Saturday, April 07, 2007

Blank Generation comes in spurts... Show # 140

Richard Hell was one of the originators of punk in the CBGB's scene. Richard Hell (real name Richard Myers) is known for his fashion, poetry and music. He would move to New York (originally he was from Lexington, Kentucky) to join his friend Tom Miller (later he would change his name to Tom Verlaine) and the two formed the Neon Boys in 1972. They would be a three piece with Hell on bass, Verlaine on guitar and Billy Ficca on drums. The group would not last long and would eventually the Neon Boys would Morph into the band known as Television. Richard Hell would not last long in Television due to the positions of creative control within the band. It has been said that Verlaine eventually refused to play Richard Hell written songs and would tell Hell to stop jumping around on stage during the songs. Despite this Richard played with Television for a short while, Hell would leave in 1975 along with his compositions. It was around this time that The New York Dolls split up and guitarist Johnny Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan were looking for a new group. Lasting for approximately eight months, Richard Hell briefly played Bass with Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers. He would quit due to various reasons, one being that he felt cramped and was not very happy with the musical situation amongst the band.

A few months after this, Hell formed his own band. They would be known as Richard Hell & the Voidoids. Consisting of Hell on bass, Ivan Julian on guitar, Robert Quine on guitar and Marc Bell on drums (later he would be known as Marky Ramone), the bands first release was The Blank Generation EP in 1976. It only featured three songs, "Blank Generation", "You Gotta Lose", and "(I Could Live With You In) Another World". In 1977 Blank Generation was released on Sire Records. Being the bands first full length album, It is a punk classic from the era which was fresh and both artistic. The album would feature songs such as "Blank Generation", "Love Comes in Spurts", "Liars Beware" and "Betrayal Takes Two". It should be noted that the versions of "Blank Generation" and "(I Could Live With You In) Another World" on the Blank Generation LP are different than the versions found on the Blank Generation EP.

The group would play among the CBGB's crowd alongside Blondie, Ramones and Talking Heads. Hell would wear a fashion style of ripped clothing that would become known as the punk fashion in the UK when punk broke there in 1977. The band would open for the Clash, but they would never gain the popularity of a band such as The Clash or Sex Pistols. They did not tour enough to support their albums. The group seemingly broke up, but in 1982 they returned minus guitar player Ivan Julian. In 82, Destiny Street was released. The album would feature covers and few new compositions. The band gained new members Naux as the second guitarist and Fred Maher on drums (Marc Bell left to become a member of the Ramones during the Voidoids hiatus). The album would feature six new compositions (one B-side), and three covers (the Kinks, Them, and Bob Dylan). After this the group once again failed to tour behind the album, and would break up.

In the 80's Hell would continue to do poetry and was in a few movies. In 1980 he was in the film Blank Generation, and in 1985 he was in Desperately Seeking Susan with Madonna. In 1984 a collection of outtakes was released titled R.I.P., and later Funhunt (a live album). Hell would be involved with various smaller musical projects, in 1992 he joined Dim Stars (a group that had Quine from the Voidiods and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth) and would release an album. He would release various novels of his poetry, and in the late 90's he was featured in a book called Please Kill Me : The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. In 2000, the Voidoids reformed with the original line-up and recorded a new song "Oh". In 2005, Spurts: The Richard Hell Story would be released, an anthology cataloging Hell's career with various groups.

I also played two new Arctic Monkeys tracks "The Bad Thing", and "Old Yellow Bricks" which is on their new upcoming album Your Favorite Worst Nightmare. The album isn't released until April 24th, but if you look hard enough on the net you can find it. I also suggest if you do download it and you like it, go and buy it when it comes out on April 24th, as I will be doing.

Here's the play list:

1. Sex Pistols – problems
2. Chuck Berry – too much monkey business
3. The Kinks – harry rag
4. Scavengers – money in the bank
5. Buzzcocks – paradise
6. The Demics – new york city
7. Teenage Head – picture my face
8. Gruesomes – what’s your problem?
9. Los Strait Jackets - all day and all of the night
10. Richard Hell & The Voidoids – kid with the replaceable head
11. Richard Hell & The Voidoids – time
12. Generation X – flash as hell
13. Public Image Limited – analisa
14. Wire – outdoor miner
15. The Police – does everyone stare
16. Neil Young – cowgirl in the sand
17. Modernettes – I can only give you everything
18. Marble Index – I don’t wan to try and change your life
19. The Stooges – greedy awful people
20. The Stooges - she took my money
21. The Briefs – stuck on you
22. The D4 – exit to the city
23. Sloan - nothing lasts forever anymore
24. Sloan – back stabbin’
25. Arctic Monkeys – the bad thing
26. Arctic Monkeys - old yellow bricks

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