Paul Fuzz Presents: Flew In From Miami Beach BOAC
Paul Fuzz Threatened By Hells Angels
Or, more accurately, the Hells Angel's lawyers. Yessir, earlier this week I recieved an official e-mailed notification from a Norse- looking man-mountain on a motorbike demanding that I cease using the Hells Angels 'Deaths Head' insignia on my myspace profile (I'm sorta obsessed with the early Jack Nicholson 'Hells Angels On Wheels' 60s biker movie at the moment) , or face the wrath of the club's legal department. Guys, guys, guys. Has it really come to this? What's happened to you? You should be responding to this outrage with mindless, chain swinging violence, not calling in Johnny Q Law to do yer dirty work for ya! Burn my house down! Stomp my head you muvvas! What, you're menna be some sorta legitimate organisation
now, huh? I suppose you don't smuggle narcotics or run numbers any more neither? Jeez louise. Your lawyers?
You ought be ashamed of yourselves. Did Stinky Pete and Kiny Joe die in vain? What would Big Murderous Psycho Dave think? It used to be a guy would just look at one of you wrong and you'ld be all over him like a pack o' greasy grizzly bears. Hard to rev a Harley in a Paul Smith suit, huh guys? So anyway, I was real dissapointed that I wasn't subject to a bone fide 'STOMPING' (Just think! The ultimate Gonzo Journalist induction - a biker boot to the face, just like ol' Hunter S!), but not so dissapointed that I didn't remove the image instantly like the cowerdly whitebread liberal I so obviously I am. Still, made my week. I'm on some sorta list, apparently. Now I just need Apple to sue me for this blog and George Lucas to sue me for my handcrafted Star Wars thimbles, and I'll be all set.
For Pete's Sake
NME HEROES #2: Pete Doherty
"OK, so we're a bit surprised by your choice on this one...yes, there was a time when Peter Doherty lived his life with unrivalled romantic zest, when he represented a truly anti-establishment voice...but is he still your hero?... Surely he's no longer anti-establishment, surely he's just a worn-out drug addict who needs help again if he's ever going to make decent music again. Don't you deserve better?"
While the block-headed opinions of the NME's readership (expressed in illiterate, bile-spewing, incoherent, ill-thought out diatribes weekly in the letters pages) must frequently depress & frustrate the staff of that paper (who are constantly reminded that they are writing for a bunch of shmucks) , it is almost unheard of for the NME to openly lambast and despair at them in print. Pete Doherty was voted this week by NME readers as their #2 ALL TIME HERO OF ROCK & ROLL, (A Mr K Cobain of Seattle, Washington, was first) beating off competition from arguably more deserving artists like Bob Dylan, Elvis, that kid from The Arctic Monkeys etc etc.
I certainly shared the surprise expressed by the NME. Like; 'Doherty? Still? Really?' Even if they had chosen not to respond in the exasperated way that they did, I would have strongly suspected that behind the scenes they were throwing their hands up in disbelief that their readers were that dumb.
But to have that image confirmed by a lengthy, sustained rant at their expense...jeez, that was quite a shock. I don't doubt for a moment that the diatribe was penned with some intention of provoking venomous death threats from Pete-o-philes, but the overall feeling I got from the piece was something much more than simple button-pressing - ie a genuine desire to HAMMER HOME how much the NME disagrees with it's readers continued deification of a character that they themselves have recognised for some time as the washed up, sad, junkie scumbag that any right-thinking person knows he is.
In NME world this is, I think, a pretty big deal. This was a poll voted for by thousands of readers. The NME didn't treat any other rock star it's readers voted for with anything but the sort of un-blinking reverence you would expect from this sort of exercise. It wasn't like the whole thing was like:#6 - Thom YorkeThom York? That whiney guy from Radiohead? Are you frikking kidding us here? We bring you exciting new bands every week and you're still voting for this chump? What the hell's wrong with you people?#24 - BonoBono?
I mean, Bono, fercryingoutloud. Y'know, if the NME had wanted to make a point of disagreeing in print with all the reader's choices they considered ill judged, they woulda been there all week. But they didn't. Which is why the 'WHY THE HELL DO YOU GUYS STILL LIKE THIS JERK' Doherty thing is so remarkable. However...at Number One is none other than Kurt Cobain, the BIGGEST HERO OF NME READERS TODAY, who of course was a smack addled rock star so messed up that he shot himself, making him arguably a man even less deserving of our reverence that Doherty, and therefore even more
deserving of the NME's frustration at it's readers reverence of him...
And Captain Beefheart didn't even place. Shocking.
Bring On The Backlash
The hipster's revenge. The method by which The Cooler Than Thou re-establish their credentials as real down cats who know where it's at
. The art of Being Bored. You think liking stuff
is important? Fergeddit, grandad. If you really wanna get with it, you gotta not like
stuff. Specifically, you gotta not like stuff two weeks before everybody stops liking it. Every cultural phenonemon has a sell-by-date. But it ain't like The Arctic Monkeys have got it stamped on their asses, no sir. You gotta figure it out for yourself. You gotta get that Backlash sense tingling.
I'm all for a good backlash. Pre-empting a backlash is a sweet feeling. "Aw, yeah, I dug some of that first Arctic Monkeys LP, some of the lyrics are pretty good, but, I mean, the music ain't all that special, couple of good tunes I guess, but I'm really just sorta bored of the whole thing now.
" Liking something first has nothing
liking something first.
BUT!!!Not everything needs a backlash.
I've been disturbed recently by a number of people, often people younger than myself but occasionally peers, who when the subject of The Simpsons has come up have adopted the classic hipster sneer & asked 'aw, yeah, but have you seen
'Family Guy?' I'm sorry: HUH??!! HAVE I 'SEEN' 'FAMILY GUY?' WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? WHY ARE YOU EVEN SUGGESTING AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE SIMPSONS? Are you suggesting some sort of...SIMPSONS BACKLASH??
I mean, seriously. This is backlash madness. Not everything demands a backlash. Dig this: SOME THINGS ARE JUST GOOD.
The world does not want a Simpsons backlash. The Simpsons does in NO WAY deserve a backlash. These people are so crazed by their desperate, insatiable lust for Backlash Cool that they'll slander anything. I'm not a reverent guy, and I'm pretty happy to hear constructive criticism of even those icons I consider personal holy cows, but this "I'm So Cool I Don't Even Like The Simpsons" attitude...jeez. Who needs it? What sort of cred obsessed, mean-spritited, wrong-headed fool would think they're impressing me with with this foolishness?
Anyway, everybody knows the real US comedy hangin' for a backlash is 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. THE NOT AS GOOD AS 'SEINFELD'
The Paul Fuzz E-Z Do-It-Yourself Gig Review
There was a time (late sixties-mid /late seventies) when rock music journalism was taken very seriously. This is because journalists like Greil Marcus & Lester Bangs took rock music seriously, and wrote about it with the intelligence & respect it deserves, whilst developing, experimenting & grappling with a form of free-wheeling post-beat literature which they hoped would reflect the innovation, vitality, energy and newness of the subject about which they were writing. Bangs in particular was determined to re-shape the restless speed freak prose of Kerouac et al into a meaningful way of writing about The Stooges. Reviews could be 20 pages, they could be a paragraph. They could barely mention the LP they were ostensibly meant to be about, or they could be intricate, detailed song by song dissections. Sadly, Bang's legacy is almost nowhere to be seen. Rock journalism has become formulaic, indistinct from writing about movies or books, & generally saying nothing in it's form or tone about it's subject matter. I was reading the live music reviews in Sandman magazine yesterday and was utterly depressed; every review was around 400 words, there were no 'think pieces,' every review has a basic three act structure & every review was incredibly bland...every review was exactly the same. And suddenly it dawned on me: why are all these kids bustin' their humps churning out slight variations on a theme, when all they need is a simple tick-box gig review template that they can complete and submit for every review? AND HERE IT IS!!!
THE PAUL FUZZ E-Z DIY GIG REVIEW: CIRCLE THE RELEVENT OPTION AND E-MAIL TO THE NME FOR INSTANT SUPER COOL ROCK JOURNO STATUS! LITERALLY ANYONE CAN DO IT!!
I arrived at (insert venue)
(a) wearing a hat
(b) on camel
(c) really drunk, man, like, I’m a bad ass rock journalist
, I could be in a band if I wanted but I'm TOO CRAZY
(d) a bit late.
The first band were called:
(a) The Sheffields (from Croydon)
(b) !HEY, THOSE ARE MY SHOES!
(c) Hitler’s Reanimated Brain
(d) Definitely Indie: Classic Indie Covers inc. Oasis & Blink 182.
And they played a song called:
(a) That Tramp Who Sits Outside The Job Centre Plus In Town’s A Right Smelly Tramp
(b) Panic! At Clarks
(c) Hitlers Reanimated Brain Vs Platypus Man
And I thought they were:
(a) whatever current NME editorial policy says they are
(b) not as good as my mate’s band The Retarded Snakes, check out retardedsnakes.myspace
(c) a bit like The Beatles
Then I had to go home because I:
(a) was forcibly removed from the premises following a pepper spray related ‘incident’
(b) had to pick my Mum up from her Pilates class
(c) was actually trying to find a Starbucks & had wandered into the wrong place
(d) took a good, long hard look at my life & realised that hangin’ round rock music venues writing about rock music is sort of a waste of everybody’s time, specifically mine. If you wanna find out about a band go check out their myspace whydoncha.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU'RE A ROCK JOURNALIST!