned an encounter in a bathroom at a party where he claimed that the session was so intense that Chrissie ate a piece of chicken because she was so hungry afterwards—breaking her strict vegetarian diet, if only for that one brief moment. He also claims to have turned Joan Jett lesbian. Hmmmm…calm down, dude. Chrissie crossed paths early on with musicians such as Mick Jones of the Clash and Big Audio Dynamite, Jon Moss of Culture Club, Tony James of Generation X and Sigue Sigue Sputnik, etc. In 1979, The Pretenders recorded their eponymous first album, with the big hit, “Brass in Pocket.” The band took off.

By 1982, the band began to lose members—some would succumb to drug addiction and some left due to drug-related arguments. Through the years she has collaborated with some cool people like: backing vocals on The Specials’ “Nite Klub,” The Kinks’ “Add It Up,” she sang a duet with INXS on their 1993 album Full Moon, Dirty Hearts, and backing vocals on Morrissey’s “My Love Life,” and “Shame Is The Name.” Probably the most famous collaboration is her version of “I Got You Babe” with UB40 in 1985.

In 1983, Chrissie had her first child, a daughter with Ray Davies of The Kinks, named Natalie Rae-Hynde. He was technically still married to his first wife at the time, but that’s rock and roll. They never did marry. Davies had told The London Times that they went to the registrar office to get hitched but fought the whole time and bailed out.

Recently, Chrissie and Ray did a duet, recorded at two separate times, called “Postcard From London.” The song sounds as though they’re talking about their own relationship, but Davies has said that it’s really about the way London has changed and become a suckfest of homogenized anti-culture in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. “We don’t want to repeat the ethnic cleansing of Beijing,” he told the paper.

Today, Natalie looks soooo much like her mom and works as a model for NEXT London.

Chrissie met and began a relationship with Jim Kerr, lead singer of Simple Minds, in 1985 while both of their bands were touring together. She was still going out with Ray Davies at that time. Her relationship with Kerr was very tempestuous and he persuaded Chrissie to marry him. He probably went, “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!!! Mmmmmmm Hmmmmmm, yeahhhh!” a la “Don’t You Forget About Me.” What girl can resist that? Several days after the wedding, Kerr took off on a two-year tour leaving the already preggers Chrissie behind. She gave birth to a daughter, Yasmin Paris Kerr, while he was away. He proved to be a pretty crappy husband and father, because upon returning from the tour, he chose to go to Scotland with his band to write more music, rather than to London to be with his wife and daughter. Marriage over! Chrissie then took the next eight years off of touring to raise her two daughters on her own. Jim, of course, went on to marry and then divorce actress/singer Patsy Kensit. They have a son. Today, Patsy is married to Liam Gallagher. Kerr, not winning any father of the year awards, avoided his daughter Yasmin for ten years.

At the age of 25, she told a British newspaper that she forgives him for abandoning her throughout her childhood. Kerr started to pay attention to his daughter after he broke up with Patsy. Yasmin went on to tell the paper that she sees him more as a friend and that her parents get along a lot better now. Today, she is 27 years old, the mother of two-year old twins and works as an actress. Kerr lives in Italy and owns a hotel, as well as working on his music.

Chrissie then married Italian artist Lucho Brievo in 1997, but divorced in 2002. So, ya know, marriage isn’t for everyone.

Fun Chrissie Hynde Facts

Chrissie’s famous black mop of hair has been cut by the same hairdresser on Marylebone High Street, London, who only charges £15, for the past 20 years.

In 1993, Chrissie was among dozens of animal rights activists at McDonald’s in Amsterdam for the debut of their veggie burger. For years, she had been very critical of the fast food giant, and rightly so! That same year, I went to Amsterdam and made it a point to try one of the veggie burgers because Chrissie is rad.

In 2000, Chrissie was arrested in New York City for walking into the Gap in Times Square and ripping a leather jacket to pieces in protest of their use of animal products.

Linda McCartney was Chrissie’s best friend. Stella McCartney calls her Great Auntie.

In 2007, Hynde opened a vegan restaurant in her hometown of Akron, Ohio, called VegiTerranean. It was a fusion of Italian-Mediterranean food and was voted among the top five vegan restaurants in the U.S. Unfortunately, it closed in 2011 due to the shit economy.

In 2011, Chrissie released an album called “Fidelity!” with JP, Chrissie and the Fairground Boys. I’m still kicking myself for not seeing them live when they toured that same year.

Chrissie Hynde Is My Eyeliner Idol

Cool Stuff To Buy

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Here are some cool things to buy that can be found on etsy.com.


In honor of the late and legendary Joey Ramone’s birthday, is the Saint Joey Rosary. Featuring The Ramones frontman on a beaded chain, the rosary features a reproduction of artwork created by the seller. Very cool and totally worth the $21. Add it to the Joey Ramone shrine that I know all of you have in your bathroom.
Ramones fans can also purchase this lovely Gabba Gabba Hey cross stitch needlepoint for only $16.
For those that have the patience to actually create a needlepoint themselves, as well as a yearning to celebrate their love of John Hughes films, there are the Pixel People templates.  This one features all the key players from the 1986 film, Pretty in Pink. For $6, you get a pdf file from the artist to use as a pattern for your creation. This is cool. Someone make this for me, please.For those that dig the anorexic look but don’t have time for all that pesky dieting, there’s the women’s tank top, embellished with cloth vertebrae. For $24.99, you too can look really, really skinny, and/or cartoony.

Outside of etsy, check out these cool items:
Fans of the late GG Allin that also own a large box of crayons, finally have an outlet to remember the legend. An amazing artist out of Warren, RI, named William Schaff has created the GG Allin Coloring Book, depicting various memorable images of GG, as well activities such as word finds and observation games. Check out the artist’s Flickr page (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsa1973/) to see the rest of his portfolio that features artwork in various mediums. Schaff’s images have also graced the cover of albums by Okkervil River. Buy his artwork. You will dig it.
Featured on the designboom website (www.designboom.com) are Breaking Bad paper dolls by artist Andres Martinez Ricci. Also available are Mad Men paper dolls. Visit http://www.trimdoll.bigcartel.com/ to purchase.

Dale Bozzio: Destination Unknown

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When people think about Dale Bozzio, the drop-dead gorgeous frontwoman of the ’80s new wave band, Missing Persons, they think of her super sexy persona and distinctive squeak in songs like “Words” and “Destination Unknown.” Unfortunately, the story of Dale’s life today does not resemble any of that. An arrest on animal cruelty charges in 2008, have led to her being labelled an animal hoarder.

Born Dale Frances Consalvi in Medford, Massachusetts in 1955, Dale wanted to be an actor at a young age. When she was 16, she was admitted to Emerson College’ performing arts program. While in Beantown, she looked in the mirror and realized she was more Playboy bunny material. She got a job at the city’s Playboy Club. And, in 1975, she was named Boston Playboy Club Bunny of the Year.

In 1976, she flew to Los Angeles to try her hand (pun intended) at becoming a Playboy Valentine party hostess. Hugh Hefner requested a meeting with her, interviewed her and offered her a place to stay while she went on auditions for acting roles. Pretty sure we all know what that means…and so did Dale. She declined. She did go on to pose for Playboy, as well as Hustler. She did accept an offer however from Frank Zappa whom she met previously at one of his Boston concerts. Frank asked her to appear on his rock opera album, Joe’s Garage singing the role of Mary. Dale went on to also be a part of his musical, Thing-Fish. It was there that she would meet her future husband, Terry Bozzio. In 1980, Dale and Terry formed Missing Persons with Warren Cuccurullo (later to replace Andy Taylor in Duran Duran), also a Zappa musician. The band became known for their new wave music featuring Dale’s high-pitched squeaks and over-the-top, colorful and very sexy wardrobe and hair styles. Lady Gaga is often compared to (and accused of ripping off) Dale’s fashion sense.

Missing Persons produced three-full length, studio albums and disbanded in 1986. Dale continues to tour performing the band’s music, but due to some legal problems, she goes under the name Missing Persons featuring Dale Bozzio. In 1988, Dale released her first solo album on Prince’s Paisley Park Records. Her first single, “Simon, Simon” was a flop. Don’t believe me? Check out this horrible video.

In 1986, Dale and Terry divorced. There was an incident where Terry accused Prince of not promoting Dale’s career because she refused to sleep with him. In 1987, she married entrepreneur Leonard Holness II. They divorced the next year. In 1990, she married a local Boston businessman Richard Mckenzie. They have two sons, Shane Maxmilian and Troy Sebastian. They divorced in 2006.

As the years went on, things got a little crazier…like an arrest-and-conviction-of-animal-cruelty-charge crazy. In 2008 while living in New Hampshire, Dale was accused of animal hoarding and charged with keeping some 30 cats in horrific conditions. She was known to take in feral cats. While on tour, she says, she had arranged for a caretaker to come and feed and watch the animals. This person developed pneumonia before coming to the house and never showed up. Somehow, Dale claims she never knew that there was no one to watch the cats. When police arrived at the house after neighbor complaints of the smell, they saw a home full of starving and dehydrated animals. Some had already died, many were ill. A bloody cat leg was found on the kitchen floor. Apparently, one cat had died and some others began feeding on it. In a 2009 Boston Phoenix article, she told the reporter that the whole charge and conviction was a case of crooked cops, small-town conspiracy and lying witnesses. The reality is, she was convicted on the charges, barred by a judge from keeping pets and sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 60 days deferred for two years. She was also ordered to complete 250 hours of community service and made to pay $2,700, the cost to euthanize 12 of the sickest cats found in her home. Her lawyer used the “crazy artist” defense and told the judge that the awful case of abuse was the result of negligence, not bad intentions. He told the Phoenix that friends, such as Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny” singer Tommy Heath, could attest to her good heart. Heath called her “compassionate, honest, a loving parent, and a champion of animal rights” in a statement read to the court. Dale told the judge that she has a long history of saving animals—burying roadkill, rescuing cats while on tour (Run Kitty!) and saving a trapped bumblebee in her kitchen. She even performed on NBC’s reality show Hit Me Baby One More Time in 2005, trying to win $10,000 for the Humane Society of  the United States—P.M. Dawn walked away with the prize. In the end, she agreed to go to jail and take responsibility. “I’m only here for the good of the world, and if you tell me to go and clean every cat’s cage from here to China, I will…I would lay down my life to save an animal, and I respect your time, and I’m sorry to make this into a circus for you,” she told the court. “I’m crumbling. I beg of you to forgive me.”

In a somewhat strange turn of events, Dale tried to get Consalvi Foods, a line of Italian gourmet products and organic wines, off the ground. She set up a Twitter account (@ConsalviFoods), but has only posted 4 times: two about the company, and two about Lady Gaga. It would seem that the company never really amounted to much. One reason could be that after Dale’s legal ordeal, she moved to California where she was found in violation of the terms of her probation which stated that she was not allowed to have any pets. Apparently she was living in an apartment with two cats and two dogs. Not cool.
Her official website: http://dalebozzioofficial.com/ lists three tour dates for 2012, one of which was cancelled. Her Facebook page is a lot of postings of Youtube music that she likes, such as Bruce Willis’ “Respect Yourself.” Ummm, OK.

Joe Strummer 101

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Joe Strummer—singer, songwriter, musician with The Clash, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, The Pogues, etc., actor, and radio host—was born John Graham Mellor in 1952 in Ankara, Turkey. His father was a diplomat and his mom a nurse. Neither were known for their parenting skills. Both Joe and his older brother David were sent to a British boarding school and that is where they spent most of their youth. In an interview, Joe talked about resenting his parent’s non-existence in his life and how it made him feel abandoned. When he did spend time with them, they were so strict, he referred to his father as a bastard. “I often think about how I must have felt [after being sent to boarding school]. I just subconsciously went to the heart of the matter, which was, ‘Forget about your parents,'” he said. He went on to describe his boarding school as a place where, “thick rich people sent their thick rich kids.” And, he had every right to hate them. On his first day, he was initiated by some of the bigger students by being dumped into a bathtub full of used tp. Ewww.  Not to be outdone, Joe went on to become a bully himself, and slapped a smaller boy once until he broke his glasses. Boarding school sounds like OZ.David, who was eighteen months older than Joe, traveled on a tumultuous path in his short life. In 1970, he died after a massive overdose of aspirin. Before that, he dabbled in the occult and became a member of Britain’s nazi group, the National Front. Joe had a distant relationship with his brother because of his beliefs, but was still haunted by having to help identify his brother’s dead body which had gone undiscovered for three days. Joe had mentioned later in life that his relationship with David was one of the reasons that he wanted to help end racism through various charitable campaigns.

With an affinity for the protest singer Woody Guthrie, teenage Joe earned the nickname of Woody while attending Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. After a year, he dropped out. “I found that I was just hopeless at school. It was just a total bore. First I passed in art and English, and then just art. Then I passed out.”

Working several odd jobs, that included being a gravedigger in 1973, he lived as a squatter and began playing in several bands such as Flaming Youth and The Vultures. It was at this time that he also discovered reggae. After moving to Wales for a short time, he spent one Christmas on acid listening to Big Youth’s “Screaming Target.” Give it a listen. You can’t NOT hear The Clash in it.

Bouncing around a bit, Joe agreed to a marriage of convenience for £120 with South African social worker Pam Moolman who wanted British citizenship. He took the money and bought his first guitar, a Telecaster that he painted black. He immediately started a new band, the 101’ers, and played with them until mid-76. It was then that guitarist Mick Jones and bassist Paul Simonon approached him about starting a new band called The Clash. The band’s first album was released in 1977.

Some fun Clash Facts: 

Joe was known for his sense of humour, even in some of the band’s political songs. At the end of “Magnificent Seven,” Joe throws in “vacuum cleaner sucks up budgie” as an aside in the recording after reading the headline of a newspaper on the studio floor.

Joe would sneak ticketless fans into shows by helping them through windows of wherever The Clash were playing.

Health-wise, Joe’s Clash years were rough. He began drinking a lot and developed a super fun speed habit. He also contracted hepatitis in the late ’70s while on tour when an audience member spit on him. Holy crap. Pass the Purell.

In June of 1977, Joe and Clash drummer Topper Headon were arrested for spray painting “The Clash” on a hotel wall.

In May of 1980, he was arrested for kicking the ass of a fan with his guitar during a performance in Hamburg, Germany. The fan was being an idiot and acting violent. Joe freaked himself out by reacting that way and decided that peace was a much better route to follow. This lead to The Clash, as a band, becoming social activists and headlined a Rock Against Racism concert.

After the band’s 1982 album Combat Rock, their most well received, Joe decided to go into hiding. Many, including his own record company, said he disappeared, but he really just took the time to travel and stay away from the stage. There was no internet, TMZ or tabloid TV to track him then, so disappearing was way easier.

In this time, he and his girlfriend Gaby Salter, took to the streets of sorts. The couple ran several marathons including the Paris Marathon in 1982 and the London Marathon in 1981 and 1983—the latter in 3 hours and 20 minutes. He claimed his training regime consisted of 10 pints of beer the night before the race. No spaghetti dinner for him! Maybe he should have considered vodka sauce.

Joe did a cameo in the 1983 De Niro film, The King of Comedy credited as “street scum” along with Gaby and bandmate Mick Jones. Other film roles would follow over the years.

The Clash disbanded in 1985.

In 1987, Joe reappeared, musically, as one of The Pogues. Filling in for ailing guitarist Philip Chevron, Joe joined the band for the ’87-88 tour. In an online forum, Chevron wrote: “When I was sick in late 1987, I taught Joe all the guitar parts in an afternoon and he was on tour in the USA as deputy guitarist the next day. Joe wrote all the tabs in his meticulously neat hand on a long piece of paper which he taped to the top of the guitar so he could glance down occasionally when he was onstage.” This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Joe and The Pogues. He managed them, wrote with them and even filled in for lead singer Shane MacGowan at one point. Graciously, Joe said of his stint as Pogues singer: “Never forget MacGowan, I’m just keeping the seat warm.”

Joe’s love life mainly consisted of two long-term relationships. One, with the aforementioned Gaby, with whom he was with for 14 years. They had two children, both daughters, Jazz Domino Holly and Lola Maybellene. Gaby and Joe never married and broke up in 1995. Jazz, shown below, penned a book on crafting called, Queen of Crafts, last year.
In 1995, Joe married Lucinda Tait and moved her and her young daughter to Somerset, England. They remained together until his death in 2002.

At the end of the ’90s, Joe dabbled in some reissuing of the music of The Clash and the 101’ers. In 1998, he made a guest appearance on the animated television show, South Park and a cartoon Joe performed “It’s A Rockin’ World” with Flea, Nick Hexum, Tom Morello, DJ Bonebrake, and Benmont Tench.

In 1999, he formed Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros. They released three albums.

It was rumored that singer Lily Allen was Joe’s god-daughter, but the truth is, he was just really close to her family and an influence in her life, musically. Lily has said of Joe: “Joe Strummer was my father’s best friend but I knew him as Uncle Joe, carrying a bottle of whiskey around. The famous people who I have been around were all really relaxed, not the Ozzy Osbourne types, driving around in limos.” She recorded The Clash’s “Straight to Hell” for a charity album, War Child Heroes with Mick Jones, after Joe’s death.

In later years, Joe rejected millions of dollars that he was offered to get back together with The Clash. Instead, he chose to do things like perform to raise money for striking firemen in West London. Joe died three days before Christmas in 2002 after returning home from walking his dog. He collapsed in the family’s kitchen. It was then that doctors discovered that he was born with a congenital heart defect. His funeral in West London featured two dozen firefighters in full uniform, the very same ones that he had helped earlier in the month. Upon Joe’s coffin sat a stetson and the words “Question Authority – Ask Me Anything.”

In 2007, Chicago based action figure manufacturer, Locoape, released The Clash action figures. Hmmm, not sure about that.

Posthumously, Joe’s wife Lucinda set up Strummerville, a music trust providing young musicians with rehearsal spaces and the use of recording studios. www.strummerville.com

French actress and director Julie Delpy is making a biopic of Joe called The Right Profile (the title of a song from the 1979 album, London Calling). The film is set to focus on Joe’s planned disappearance from public life in 1982.

Punks are Misunderstood

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One late Saturday night in 1986, I was home flipping through the channels when I stopped on the USA Network. Night Flight was on! If you’re not familiar with the classic cult show, it ran from 1981 to 1996, in one incarnation or another, and featured documentaries, music videos, B movies and stand up comedians. On this particular night, they were playing a film called Another State of Mind, a 1982 documentary following two young punk rock bands Social Disortion and Youth Brigade as they embark on their first international tour. In their travels, they meet up with Washington, DC-based straight edge punk band Minor Threat and spend a week at the Dischord house, owned by the band’s label. They play 25 shows and live on $10 a day. The tour bus breaks down often and smells like ass daily. The guys face discrimination from the locals and get ripped off by club owners. And, at the end of the tour everyone is pretty sick of each other. By the time the film was over, I decided to shave parts of my head and dye the remaining hair pink.
The bands all look about 16 years old but pontificate on how punkers are so misunderstood. In one of my favorite scenes, a young Mike Ness (lead singer of Social D) explains his reasons for why he does his hair and eye make up a certain way. Very deep stuff. Very “natural. ” It’s also fun to see him, pre-head-to-toe tats.

Mike Ness does look a little bit older these days. He was only 19 when the movie was shot. Today, he’s 50…FIFTY!
Social D is on their seventh album, but their first one, 1983’s Mommy’s Little Monster, will always be a total classic. “Her eyes are a deeper blue, she likes her hair that color too. She can’t even wear a dress, that doesn’t mean she’ll ever confess. She’s mommy’s little monster.” Poetry…sheer poetry! 🙂 It would be funny if I was being sarcastic, but I’m not! In the early ’90s, Mike got married to Christine Marie and they have two sons, Julian and Johnny. The band, and Ness as a solo artist, have played with Bruce Springsteen, Brian Setzer and Royal Crown Revue, as well as having played at Woodstock 99.

Youth Brigade was formed in 1980 by three brothers from Los Angeles, Mark, Adam, and Shawn Stern. Lead singer Shawn is interviewed throughout the film talking about how hard it is to be a punk rocker. In one scene, the bands enter a diner in Montreal and are faced with a scared waitress that won’t acknowledge the guys. She ends up calling the police to have them removed. They haven’t done anything, she’s just obviously a Def Leppard fan.
Youth Brigade is still around and are still down with the positivity. They are reportedly working on a new album, their first since 1996’s To Sell the Truth.

Next to Social D, Minor Threat was one of my favorite bands. They lasted from 1980 to 1983, but went on to become Fugazi…also known as total band perfection, at least to me anyway. Fugazi playing The Anthrax (an amazing punk rock club in Norwalk, Connecticut where I spent nearly every weekend of my teenage years) was a huge event in my life. A 16-year old me, being 4 feet away from Ian MacKaye was a big deal.
Some interesting Minor Threat trivia: In 2005, Nike created an ad for a skateboarding tour they were sponsoring called Major Threat and “borrowed” heavily from Minor Threat’s First Two 7″s on a 12 LP cover art. It’s, ummm, basically the same image. Nike altered the band’s logo and featured Nike’s rather than combat boots. Fans began writing complaint letters to Nike, and MacKaye issued a statement condemning the use of their imagery. Nike apologized and stopped using the poster. In the real Minor Threat LP cover, the bald-headed punk is actually Ian MacKaye’s younger brother Alec.
Today, Ian is 49 and married to fellow musician Amy Farina. The couple is in a band together called The Evens and have a son named Carmine Francis Farina MacKaye. Ian is co-founder and owner of Dischord Records. I have fond memories of him stopping the band mid-song to yell at some aggressive dancers during shows. 🙂

Totally Useless Morrissey Trivia

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Morrissey did not get his driver’s license until 1993 at the age of 34.
In the ’80s, Morrissey had a verbal hissyfit with The Cure’s Robert Smith. At one point, a reporter asked Robert about him, to which he replied, “If Morrissey says don’t eat meat, then I’m going to eat meat, because I hate Morrissey.” Today, all is well. I think they just didn’t like competing for space on my bedroom walls as a teenager. Calm down boys, there’s room for everyone! 🙂
Before joining The Smiths, Morrissey worked as a civil service clerk, a record store salesman and a hospital porter. His mother was a librarian, his father a hospital porter.
Morrissey has a sister named Jacqueline who is one year older than he—pictured here with a young Moz, aged 5, at Albert Square in Old Trafford, Manchester in 1965.
The cover photo of The Smiths on their 1986 album The Queen Is Dead was shot by Stephen Wright, a fan. Rough Trade, the band’s label received some photos from Stephen of the band live in concert. Morrissey liked what he saw and he was hired. Using his own old Nikon and the wrong lens, the photographer walked around Manchester with the band and just shot in different spots. The one with the best lighting turned out to be the Salford Lads Club. The image now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery collection—amazing considering Stephen’s darkroom doubled as his bedroom and the processing chemicals were kept in lemonade bottles. After the shoot, Morrissey sent him a card that read, “A sweeter set of photos were never taken.”
Morrissey’s worship of James Dean started early. In 1979 he had a poem about the late actor published in a Scottish fanzine called Next Big Thing. The line, “My only weakness is well…never mind,” featured in Shoplifters of the World, was said by James in a TV movie called Danger. In 2008, Morrissey bought a watch, previously owned by James, for $40,000.

Morrissey was a Sixteen Candles fan! Well, he was a Michael Schoeffling (JAKE RYAN!) fan. In a 2004 interview conducted for i-D magazine, he talked about his love of the actor’s short-lived career. “He was this astonishingly good-looking model. He tried to become an actor, made about three films in Hollywood, then went off and had loads of children. He was an absolute hero to me.” I defy anyone to NOT fall in love with Jake Ryan. 🙂
Morrissey has always had a soft spot for the quirky absurdness of English soap operas, his two favorites being Coronation Street and EastEnders. In a 1994 interview with Q Magazine, he said of EastEnders (my personal favorite!), “Against my better judgment I’m affixed to EastEnders. I argue back at it. I despair for the writers.” For the record, there would be no Snooki without Kat Slater! In a 1995 video for Morrissey’s single, “Dagenham Dave,” he is seen walking through a house with photos of the cast on the walls. Morrissey once appeared in South, a spin-off of the British soap opera Brookside.

Morrissey has always been a fan of the late Bea Arthur, and loved The Golden Girls. In a 2004 Miami concert, Morrissey recited to the crowd, the words to “Thank You For Being A Friend.”

Morrissey has been spoofed on several TV shows through the years. Some odd ones include a mention on Bill Nye: The Science Guy, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and most recently, The Cleveland Show.
Morrissey’s first concert that he attended was T.Rex in Manchester, 1972.

In 2001, Morrissey, a strict vegetarian, once said that the highlight of the last 20 years had been foot and mouth disease.

Morrrisey’s debut solo album, Viva Hate, featured the song “Margaret on the Guillotine,” in which he fantasizes about the death of Margaret Thatcher referring to it as a “wonderful dream.” The 1988 album itself was originally set to be titled, Education in Reverse.

Noel Gallagher was a neighbor of Morrissey’s some years ago. To be clever, Morrissey left him a postcard that said, “Let’s go shoplifting!” Noel went to his house, but Morrissey refused to let him in.

Morrissey once said that the late Kirsty MacColl had a “cracking bust.”
In the ’80s, The Smiths’ tour rider included: a “live tree with a maximum of five foot and a minimum height of three foot.” This was a must for all venues, per Morrissey’s request.

Bryan Ferry — More Than This???

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Congratulations to singer/songwriter, Roxy Music frontman and accomplished solo artist Bryan Ferry, on his marriage earlier this month to former PR girl and current set-for-lifer Amanda Sheppard.

The wedding took place at the luxury beach resort Amanyara, located in the Turks and Caicos. Believe it or not, this is only the second marriage for Bryan, known as a modelizer and infamous cad dating back to the early ’70s. His album covers have featured some of the most beautiful women from Jerry Hall to Kate Moss, and read like his own personal black book. What’s most fun about this marriage is not that Bryan is 66 and his bride, a mere 36 years younger, but that Amanda is actually the ex-girlfriend of Bryan’s 26 year-old son, Isaac. Apparently, this is not an issue for the Ferry clan as Isaac, as well as Bryan’s other three sons, were all in attendance at the wedding. May-December romances are nothing new. Money has always been able to buy beauty and beauty has always been able to attract money. In the 1862 painting, “The Unequal Marriage” by Vasili Pukirev, the bride seems a bit more somber than the new Mrs. Ferry. Her new, older husband must not have the bank account that Bryan does. Not for nothing, but Bryan looks amazing! I’d hit it.

Bryan has lived an interesting life and his sons are following in his footsteps. Working as a pottery teacher right out of college, Bryan formed Roxy Music with some friends in 1970, and they had their first hit, “Virginia Plain” in 1972. Much of the band’s early music was a close collaboration between Bryan and bandmate Brian Eno. Several albums and hits later, the band is still together, some 40 years on. Whoa…. The music still holds up.

Bryan recently had an exhibit of photography featuring his album covers at the Los Angeles-based Michael Kohn Gallery. One such cover featured model Jerry Hall for the Siren album from 1975. In Jerry’s 1985 autobiography, Tall Tales, she talks about how during that shoot, she was covered in blue paint that would not come off. Bryan offered to take her home and help her out of the paint. She went and they had a 2-year relationship, until she left him for Mick Jagger. In 1982, Bryan married socialite and model Lucy Helmore (only 14 years his junior) and they had four children, all sons. Lucy is the face-less woman on the cover of Roxy Music’s 1982 album, Avalon. A short addiction to cocaine began for Bryan and he credits his wife for helping him to kick the habit, cuz ya know…drugs are for mugs. 🙂 After 21 years of marriage, they divorced and Bryan dated, heavily! It wasn’t until Isaac brought home his new girlfriend that dear old dad decided to settle down again.

It is possible that Isaac was a bit too busy to get angry over his father and ex-girlfriend hooking up. Taking after Bryan in conservative political views, Isaac was suspended from Eton College for sending threatening emails to an anti-hunting activist. He’s also been known to date a model or two…or ten. Bryan’s oldest son, Otis, knows his way around a jail cell having been arrested and charged several times for pro-hunting political protests, one of which led to a conviction. He’s been very vocal about his pro-fox hunting views and in 2004 along with seven other protestors, illegally entered the House of Commons Chamber during session. In 2005, he was arrested as he crossed a police barrier at the National Portrait Gallery in London and attempted to accost the Prime Minister. He was taken into custody whilst screaming, “I’ve had enough of this government!” Throw in a DUI (October, 2005) and many famous girlfriends, and Otis quickly became a favorite in the British tabloids. A 2007 arrest for two counts of criminal damage were the result of him stealing the car keys from some paparazzi that were following his brother Isaac and actress Sienna Miller as they left a nightclub at a BAFTA after-party. He was later acquitted. Bryan’s two younger sons have managed to maintain a slightly lower profile. Tara, 21, plays in a band called Rubber Kiss Goodbye, and Merlin, 20, plays guitar for Voltorb. All four boys have contributed to Bryan’s 2010 album Olympia. Isaac and Otis have also been known to model.

For Burberry’s autumn/winter line in 2006, both Ferry boys were featured alongside Kate Moss and Stella Tennant (as well as her young daughter, Jasmine) in a campaign shot by photographer Mario Testino. Bryan himself was recently featured in an ad campaign for H&M alongside Tara.

Some fun Bryan Ferry facts:
A friend of Bryan’s once told a journalist that he was more likely to redecorate a hotel room, than trash it, rockstar-style.
In 2000, the entire Ferry family were involved in a near plane crash when a crazy passenger freaked out and forced his way into the cockpit attacking the pilot, en route to Nairobi. The plane plummeted for a while, until the crazy was captured.
Bryan acted in a 2005 Neil Jordan film, Breakfast on Pluto, in which he played a character called Mr. Silky String, a super-creepy customer of Cillian Murphy’s character, a young Irish transvestite prostitute. Mr. Silky String tries to strangle his friend in the front seat of his car.
In 2007, Bryan made some whacked-out statement about his love of the imagery used during the Nazi regime and Leni Riefenstahl propaganda films. He quickly apologized, but the incident ended a contract he had just signed with British retailer, Marks and Spencer, in which he was to model their Autograph menswear line.
Also in 2007, Bryan released a tribute album to Bob Dylan called, Dylanesque. He’s never met Bob Dylan.
In a Roxy Music-inspired scene from the FOX-show Glee, the character of Blaine Anderson dances to their music and talks about how he’d like to build a time machine in order to meet the finely dressed Bryan in the 1970s and give him a high-five.

Bryan does not download music and he only recently got a cellphone.
Last year, Bryan received his CBE (Commander Of The British Empire) at Buckingham Palace from the Queen for his contribution to music. He brought all four of his sons to the ceremony. He really dug the stripey pants he got to wear.

Sixteen Today and Up For Fun

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Here is another “What Ever Happened To” featuring three guys I had major crushes on as a teenager: Suggs from Madness, Ian Astbury from The Cult and Dr. Robert from The Blow Monkeys. The crazy part is that each guy hovers around the age of 50 today. Whoa. Indulge me for a minute here.

Suggs, lead singer of Madness most widely known for its 1982 hit “Our House,” is turning 51 this month and recently kicked off a stage show in London called My Life Story. Billed as “an evening with,” the show features words and pictures taking the audience through the singer/songwriter/DJ/producer/writer/comedian/reality TV host’s sordid life that includes being born to drug addicted parents and growing up in the music scene in the ’70s and ’80s. It all came about when Suggs, born Graham McPherson in 1961, had three major events take place in his life. Firstly, he was turning fifty. Second, his two grown daughters, both musicians, had moved out of the family home. And third, was the death of his cat. He recalls being in the bath when he heard a loud crash. His cat was sleeping on a glass shelf that Suggs had built, when it collapsed. He knew by the way the cat was lying on the floor that it had died. Riddled with guilt, he suffered from depression. This deluge of emotions triggered memories and feelings about his own life. Instead of falling into a drug haze or deeper depression like so many in his profession, he began to write it all down. Thus his one-man show was born. Much of the emotions unearthed stemmed from his tumultuous childhood. He was born to a father that cared for his heroin addiction more than his child and subsequently left Suggs and his mother, a jazz singer, before he was even born. One good thing that came out of this experience was that he steered clear of drugs throughout his life. In 1977 when Suggs was just 16 years old, he joined Madness, one of the most beloved British ska bands.

Musically, Suggs has done some pretty cool collaborations. He sang backing vocals on Morrissey’s “Sing Your Life” and “Piccadilly Palare.” He’s done a bunch of acting work (stage and screen) in projects such as the stage musical Our House, based on Madness’ song, and various British TV shows. Madness, of course, famously appeared in The Young Ones twice–the episode Boring featured them singing “House of Fun” and Sick featured “Our House.” He hosts a radio show in the UK. And in 2007, he starred in a series of BirdsEye commercials hocking frozen veg, fish fingers and chicken–this also spawned a popular online game based on the commercials.

In 2009, he released his first book, Suggs and the City: My Journeys Through Disappearing London.

He’s been married to Bette Bright, a singer, since 1981 and they have two daughters, Scarlett (29) and Viva (25), shown above. He’s currently performing his one-man show and working with the guys from Madness again on a new album.

Ian Astbury, the ethereal lead singer and songwriter for the British rock band The Cult was born Ivan Robert Astbury. I remember seeing The Cult open for Billy Idol in 1986 in Hartford (or maybe it was the New Haven Coliseum…it’s been 25 years. Memory is a bit foggy.) and they were one of those great live bands. Ian’s father was a seaman and moved the family around a lot, having lived in places such as Liverpool, Glasgow, Belfast and Brixton. This has led to Ian’s love of travel and today he spends much time in places all around the world. Growing up, he was undecided as to what he wanted to do with his life. In 1979, he spent 29 days in the army. That didn’t really work out. That same year, he heard “The End” by the Doors in the film Apocalypse Now, and he had a “religious experience.” Music became the focus of his life and in 1980 he worked as a member of U2’s road crew. The following year, he became a founding member of the punk band Southern Death Cult. By 1983, the band became The Cult with Ian working alongside guitarist Billy Duffy, bassist Jamie Stewart and drummer Raymond Taylor Smith. It was the release of the band’s second album (Love) that really resonated with me, and the single, “She Sells Sanctuary” became their first really big hit.

The next two albums, Sonic Temple (1989) and Ceremony (1991) showed audiences how the band was evolving. Not all of their fans followed suit. In 1991, Ian wasn’t feeling the love anymore and moved to Los Angeles. That same year, he married “actress” Heatherlyn Campbell. Los Angeles brought a new group of friends, including Oliver Stone who has stated that Ian was his first choice to play Jim Morrison in the biopic, The Doors. Through the years, Ian worked on several side projects and 1999 saw The Cult reform for some successful tours and new contract with Atlantic Records. A fight with the record label ensued that Ian called “soul destroying.” In 2002, The Cult took another hiatus. That same year, Ian was approached by the remaining members of The Doors to replace the late Jim Morrison on a project called The Doors of the 21st Century. In 2009, The Cult began to work again touring across the U.S., Canada and Europe billed as “Love’Live” where they performed the entire Love album. I don’t know how I missed that, but I am, as we speak, kicking myself. Ouch. Today at age 49, Ian lives in Los Angeles and is a divorced father to two sons Dustyn and Che (yes, the latter is named after Che Guevara). Still an avid traveler, Ian also collects World War II memorabilia. He’s also a huge Everton Football Club (English Premier League) supporter and plays locally for the over-30s team of Hollywood United. Teammates today include fellow Cult member Billy Duffy and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols. The club has also featured players such as actors Dermot Mulroney, Donal Logue and Brandon Routh; musicians Robbie Williams and Ziggy Marley and professional soccer players Alexei Lalas and Vinnie Jones.

The British band The Blow Monkeys were formed in 1981, and Dr. Robert (Bruce Robert Howard) the well-dressed, finely coiffed frontman with the distinctive voice, lead them in their four albums. It wasn’t until 1986 that they would gain much airplay stateside with “Digging Your Scene” off of the band’s second album, Animal Magic. The song helped gain them a few photo spreads in Star Hits magazine, highlighting Dr. Robert’s good looks. His lipstick-wearing skills were right up there with The Cure’s Robert Smith. The song also attracted some controversy at the time as the lyrics mentioned the backlash against the gay community as the AIDS crisis was growing.

Through the years, the band had the privilege of being featured on the soundtracks of such prestigious films as Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol and Dirty Dancing. Needless to say, these types of career moves lead to their downfall and in 1990 the band broke up. They briefly reformed in 2008 for a reunion tour. I personally remember seeing The Blow Monkeys at the Palace Theatre in New Haven around 1987 and loved them! In 1992, Dr. Robert formed his own label, Artbus, and began working on many solo and collaborative projects with musicians Beth Orton, Kym Mazelle, and Paul Weller, just to name a few. Dr. Robert is 50 years old today lives with his family in England.