MUSIC NEWS OF THE WORLD: End of An Era For The Ramones
END OF AN ERA FOR THE RAMONESAddicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: The Ramones played what they are saying was their final show on Tuesday night, August 6, at The Palace in Hollywood. The group's swan song performance was to have been held at the new Billboard Live club, but some permits hadn't been acquired, and the place was still being renovated, so the gig took place at the Palace. In any case, the group were in fine form, delivering a slash and burn set that included "Teenage Lobotomy, " "Do You Remember Rock & Roll Radio," "The KKK Took My Baby Away," Sheena Was a Punk Rocker," "Rockaway Beach," "Pet Sematary" and plenty more. And, yes, there were special guests. Tim Armstrong and Lars Fredericksen of Rancid joined the group on "53rd & 3rd," Soundgarden's drummer Matt Cameron strapped on a guitar for "Chinese Rocks," Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmeister played bass during the Motorhead homage to the Ramones, titled appropriately, "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." But of course a highlight of the night was when a figure wearing the infamous Pinhead mask sauntered on-stage, whipped if off, revealing that it was Eddie Vedder, who then joined in on an upbeat version of the Dave Clark Five's "Anyway You Want It." Adios Amigos. [Roy Trakin contributed to this report.]NEW NIRVANA: KRIST NOVOSELIC SAYS "CRANK THIS RECORD UP!"Addicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: "Nirvana started as a live band," writes former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, in the liner notes to the upcoming live Nirvana album, From the Muddy Banks of Wishkah. "Don't all bands? We played around for two years before the release of Bleach in June of 1989. Live shows were our bread and butter before the phenomenal release of Nevermind in September of 1991. We'd hit the road for months at a time. At the end of the tour we'd split one or two grand three ways, then call the tour a success." Novoselic listened to over 100 hours of live Nirvana material to assemble the 16 song album, which is due out Oct. 8. "In presenting this record I hope that the ultimate allure of Kurt and Nirvana's passion are brought to the forefront again, where it should be," writes Novoselic. "Let all the perspectives and analysis fade away like yellow, aged newsprint. Crank this record up! Realize the bliss of the power and passion! TOTAL NIRVANA!" Naturally there's a raging version of "(Smells Like) Teen Spirit," recorded at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in California on Dec. 28, 1991. Among the other songs appearing on the album that were recorded during that winter of '91 world tour: "Aneurysm" (Del Mar Fairgrounds), "Lithium" (Paradiso, Amsterdam, Nov. 25, 1991), "Spank Thru" (11 Castello Vi De Porta, Rome, Nov., 19, 1991) and "Negative Creep" (Paramount Theatre, Seattle, Oct. 31, 1991). From the In Utero tour of 1993-94 comes "Heart-Shaped Box" (Great Western Forum, L.A., Dec. 30, 1993) and "Milk It" from a Jan. 5, 1994 show at the Seattle Center Arena. Novoselic writes that the two earliest performances on the album, "Breed" (then called "Imodium") and "Polly" are off a sound board cassette recording of a show that took place at the Astoria in London on Dec. 5, 1989. And he notes that "Spank Thru" was the "first Nirvana song."MEKONS MULTIMEDIA "GREATEST HITS" COLLECTIONAddicted to Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: The members of the Mekons are a selfless bunch. Sure, they could scratch and scrape in a vain effort to attain personal satisfaction and individual acclaim, but that's just not how they work. In a 20-year career that has been rife with label fiascoes, dead-ends, unreleased albums, and several legendary ones that somehow did reach the shelves (The Mekons Rock 'n' Roll, Retreat From Memphis for starters), the restlessly creative group has redefined rock, punk, country, and now, multimedia. Mekons United is the name of a recent CD/book compilation uniting the music, writing and artwork of the various band members, but really it's more of an elaborate catalog for the Mekon art exhibit currently hanging at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida. The 70-minute CD is a sometimes scattershot sampling of the band's sprawling range, while the book slaps together color reproductions of paintings by various band members, next to essays from Lester Bangs and Greil Marcus and excerpts from Living In Sin , their self-described collaborative "novel-in-progress." For fans of the Mekons this is a (near) greatest hits package and career retrospective all in one; for neophytes, it is a sometimes daunting look at the artistic breadth of a band that does more than just play the rock and roll. According to sources, the Mekons plan to take their exhibit on the road to London next year, with a possible "tour" of a few U.S. cities still in the talking stages.DEVO STILL AHEAD OF THEIR TIMEAddicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg spoke with Devo backstage at Lollapalooza '96 on August 2. Here is his report: Nearly 20 years after Devo first unleashed their theory of de-evolution on an unsuspecting world, they have returned. And guess what? They are still ahead of their time, only spokesman Mark Mothersbaugh says that time has only proven that the "theory," is now confirmed fact. "I think de-evolution has been proven," Mothersbaugh, who sings, plays keyboards and co-writes the songs, told Addicted To Noise. "Fifteen, 20 years ago, people would say, 'Oh you guys just have a bad attitude, you're pessimists.' But we were just concerned citizens on planet earth. We were just trying to warn people about what was coming along. I mean just go out there and look at that [Lollapalooza] audience and watch the bands that are gonna be on stage today [August 2]. There's a lot of evidence that, unfortunately, Devo was right. We are much more devolved than we were 20 years ago."We couldn't help wondering how one of the most avant-garde bands of the '70s could come from a place like Akron, Ohio. "It was the only place we could come from," said Mothersbaugh. "While everyone out here [in San Francisco] was enjoying the Summer of Love, Akron, Ohio, was inundated with the Summer of Hate. We were in this culturally repressive wasteland, watching everything that was going on in the world. The five of us were going, 'what is happening to our planet?' The music happening [in the late '70s and early '80s] was Foreigner and Journey or disco. It was all pinheaded. There was nothing that connected up with anything else happening in our culture. Music was out to lunch somewhere and we were concerned about that. And it was good being in Akron. We were left to our own so we grew stronger for it. We were like Mr. T working out in the basement before he came out and kicked Rocky's ass."A new album in the works? Mothersbaugh was cagey, but did note that the group had contributed two songs to the just released Supercop soundtrack. He noted that there is an official Devo web site: www.mutato.comAnd, even in the '90s, Devo is still pulling a fast one on unknowing rock audiences. Talking about a Lollapalooza performance in Phoenix, Mothersbaugh said, "I raised my hand during 'Whip It' and they [the audience] all did devil horns [with their hands], so we faked them out."BELLY DISBANDS; DONELLY GOES SOLOAddicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: After two albums, the first of which spawned the inescapable hit "Feed the Tree," the second, King, which seemed to disappear without a trace, Belly have called it quits. According to a source familiar with the situation, the band, fronted by former Throwing Muses/Breeders member Tanya Donelly, amicably ended their three-year stint last month. Donelly is now hard at work on her solo debut, for which she has already recorded 17 demos, some of which feature ex-Pixies drummer David Lovering. The album is not expected to be released until mid-'97.OFF-THE-(ATN) WIRE: Helmet, those short-haired purveyors of thinking-man's metal who practically disappeared after 1994's disappointing album Betty have re-loaded and are set to release Aftertaste on September 24. According to sources at the band's label, Interscope, the album, produced by Barkmarket's Dave Sardi, is a return to the crunching sound on the band's much-hyped debut, Strap It On ....Oasis vocalist Liam Gallagher and his girlfriend, actress and one time singer Patsy Kensit, are planning to wed. The happy couple were even recently seen purchasing rings together in London's Hatton Garden jewelry district...Bob Dylan, who is certainly one of rock's greatest songwriters, now has his own record label. It's called Egyptian Records, and it will be distributed and marketed by Columbia Records, the company that Dylan has recorded for during his entire career. The debut album on the new label will be The Songs of Jimmy Rodgers, a tribute album featuring recordings of classic Rodgers' songs by Bono, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Dylan himself....Morrissey has put his house in London up for sale and moved to Dublin. The downbeat former leader of The Smiths says he intends to become an Irish citizen and will give up his UK passport. "Morrissey has fallen in love with Dublin," says a source. "He's bought a place there. He loves the city and people and pace of life, which he says is much more human than London. People talk to each other. It's a small town community where everyone knows each other. He finds that refreshing."