Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jimi Hendrix Goes Up In Flames, Tours With The Monkees and Pink Floyd + MORE

We started a Mikes Diggs Music section on out web portal because well I dig music and I used to have a business selling records called Mikes Diggs. Anyway we have a page that has some offbeat Hendrix videos and stories on it. Like the one about The Jimi Hendrix Experience's short lived tour with The Monkees! It lasted for just eight dates before Jimi flipped off the audience and quit the tour. Below is a brief video of Monkee "bassist" Peter Tork's memories of the tour. The web post features much more.

Also included is footage; of a Stockholm concert from 1969, Jimi checking out Buddy Guy then getting up on stage with him from 1968, a blistering version of Machine Gun played as a tribute to slain Black Panther Mark Clark. There is the story of Jimi's November 1967 English tour with Pink Floyd and should you havea spare $14,000.00 a chance to buy a rare dual autograph of Hendrix and Roger Waters. All this and more at


And just for additional kicks I've thrown in this hot Hendrix video.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Following up our musical journey to Ohio in our last post we stay in the middle west for a road trip that is the subject of our latest upload to ChiTownView. In the summer of 1990 Bob & Mike two Chicago area musicians & artists take a road trip to Michigan. They are in search of the Ann Arbor boyhood trailer home of Iggy Pop from The Stooges. The trip continues on to Detroit where our intrepid explorers are looking for The Heidelberg Project an open air creation by outsider artist Tyree Guyton.

Starting in the late 1960's with The Psychedelic Stooges Iggy has been bringing his over the top brand of rock and roll to audiences ever since. Tyree Guyton began his Heidelberg Project in 1986. It is named for the street where this one of a kind art work covers several blocks. It has survived two partial demolitions and continues today.. Here is a link to it's website.

Ohio, A Punk Rock Historical Journey

We begin 2015 (after a brief hiatis) with a musical trip to the state that's round at the ends and hi in the middle) O-Hi-O. Would you believe that during the punk years of the mid 1970's one of the creative centers of the US was Ohio? Yes and San Franciscoright in the middle of the rust belt the Buckeye state was on a par with New York and ahead of hip mecca's like LA and San Francisco. No it was more like Cleveland and Akron. A bold statement you say? Well when it came to overall influence I'll take Ohio over California and let me explain.

In 1974 while bands like The Ramones, Television and Patti Smith were starting to rock the Big Apple there was a punk rock super group having a very short career in Cleveland. Rocket from the Tombs existed for less than a year, never recorded and played a dozen or so gigs seen by maybe a couple of hundred people. RFTT spawned and provided material for The Dead Boys and Pere Ubu. They provided the first punk corpse in guitarist / songwriter Peter Laughter who died in 1977.

The band was started by singer David Thomas (going under the name "Crocus Behemoth" ) in May 1974 as a sort of comedy act. Other members of the original lineup were Chris Cuda, and Glen "Thunderhand" Hach sharing guitar duties bassist Charlie Weiner, with Tom Foolery playing drums. Enter A gifted and reckless guitarist& writer (for Creem Magazine) named Peter Laughner who showed up at some of these gigs. He began jamming with the band and joined soon after that in September.

Rockets became more musical lineup with the addition of Gene O'Connor (Cheetah Chrome), David Bell (bass) and Johnny Madansky (Blitz). Guitarist O'Connor had known Laughner before and been in a band with him. Drummer Madansky was also in a band with O'Connor called Slash. Bell had recently left another veteran Cleveland band, the Mirrors. This version of the band would make it's debut on New Years Eve 1974 blaze brightly for eight months and then go down in flames.

After they disbanded, the personnel split forming two bands. O'Connor and Madansky joined with singer Stiv Bators (who was a sometimes singer in later versions of RFTT) to form Frankenstein, which later became the Dead Boys. Laughner and Thomas went on to form Pere Ubu with bassist Tim Wright (RFTT's soundman). Laughner split after recording the two Hearthhan singles. He moved to New York where he almost joined Television and died in 1977, of acute pancreatitis brought on by years of drug abuse.

The Rocket's repertoire became some of both bands best known songs. The Dead Boys were got "Ain't It Fun," "What Love Is," "Down in Flames," "Caught With the Meat in Your Mouth" (done by RFTT as "I'm Never Gonna Kill Myself Again") and "Sonic Reducer"; Pere Ubu recorded "Final Solution," "Life Stinks" and "30 Seconds Over Tokyo." 

While they never released any singles or lps there is a 19 track cd that came out in 2002 called Day the Earth Met the Rocket From the Tombs that gathers the best of their live recordings. The cd is 74 minutes long with material drawn only from original sources and includes a 12 page booklet. If you'd like to pick it up or read reviews and see the track listing click on the above link. 

Meanwhile less than a hundred miles south in Akron there was hot musical scene that launched The Cramps, Devo and a host of lesser known bands many of which are still around here in the 21st century.

While The Cramps as a band were not part of the Akron music scene the late Lux Interior was an Akron native. He moved to California then he and his lovely cohort Ms. Ivy spent 1973-1975 mutating in Akron where they came up with the Cramps concept while watching late night horror movies. They moved to New York where they went onto fame if not fortune. One of their early classics “The Mad Daddy” was an ode to a legendary local DJ.

Devo was probably Akron's most lasting contribution to the musical universe. We have a fairly extensive previous post about them that can be found here. Below is a 1974 version of their cover of Johnny Rivers “Secret Agent Man”. This video is available as part of a longer video called "The Truth About De-Evolution" that is included on a DVD entitled Devo - The Complete Truth About De-Evolution . It is a 90 disc that is a fairly complete collection of Devo videos. Check it out at the above link.


Akron even had it's own compilation album “The Akron Sampler” that really stunk.

Literally, released on the British label Stiff the first copies had a scratch and sniff cover that smelled of burning rubber. It featured these local legends; Jane Aire & the Belvederes, Tin Huey, Rachel Sweet, The Bizarros, The Waitresses, Rubber City Rebels, Sniper, Idiot’s Convention, Terraplane & Chi-Pig. More about this unique lp can be found at this site
My favorite from the lp is "Beer and a Cigarette"  by Terraplane.

There was also a documentary film called “It's Everything and It's Gone” by Phil Hoffman.