Faceless in ‘98
That’s a sketch by a guy named Chris Hower, from a photo taken after a show at a venue called The Khyber Pass in Philadelphia, May 10, 1998. Quite obviously, the faces were never filled in, which is, also quite obviously, what makes it great. Plus, it’s hard to draw faces. And how does that saying go? If you can remember what your face looked like on May 10, 1998, you probably weren’t there. Something like that.
Anyhow, here’s that photo:
I like the hint of the feet on the back of the Revenge Is Sweet… CD and how the fat guy in the background looking at the calendar is the most completely rendered bit. Also how the obscured details of my Coca-cola “Project Compass — Making Good Things Happen” shirt make it no less baffling than the full original design. (As I explained in a re-post, the shirt appears to have been from some sort of corporate training retreat, and was acquired from a thrift shop in — I think — Atlanta, which was better than doing laundry.)
Anyhow, this is all from a couple of posts on the Facebook thing this past week (here and here) — the comments are a bit heartwarming all told. I remember this show, in that I remember that it happened and recall being in the club, which was in an awkwardly-shaped oblong room upstairs from a restaurant. I think the guarantee was partly paid in sandwiches. Or curries, maybe? There was also, I believe, a rambling, confusing, possibly dangerous, and plausibly even slightly dissolute aftermath in the streets of Philly, the details of which are mercifully absent from my memory. It could well have been another night, though. That’s rock and roll, probably. It’s better without a face, honestly. I’m glad, though, that a bit of it got preserved.
So that’s my intro done, except to say, as usual, that this is the Dr Frank Weakly Reader, that thing I do where I produce an expanded, annotated, illustrated re-cap of the week’s doings, as an index in case any of it should need finding in future. This one covers two weeks rather than the usual one on account of last Friday coming after Thanksgiving (hence the “incl.”) If you look at it, which I doubt, I hope you like it.
With that out of the way, on to the weak that was.
— Merry Christmas from MTX Island: Sounds Radical is doing its usual Christmas thing, with an MTXMAS discount and a new Christmas ornament and shirt, designed by our good friend our man Klode (Malloon.)
The new stuff is super cool, I think, but some stuff from previous years is still available (while it lasts) so check it out if that sounds like something you’d like to check out.
(Now in festive purple.)
— Livin’ on covid time update: RAD-014–7, the Sounds Radical remastered re-issue of the “Alternative Is Here to Stay” / “New Girlfriend” seven inch has suffered the customary Covid-19 delays, but the latest word is that the product has at long last arrived at Sounds Rad HQ and the mailing will begin on Friday, that is, today.
That includes the special limited extra deluxe red and smoke vinyl “dibs” copies, of course, but also the second pressing on opaque red, which are still available to those as wants them, as well as other related and not-so-related objects.
MTX ON THE ROCKS
— The way we how used to look like: believe it or not, this pic (taken at the Little Farm at Tilden) was in the Sept. ’88 issue of Creem. Rod Stewart was on the cover. 1st pic with those heart glasses. Boy howdy.
— Mega Happy Funtime? Or hellish nightmare? “Christine Bactine” on repeat, 160 times.
— Donna Reed is not my mom: a guy on twitter cited the MTX cover of REM’’s “Can’t Get There from Here” as an example of covers that “get the words wrong,” apparently unaware that they’re wrong on purpose.
— Shapes: some old MTX shirts you probably forgot about.
— MTX through the ages: Mark Murphy continues posting pics of his complete collection of the Lookout catalogue one by one, reaching LK 144 (Night Shift…) and LK 145, the 1997 Lookout re-issue of the 1989 Rough Trade Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood e.p. I took the opportunity to complain yet again about how those tapes (the two track remix) have vanished without trace.
— The entire MTX pedal steel corpus: if corpus is the word I want. A guy on FB asks: "Anyone else ever wish MTX woulda utilized that pedal steel more? It sounds so god damn good on Hella Dumb.”
That’s what happened. A whole lot more about “Hell of Dumb” and the pedal steel part therein may be found in this old Song for Odin “minor secrets” write up.
— And, speakin of Odin: two Wednesdays, two Songs for Odin.
Two: Dr Frank — “Mr Ramones”, live in Aachen, Germany, October 3, 2012:
“Minor secrets” here. I mentioned that “RAMONES ARE GOD” is the inscription in the dead wax of side two of Everybody’s Entitled… and by way of documentation Hakker Shorts took a photo (which isn’t the easiest thing to do, if you’ve ever tried):
Songs for Odin playlist here. If you’re curious about the Songs for Odin stats, we’re up to 156 entries covering 123 different songs. If we reach 200, maybe we’ll hang it up. We’ll see.
THE DR FRANK SCENE
God bless Bill McNally’s: Bill McNally’s is an Irish pub on College Avenue in Oakland, founded in 1933 (the legend goes) the day Prohibition ended. It’s been boarded up for what seems like forever, like a lot of places these days but moreso. But all of a sudden now they’ve built some outdoor booths and they’re back in business. They’ll serve you a Guiness outdoors if you buy a token pasty thing for $5. Deal.
Word on the street is our terrible governor, Gavin Gruesome, is gearing up to close everything down again, and that may well be the end of the new Bill McNally’s and the start of yet another Prohibition. But it sure tasted good while it lasted. Sláinte.
— Statue of a Naked Lady with a Clock Where Her Stomach Ought to Be: As you’ve gathered, I called a lid on the Weakly Reader last week because of Thanksgiving. Instead I re-posted this thing I wrote about the sad, instructive tale of Allan Sherman.
— Syd Barrett, Dan Treacy, Dr Frank, Vista Blue… and my stupid big blue toy ring. Matt over on FB posted this pic of the imprint of the Show Business Is My Life CD along with a link to Vista Blue’s “I Don’t Know Where Dr Frank Lives.” Just a thing that happened.
LAPTOP FILM FESTIVAL
— a/k/a Lid Cinema: also in the meantime, if you’re looking for something to do, you could do worse than to watch Gregory Peck in The Million Pound Note, a 1954 film based on the Mark Twain novella, which I just discovered is on YouTube entire. Worth it. They don’t make ’em like this no more.
— Found in the street: a translation of Caesar’s commentaries that refers to the various tribal states of Gaul by the modern names of their geographical locations. Hilarity ensues.
I thought pulling out my old “Bootsy Collins was a member of Parliament” gag was all there was to put this one to bed with, but I did some googling and found that the translator in question, one Somerset de Chair, was quite a character. Randy Flashman type rogue, if you know what I mean. Check out his obituary in The Independent: “He was a man who could have gone to the top — a great man. He just lost it by being a bit naughty.”
— The Franchise Affair: That time (1971) when they used Debbie Harry’s head on the cover of a paperback edition of Josephine Tey’s The Franchise Affair. (A good book, by the way, if you don’t already know it.)
— Roman calendar: Presentation of the Virgin; Saint Cecilia in marble; Saint Felicitas with the heads of her seven sons; Saint Chrysogonus on horseback in relief; three Catherinettes, on the Feast of St. Catherine 1958; Nikon the Metanoeite; Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal; Saint Fionnchu of Bangor; ad te levavi, first Sunday of Advent; Saint Andrew; Saint Eligius weighing saddles; to mark the feast of Saint Bibiana, the church of Santa Bibiana in Rome, an early Bernini masterpiece, now neglected and crumbling; Sophonias / Zephaniah in stained glass; Saint Barbara Crushing her Infidel Father, with a Kneeling Donor…
— Thanksgiving style: Susan Dey dressed like a Pilgrim, with blunderbuss; Jughead on Puritans and pizza; three little pilgrims; Elizabeth Montgomery dressed as a Puritan, with a turkey leg; Jell-o makes leftover turkey taste like Thanksgiving all over again…
— … and finally:
And that’ll wrap it up, so to speak, for this pre-Christmas double issue of the Dr Frank Weakly Reader. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s some more Christmas.
See you next week.