Picked the wrong week to give up absinthe…
Hello, and welcome, I suppose, to this week’s Dr Frank Weakly Reader. I do this each week. (Though sometimes we skip a week and catch up in a subsequent week — ed.) The basic idea is to kludge a rough index to my internet “content”, since social media generally doesn’t archive or index anything and is not reliably searchable. Sometimes I want to go back and find stuff and recall what happened and how and when, which used to be easy in the days of the “blogosphere” (all those permalinks and archives.) I do it mainly for my own use, but as always I encourage you, if you’re out there, to read along if you want
It has been quite a week, with the extended tax deadline looming and various other bureaucratic and legal matters procrastinated into crises that finally came to a head in one fell swoop. (Don’t ask.) Plus the resurgence of unhealthy-to-very-unhealthy smoke in the air — I’ve determined that going into the red sparks at least three different kinds of headache, all at once, one of them severe enough to be at least mildly debilitating at a time when ableness would certainly come in handy. Not to mention the Red Menace, i.e., the tax headache. Nor to mention the pandemonium-ian social and cultural collapse that just keeps on collapsing and collapsing.
And yet, one does what one can, limping along manfully.
As for the absinthe — well, that’s an inside joke, I suppose, only vaguely related to anything. But the phrase occurred to me when I was staring at the title space in this write-up and I was transported, vaguely, all the way back to 1992.
We were, like most bands, mostly beer-oriented in those days. But then we went to Spain. And Spain was different.
The picture at the head was taken in Zaragoza, during our first European tour in 1992, in the midst of a legendarily crazy night after our show there with the band Girls Against Boys. The assignment, from the tour and show organizers, was to stay up later and get more wasted and self-destructive and debilitated than even Jawbreaker had done a few months before — they’d held the previous record, apparently.
And, well, we gave it a shot and… “won.”
It was certainly the most seriously sordid and debauched night of my life, by pretty much any measure; but also, I remember very little of it with any specifity. (It’s not rocket science, that.)
What I do remember is Jon von’s absinthe odyssey that night. If I recall correctly, the proverbial “green goddess” was illegal in the US at the time, but freely available in Spain, and Jon took the opportunity of drinking it in mass quantities during the set — and not just a bohemian, Romantic, dollop of the green goddess in a China cup strained delicately through a sugar cube, but rather absinthe on the rocks in great tall glasses, glowing with a pale green inner light. By the end of the set, he was flying, having a great time but clearly in an alternate reality. That’s rock and roll. Get down and get with it.
Soon thereafter, however, his spirit seemed to begin to leave his body. He basically turned into a punk rock rag doll. The powers that be, however, insisted that we continue the program of stopping in at each bar and club in the city limits, one by one, till we hit them all or till sunrise, whichever came soonest. That’s the Zaragoza way, evidently. So we obeyed our orders, carrying Jon from bar to bar, propping him up at our table when allowed to bring him in, leaving him outside with a guardian when he was refused entry. The other guy in that photo — if I have my GVB members straight in my still-a-bit-fuzzy head — Johnny of Soulside and latterly the founder of Akashic Books, took the precaution of asking Jon basic general-knowledge trivia questions along the way, like “who’s the President of the United States,” just to make sure he was still “in there,” somewhere. I don’t know how well that worked throughout the night. But one of my few distinct memories in that regard is that, at the very end, as the sun was coming up and we were all standing around in a park among Zaragoza’s other passed-out degenerates, dazed and confused, Jon finally began to to stir back into some semblance of conciousness. And he said three words: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
So it was okay in the end. A night I’ll never forget, except I’ve forgotten most of it. And even though it’s apropos of nothing in particular, like most things, that’s something to sort of hope for. Because Zaragoza was, in the end, survivable, and if you can survive Zaragoza, you can survive just about anything. Probably.
And now, on to the weak that was.
i.e., still, RAD-013, The Mr T Experience… and the Women Who Love Them re-issue on Sounds Radical…
— Beautiful photo and kind words from Justin Perkins, who mastered the heck out of this thing.
You can still get it (the tail end of the second pressing if I’m not mistaken) from Sounds Radical, or, theoretically, from other purveyors. I’m told, however, that the usual supply chains and infrastructure is a little rocky these days, what with the continuing end of the world, so expect some… idiosyncrasies. Going straight to the source (at the link) seems the best way to go from what I can tell.
— Brian appears to be in the process of collecting ’em all:
— Sweeping the nation: the RAD-014–7 test pressing, “teased.”
It sounds incredible. (Thanks, Justin.)
Records are great.
— Also, Mtx forever: still a thing:
MTX, THE THINKING MAN’S TOOTHPASTE
— Still life with King Dork and MTX records, via Instagram:
— Hallowe’en-iana: Hallowe’en starts now, that is yesterday…
—Song for Odin’s hiatus continues, but it won’t be long now. I was set to go, at least theoretically, but then decided that gathering my tax data so it could be filed by the deadline was a higher priority for what to do with the time I had available when the time came. If I miss a week of Odin, it’s a shame perhaps, but no one is going to threaten to put me in jail for it. Fingers crossed for next week!
In the meantime, I reposted this one:
DR FRANK GIVES THE NEWS
— It arose as a “memory”: just little old me in cloth cap and Crimpshrine shirt on the (no longer extant) KISS ARMY bench in Oakland. (Inset, left.)
At least I believe that bench is no longer extant. What is definitely extant, to my own surprise, is that shirt which dates back at least as far as 1989 and it still stronger than dirt and going strong. It is very thin and flimsy, but is the most resilient garment I’ve ever had.
Here’s to another thirty years.
— And some very kind words about Show Business Is My Life via Instagram.
As I said at the time, it’s amazing that people are still listening to it all these years later. And if you’re one of them: my thanks.
— Songwriting for Guitar Podcast, Episosde Four: once again, I am podcasted.
OTHER PEOPLE’S MUSIC
— Good morning world: Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin — “Je t’aime… moi non plus”.
— Roman calendar: Gideon of Manasseh (in what appears to be tapestry form); Saints Cosmas and Damian, illuminated; a thoroughly authentic beam-up woodcut; the sword of Wenceslas; the Archangel Michael smiting the dragon; Saint Jerome with lion, by Ajaccio Liberale da Verona; relief carving of Mirian III; Holy Guardian Angels, by way of Crowley’s Thoth deck…
— Your Window to the World: Vicki Witt in Playboy, playing pinball in Dittos and roller skates — an image which seemed to bring back lots of Dittos memories on the social medias, as it did in my own head (look left); there are two kinds of cave men; Brigitte Bardot and friend and friends; get yer acid, pot, and grass with Psychedelicsex Kicks; Honor Blackman and friends; where’s the fire, big boy, I want to chop it with my axe; just a girl in bikini and fins on horseback; since it’s October, a lady with a couple of bats on her head and bosom, respectively…
IN THE NEWS
And that’ll wrap it up for this hear weakly redder. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page:
See you next week.