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August 29, 2002

DARBY CUTESY! (Pictured right, self-destructoid Darby Crash & alleged boyfriend Donnie Rose from LEXICON DEVIL)

I just finished reading Feral House's new LEXICON DEVIL: THE FAST TIMES & SHORT LIFE OF DARBY CRASH & THE GERMS. It brought back a lot of memories. I used to be a big Germs fan. But what got me was the familiarity of so many of the stories even though I was punkin' out far from LA where The Germs came from. My first band similarly was made up of a bunch of suburban brats that didn't know how to play but somehow got on some punk bills which forced us to learn. The book's an oral history just like PLEASE KILL ME, anecdotally detailing the hell-raising gigs that kept getting them banned & the making of all their phenomenal releases up until David Bowie-obsessed singer Crash self-destructed in 1980 replete with suicide note & massive heroin OD. Good gossip from early LA (pre-hardcore) punk bands like The Weirdoes, Black Randy & The Metro Squad, X, & The Screamers (who I saw The Normals open for in Montreal in the late seventies & where ex-Devices bass player DAVE HILL scored his (now ultra-rare) copy of The Germs' 2nd 45, NO GOD, that initially turned me on to them). Crash's influences: Oswald Spengler, L. Ron Hubbard, Friederich Nietzsche, Bowie, Hitler, Manson & Mussolini. Needless to say he had a fascistic outlook towards rock & roll, entertaining visions of brainwashing & world domination. Judge for yourself how much his apocalyptic approach flakily rubbed off on me in the following diary entry below… (Incidentally, & furthering my case; back in the mid-eighties I received a backhanded compliment from Meat Puppets bassist Cris Kirkwood about one of my Devices songs, TRIGGER OFF… he said I sounded "Darby Cutesy")

Diary entry September 1, 1981: "We can begin to take over where The Germs left off & run all of America's minds & music our way, which will be your way once you join us too. But you won't join us until we've hit the perfect production track will you? You need some reflection of you screaming/complaining about things that you've just been taught was inside of you: by him… this guy you can scream along with. This communicator who's as vulnerable to trial & error (learning, not fear) as you, but can generate enough energy along with the music to have everyone die, including himself, for him/themselves with him. This supplier of confidence. I want to see him/be him, but I'm a "technical" part of this machine. My function is guitar. Without my guitar playing on cue I can't generate enough excitement/adrenaline confidence. We all need some confidence (our band & the unborn fans walking around out there). I don't want topics. I want life/death dramatics, which is what everything comes right down to in the end anyhow. I wanna play with the topical stuff as conversation games: The new ways of how to get what you want… The cool ways of how to go about fulfilling food, sex, curiosity/sex/curiosity/the tolerance of "lacks" of all these "wants." Someone has to play with all this stuff, keeping a very strong-but-subtle, scary-but-subliminal, chilling, warm, out of control, organized recruiting department over our fucking music, with it, in it, to it, from it, for it. Whatever the fuck, but soon, I want it to begin! I want to be on something that won't be able to stop not even from death. I want maximum response from the audience. They can't relate to the technicians, the instrumentalists alone, they need a character free from the mathematics of the group. Able to amplify the energy/adrenaline, take from the audience as well as the musicians & amplify the fucking beat & pound it synchronized. Fuck, I want The American Devices to be on the right track, like a train without brakes full with people, man!"

August 22, 2002

SUKUBUS! (pictured right: handbill)

There's a new cult video store in Montreal & believe or not it's in MY corner of town for a change. Only a couple weeks old & it's already gotten 203 memberships (the number on my card). No major advertising, just word of mouth (plus handbills, I presume) scored brief coverage in a few local papers. I was burnt out from walking around all Saturday so I didn't really take a gargantuan glimpse at what they've got in store, mainly 'cause it was so cram-packed with obscure goodies that I ran out of patience. So I guess I'll just have to be re-popping by aplenty. They had cool action figures on display depicting the gory ear-slicing sequence from RESERVOIR DOGS among others & b-movie posters galore up on the walls & for sale. Slim membership fee gets you 2 rentals, so I deliberately picked titles I'd never heard of before, like the early 70's MADHOUSE MANSION just because Marianne Faithful's in it & the early 60's DAISY CHAIN 'cause the box-art looked vaguely softcore & it's got Catherine Deneuve. Both films were bad beyond belief (not "good-bad," just plain bad-bad) but I could care less 'cause they were so odd & obscure that it means if Sukubus will bother to go as far as stocking such completist crap as that, I'll eventually be able dig up the wackiest selections. Owners told me they wanna branch out bringing in "cult" books too because of the complete dismal lack of likewise in Montreal lately. I bugged them to at least get Psychotronic Video Magazine since there's been nowhere to pick it up in town since forever. I'll work on 'em to try stocking Sleazoid Express too. They're working on cataloging all their titles and'll eventually be expanding their web site, so DO check it out, just a 5 minute walk from the Lasalle metro (3629 Wellington, Verdun, phone 514-765-3131).

Montreal's own Isabelle "Necrophilia" Stephen Tromette of the Month! Get past the infernal pop-ups & check her out at ...I even took a few of those pix in the gallery (skintight black mini on red couch).

August 15, 2002

MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN! Pictured below: Little Red Riding Hood wanders off the beaten path & falls into the hands of a Big Bad Wolf! (photo by Steve Requin)

Actual reason for this week's "bonus belated purgatory" (Eraserhead) is 'cause I was in NYC for a week, house-sitting an ex-MTL couple's handsome co-op in Jackson Heights, Queens (minutes from Manhattan by subway). Fuck did that ever do me some good. I set out to erase Montreal from my system for a spell & nothing does that better than distracting yourself with an even bigger shithole. When I'm down in the dumpster here, I find I have no choice but to grin & bear it but NYC seems to have a multitude of distractions 'round every corner. Free ride back & forth & a free place to stay; how could I resist? I did the Eraserhead strip ahead of time for the print version of Motion Picture Purgatory, but I wasn't able to Snubdomize in time so this week gets you 2 reviews. The folks that got me to NYC wanted me along for the ride because I agreed to cameo as a washed-up, has-been, never-was rockstar in their homemade film (gee, what a stretch). I'm supposed to corrupt a poor little innocent Isabelle "Necrophilia" Stephen (pictured above) in the slasher parody they're presently producing. The crew settled at Staten Island so they could more easily hook up with local resident & Troma heavy (circa 500 lbs.), Joe Fleishaker (Citizen Toxie), who plays Necrophilia's worrisome pop. After the shoot, the crew cleared out of the hotel room so Joe could take private jaw-dropping cheesecake pix of Necrophilia & the actress that plays a cop that kicks the shit out of me, Suzi Shareaux (below). To insure myself a good vantage point witnessing this lurid display I more than agreed to be the actor playing the part of Joe's "assistant cameraman" for this shoot.

Pictured below: Up-and-coming glamorpuss "Necrophilia" gives us the evil eye & strikes a "look what I can do but you can't" pose with rising supermodel Suzi Shareaux... (photo by Rick Trembles)

I checked out what a friend suspects is the only "anglo bar" left in Jackson Heights for a couple of Corona's & lime & I couldn't believe how it was just like the Archie Bunker sitcom (situated in Queens). All these grumbling old dudes watching football, cussing & muttering "this ain't Ecuador" before stumbling home blind drunk. Cozy. The 'hood I was in was all Hispanic, Colombian, Mexican, Ecuadorian, I couldn't even get directions in English off the street. I walked for hours without seeing one English store. Bookstores? Forget about it (hey, just like St-Henri). The main drag was ultra-funky, always cram-packed, a kick to walk around in, earsplitting elevated trains constantly blasting by & hot mamas sweating in the heat, 'though I was told the more eye-catching ones could probably be chix w/dix 'cause a good portion of the bars on that strip are apparently transsexual (post-op or not) pickup joints. Rather than chance a case of Montezuma's Revenge with mystery-meat menus I couldn't make out, I lived on 99-cent Taco Bell bean burritos (why the hell doesn't MTL have a single one of these fast food joints? I'd swap all the fucken MacDognalds in this city for just one TB). Turn a corner & suddenly you're in India, surrounded by mouthwatering spice restaurants & endless Bollywood DVDs. Around the world in 40 minutes.

You'd think a peak humidity heat wave in one of the densest cities on earth would kill an asthmatic like me but it actually cleaned me out. I joked before leaving that if my allergies vanish when I'm in NYC, I'm moving there & sure enough they vamoosed by day one. The month preceding my trip in MTL it hurt to swallow & I had laryngitis-like symptoms. Hypochondria set in making me wonder "what the fuck am I dying from now," but whatever's in the air in NYC cleared it up. Maybe it's the salty sea breeze, maybe it's psychosomatic. Someone told me cutbacks in MTL have been increasingly dictating that the usual annual ragweed eradication's been dwindling more & more. That would make sense since my summer allergies have been gradually increasing over the years. Fuck it, I bet it's global warming.

I made absolutely sure to visit Coney Island so I could touch the ocean & eat fried clams. Lucked out & got there Friday night for the weekly fireworks show & managed to ride the fabled ancient Cyclone Roller Coaster right into the smoke as they were exploding. The Cyclone's not so show-offy tall but it's considered one of the best in the world because it's so jerky & loud. The vibrating violence of the ride acted as a massage for my tired bones from walking around every day with a knapsack full of freshly purchased film books impossible to find in MTL (where I blew most of my wad).

Yes, I hung out on the Lower East Side. Still seems kinda "happening" below Houston. Happy-hour price wars keep watering holes reasonably priced. I dropped by SWIM like NYC cartoonist Jenny (Mz Pakman) Gonzalez recommended me'cause she told me she was sure the DJ would play a tune off my band's CD if I said I knew her. Sure enough it didn't take much convincing, but while I was dropping her name, who happens to be standing right next to me? Herself! Didn't recognize her since last time we met at Danny Hellman's Legal Action Comix CBGB's vernisage last year. Speaking of cartoonist Hellman, Jenny suggested I also check out a birthday party he was having at a bar a block away the next evening. But before that, she said I should drop by the comix jam occurring that very moment 'round the corner at Max Fish & contribute a few doodles. But when am I gonna find the time to crash the BYOB open-mike spoken-word show across the street later that night at The Collective Unconscious that underground filmmaker Nick Zedd told me he was escorting elf-eared moderator Rev. Jen to earlier, when I spotted him on a street corner while I was eating at the (excellent/cheap) "Turkish Kebab House" on Houston & Orchard? (I dropped my lahmajun & ran after him asking if he was doing any screenings that night). See? Within the space of an hour or so, all kinds of potential shit "happening." By the way, the comic jam was identical in every way to Montreal's own, & what I caught of the open mike word show was funny, more like racy standup comedy where a fistfight could break out at any moment. Performers are given a set time to spill their guts & when the bell goes off, they're history.

And yes, I visited "Ground Zero." The day after the movie shoot, Necrophilia hooked up with a native New Yorker photographer that wanted to take risqué pictures of her at some landmarks. Pix were snapped across river from the U.N. building (he insisted we were most likely being watched, maybe even from security snipers' cross-hairs, our location being so choice for potential cannon-bombers), we did Times Square (haven't been there in a decade, fuck has the onslaught of building-length ads gotten ever excessively high-tech & dizzying. How does anyone ever drive down that street without plowing down pedestrians from all the distractions?). Ground Zero had an endless procession of tourists lining up to catch glimpses of… well, nothing. The guy said he didn't want to take any lurid shots there because it could raise the ire of possible mourners present. He pointed out where the particular sidewalk we were walking on had one of the flaming airplane fuel tanks crash & burn bystanders & showed us a huge dent from falling debris in one of the big black buildings across the street. He said there used to never be any sunlight where we were standing because of the massive towers. I thought it was ridiculously strange following the gawking crowd of nothing-seekers but seeing a passenger jet fly across the skyline where the towers were supposed to be gave me a creepy twinge/flashback. Necrophilia said she didn't feel comfortable being there. I bought a commemorative World Trade Center snow-globe for my mom for 5 bucks (she specifically asked for one) from a street vendor around the memorial-draped church facing the hole. It's pretty cool, it has the miniature towers in there, surrounded by tiny, badly hand-drawn cop cars, ambulances & fire engines. When you shake it, red white & blue stars flutter around.

August 1, 2002

I wrote a poem about the heat...


The heat, the heat, it's too hot to think. The heat, the heat, my armpits stink. The heat, the heat, gimme something to drink. The heat, the heat, it's too humid to continue writing this poem.

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