Monday, September 15, 2008

October 26, 1977 — the day after the Zoo show

"No further ado: What's Happening In Phoenix. Well, uh, you know . . . not much. Patti Smith was at the Celebrity Theatre last November and managed to alienate the 51 per cent of the audience who came to see the opening act, Bruce Springsteen's buddy, Southside Johnny . . . Lou Reed was here not long after and threatened to hit someone in the first row with his mike stand . . . Iggy was scheduled to be here November 11 or 12 or 13 (I forget which) with a Mr. D. Bowie playing keyboards in his band but apparently no one in town took up the option, so . . .

Yeah, well, have to admit it; until the aforementioned Evening At The Zoo [which was actually the second Consumers show], Phoenix New Wave fanatics have had to make the considerable journey overland to Los Angeles if they wanted to be the latest with the greatest or something similar. The opportunities have been great, though were one willing and able to make the trip. I personally know a person who saw The Damned's now-historic, near-legendary appearance there (it gets closer to being mythic every day) as well as The Jam, (an interesting English trio who wear suits and ties and reportedly like the Queen) DEVO, The Weirdos, Blondie, The Avengers, all sorts of interesting people.

But then again I'm supposed to be telling you reasons why you should want to stay in Phoenix so that you can pick up this paper so that the advertisers will know you're there so that the fine folks who run this thing will see fit to pay me twice as much next time so's I can . . . Anyway, suddenly there are all kinds of reasons for you to do all of the above — Phoenix is on the verge of, on the very brink of having a burgeoning New Wave scene of its very own — and you'll have to admit that would make things much easier than going to LA, not to mention New York or London.

Certainly the stellar attraction of Phoenix' New Wave . . . uh, scene? Community? Eruption? (I keep thinking of all the Neat comparisons I could be drawing between "Arizona's Ocean, Big Surf" and the local New Wave) . . . stellar attractions around here are The Consumers. I guess the way most of us became aware of their existence was through the posters they so thoughtfully plastered through much of the known city. Apparently they're diligent little devils — the posters all seem to have different embellishments and alterations.

". . . Song titles are extremely important since I don't have thge space to type out the lyrics and I don't really know them anyway and even though I could hum some of the songs for you now, you couldn't hear them anyway, so, as I pointed out only moments ago, titles are extremely important. Included in The Consumers semi-vast repertoire are such gems as "Media Ogre" (Clue! Say it six times fast), "Anti Anti Anti," "Concerned Citizen," and "Chuck Ives." Plus lots more. While I hate to show favoritism in situations like these, it should be pointed out that The Consumers far outstrip The Liars when it comes to song quantity. When it comes to quality . . . well, if you'd only been there last night, you could have judged for yourself. If you'd only been there...

All of which is not to say that The Liars's songs have deficient titles or anything. How're ya gonna top "Just Like Your Mom," "Bionic Girl" or "Enema Gift"? Nope can't say The Liars are lacking when it comes to song titles — nor names neither. Sacreligious as it may seem, the bassist repeatedly assured me that his name is Don Bolles, that Bill Close is the drummer and that the guy on guitar and vocals is John E. Precious. . .

While I'm at it, The Consumers are aka Billy Rocket, guitars; Spiro "Lowball" Keats, vocals and stuff; Tom Tomm, drums; Bill Fold, bass; and Pam Simp, guitars. . . and as to Browbeat, once again, it supposedly is out but I don't know anybody who's got one or knows where to get one or anything about it, so that pretty much wraps that up. Oh yeah. The bassist for The Liars — I'm not going to name him again — you know what it is and I don't want to get blamed for it; direct all complaints in his direction — said to be sure and mention that they don't want nothin' to do with the New Wave. "We're Permanent Wave," says he.

excerpt from New Times, October 26, 1977

(We actually picked up copies of this after we left the Zoo, as it had just hit the street that very night.)

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