Amoeblog

Psychomania is Back From the Grave

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 9, 2017 07:18pm | Post a Comment

Psychomania

By Brett Stillo

Get on your bikes and ride! That devilish blackguard Tom Latham and his gang of shaggy-haired, cycle-Psychomaniacrazy delinquents, the Death Wheelers, have come back from the grave—AGAIN—in a deluxe Blu-ray/DVD release of the 1973 horror favorite, PSYCHOMANIA!

Psychomania is an Aleister Crowley-on-Wheels, black-magic-meets-black-leather tale of witchcraft, reincarnation, myth, and motorcycles. The aforementioned Tom ('70’s favorite Nicky Henson, displaying brutish charm and swagger) and his motorcycle gang, The Living Dead, tear up the English countryside while his spiritualist mother (Beryl Reid) and her sinister butler (the elegantly satanic George Saunders in his final screen appearance) conduct weird séances at the family manor. What more could a saucy lad like Tom ask for, except maybe immortality by way of a suicide pact with the Dark One in the guise of a frog?

From there, Psychomania opens the throttle as Tom convinces his gang of baby-faced Bikers (who look like members of Badfinger) to kill themselves so they too can return to this world as indestructible, undead hooligans. The horror shifts to action as Tom and his gang roar down country roads and Psychomania Nicky Hensonancient, fog-shrouded cemeteries on their classic British racing bikes, terrorizing the local villagers.

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Brightwell's Top 10: 1972

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 19, 2015 10:50pm | Post a Comment
In 1857, Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville patented his invention for recording sound, the phonautograph. Twenty years later, in 1877, someone first realized that his phonautograms could also play back recorded music. It was the same year, coincidentally, that Thomas Edison patented the phonograph and thus the age of recorded music began. In 2015, former Amoebite Matthew Messbarger posted an NME "Best of 1990" on my Facebook timeline and I decided to began reviewing the best songs of each year, from 1877 to the present, in random order.

*****

The demolition of Pruitt-Igoe

1972 was a turbulent year. The violence of the Troubles peaked, claiming the lives of more than 500 people.Though comparatively ignored in the west, the Burundian Genocide also began, which claimed the lives of over 500,000. Ferdinand Marcos placed the Philippines under martial law. Black September invaded the Olympic Village and murdered eight Israeli athletes in Munich Members of the German Red Army Faction were arrested in FrankfurtThe Asama-Sansō Incident took place in Japan. Native Americans from the The Trail of Broken Treaties took over buildings belonging to the Bureau of Indian AffairsAngela Davis was found not guilty of murder. Missouri's notorious Pruitt–Igoe projects were demolished. Health officials admitted that blacks had been used as guinea pigs in a study of untreated syphilis. Shirley Chisholm became the first black candidate for US president although the American people instead choose to re-elect fascinating nutjob Richard Nixon





Outside Earth, humans visited the moon for the last time. The Space Shuttle program began. Mariner 9 became the first artificial satellite to orbit another planet (Mars). The Pioneer 10 launched from Cape Kennedy and would become the first human-made object to leave the solar system. In art, Andrei Tarkovsky's science-fiction masterpiece Solaris debuted and although perhaps not masterpieces, Eolomea and Silent Running entertained. With all of that space travel its no wonder it was glam rock's' annus mirabilis. Capitalizing on the space craze, David Bowie's 1969 song, "Space Oddity" was re-released and Elton John, doing his best Bowie, released "Rocket Man" (which was later covered by William Shatner which was later covered by Chris Elliott). 


 

In technology and entertainment news, 
HBO was launched, Atari was founded and released PongThe first scientific hand-held calculator, the HP-35, was introduced for the price of $395 (about $1,750 in 2015 dollars). Bands including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Martha and the Vandellas, MC5, Them, and The Velvet Underground all called it a day. ABBA, Cockney Rebel, Devo, The Jam, Mama's Pride, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Rockets, Rufus, Van Halen and many other bands formed. It was a great year for music, with Neil YoungThe SweetThe Four TopsMott the HoopleYesBig StarTownes Van ZandtGentle GiantMarvin Gaye, Genesis, Lieutenant Pigeon, Lou Reed, Curtis MayfieldRoxy Music, and Hawkwind all releasing amazing songs that barely missed my Top 10.

*****

10. Bee Gees - Run to Me



9. Hot Butter - Pop Corn



8. The RaspberriesGo All The Way 



7. BreadGuitar Man 



6. Manu DibangoSoul Makossa (Funky Soul Makossa) 



5. Chicory Tip - Son of My Father 



4. David BowieStarman 



3. T. RexMetal Guru 



2. The DramaticsIn The Rain 



1. Al Green - I'm Still in Love with You - 





*****

Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

One Album Wonders: Armageddon

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 7, 2015 03:46pm | Post a Comment
This week’s One Album Wonder is Armageddon, a short-lived heavy rock band led by Keith Relf which proved to be the singer's last. In Armageddon, Relf was joined by Robert Caldwell (drums), Louis Cennamo (bass guitar), and Martin Pugh (guitar).

*****


Relf was a noteworthy English singer, guitarist, and harmonica player. He was born 22 March 1943 in Richmond, Surrey and started performing music around 1956. Although severely asthmatic he picked up the harmonica in imitation of his hero, Sonny Boy Williamson. In 1963 he formed The Yardbirds. Although today The Yardbirds seem best remembered for launching the careers of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, they were undoubtedly one of the most important of British Invasion bands, responsible along with The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones with introducing countless white teenagers to the black American music which they'd till then ignored and inspiring thousands of them to form rock bands in suburban garages throughout the Anglosphere.

The Yardbirds' two biggest hits, “For Your Love” and “Heart Full of Soul” were written by the great Graham Gouldman (of The Mockingbirds and later, The Mindbenders, 10cc, and Wax) but Relf co-wrote many of their originals, including “Shapes of Things,” “I Ain't Done Wrong,” “Over Under Sideways Down,” and "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago.” As the 1960s progressed, Relf's songs began moving away from their blues base toward folky psychedelia and classical music-inspired progressive rock. Relf left The Yardbirds in 1968 he and fellow-former Yardbird Jim McCarty formed the acoustic duo, Together, which released a single, “Henry's Coming Home” b/w “Love Mum And Dad” that failed to find an audience.

Next McCarty, Relf, and Relf’s sister, Jane, formed Renaissance in 1969, rounded out by pianist John Hawken and Louis Cennamo. They released two albums, Renaissance and Illusion. Illusion was recorded in 1970 as the band was falling apart. The last of the original members had left by the end of the year and Illusion was originally only released in Germany, in 1971. It wouldn't be released in the UK until 1977, a yaer after Relf's untimely death. 

After Renaissance's demise, Relf first moved into production, working with bands including Amber, Hunter Muskett, Saturnalia, and Medicine Head (with whom he also played bass guitar). Another band he produced was Worthing-based blues rock band, Steamhammer, which included Cennamo and guitarist Martin Pugh. Steamhammer called it quits in 1973 and Relf, Pugh, and Cennamo moved to Los Angeles. There they formed Armageddon with Robert Caldwell, a drummer from Florida who’d played with Noah’s Ark, Johnny Winter And, and most recently, Captain Beyond -- a band which featured former members of Iron Butterfly and Deep Purple.



Armageddon were recommended to A&M by Dee Anthony and Peter Frampton (who’d played with Cennamo in mod group, The Herd). A&M agreed to sign Armageddon and in the autumn of 1974 the band recorded their eponymous debut at Olympic Studios in Barnes. It was released in May 1975 (it was issued on compact disc by Repertoire in 1998 and Esoteric in 2009) and was a move into the sort of heavy rock which The New Yardbirds (and later Led Zeppelin) had made after Relf’s departure. The results were loose and jammy and the album only contains five songs, four of which are over eight minutes long.


Armageddon didn't last long, however. Caldwell, at the time, suffered from a heroin addiction and he and Pugh were at odds with Cenammo and Relf, both of whom preferred meditation to hard drugs. Armageddon split up before they could promote the album at all and, not surprisingly, it sold poorly. 

Armageddon's Armageddon (1975)

Relf returned to England to recover from a life-threatening asthma-related illness and with thoughts of rejoining the original members of Renaissance. He recorded what proved to be his swan song, “All the Falling Angles” but tragically died on 14 May 1976, electrocuted in the basement of his home whilst playing his improperly grounded guitar. He was just 33 years old.

With Armageddon no more and the name Renaissance being used by a new line-up of musicians, Cennamo re-joined the original members of Renaissance (minus Keith Relf, of course) as Illusion. Caldwell returned to Captain Beyond (and later, it should be noted, completely quit drugs). Pugh seems to have retired for many years from life as a professional musician although in the 2000s he re-emerged with Hawaii-based rock band, 7th Order.


Follow me at ericbrightwell.com

All-Female Bands of the 1970s -- Happy Women's History Month!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 4, 2015 09:31pm | Post a Comment

I wrote a post on all-female bands from the 1910s-1950s, and a post covering all-female bands of the 1960s -- here's my attempt at a conclusive A-Z (and other alphabets) of all-female bands of the 1970s. Details are often sketchy or non-existent and as always corrections and contributions are appreciated!
 

DIE ATZTUSSIS


Die Atztussis were an anarcho-punk band from the Kreuzberg section of West Berlin, active at least as early as 1979 when they played the Antifaschistischen Festival. The members were Cordula (vocals), Kiki (bass), Menusch (guitar), and Petra (drums).


‘B’ GIRLS

'B' Girls in 1977 (image source: Rodney Bowes)




 
Cynthia Ross, Lucasta Rochas, Marcy Saddy, and Rhonda Ross formed 'B' Girls in Toronto in 1977. Although they recorded a handful of demos, they only released one single, "Fun At The Beach," on BOMP! in 1979. Roaches was replaced by Xenia Holiday before they broke up in 1981 or ’82. A collection of their recordings were released as Who Says Girls Can't Rock in 1997.


BEBE K’ROCHE

 
 

BeBe K’Roche were formed in Berkeley by Jake Lampert, Pamela "Tiik" Pollet, Peggy Mitchell, and Virginia Rubino in 1973. They released one single, “Hoodoo’d,” and an eponymous LP in 1976 on Los Angeles’s Olivia Records.


BERKELEY WOMEN’S MUSIC COLLECTIVE 

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Wall of Sound: West Coast Punk Art Retrospective at Steven Wolf Fine Arts, SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 12, 2012 03:45pm | Post a Comment
Focusing exclusively on the West Coast's punk rock art movement of the 1970's, Wall of Sound at
Exene Cervenka art
Exene Cervenka, Dick, 2008 
Steven Wolf Fine Arts (July 12th - Sept 8th) features work by artists who are better known as musicians, and by musicians who are better known as artists. 

The rise of punk rock in the 1970s provoked an explosion of collage-based visual art. A new generation of rebels reworked dada aesthetics in the design of flyers, zines, and studio art. Some of the most interesting work was done by the musicians themselves. The bridge that formed between music and visual art inaugurated a hybridity now common in studio practice where art history shares equal space with movies, music, and television as source material for artists. 

See work by:
David J. Hastings
Tomata Du Plenty
J.C. Garrett
Fayette Hauser
V. Vale
Matt Heckert
Raymond Pettibon
and more....

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