One of the things I found in a recent excavation of a box of my old stuff that was in my mom's garage was a photo envelope containing some fuzzy snapshots I took of the Clash at this daytime show at the Oakland Coliseum in 1983.
I remember the show very well, though I don't remember having taken any photos, a very unusual thing for me to do. For at least some of the set I was in the backstage / side stage area because I and the girls I went with were dressed sexy allowing us to flirt our way past security. (I admit, they did most of the work.) When the band came out we were three of around fifteen people who got to do that cool-guy thumb-handshake with Mick Jones and say "hey man" before he plugged in. (The other guys came from the other side of the stage, otherwise I'm sure we would have tried to hey-man them.)
Here's one of the photos:
I love how you can see the gear. (Mesa Boogie combo!) And the beret. And the jumpsuit.
This was a "day on the green", and the Clash were the support act on the Who's "It's Hard" tour. Those girls and I gloried in the bravado of being so "punk" that we saw the Clash and left before the Who went on, which is what we did. Doing that doesn't seem nearly so cool now. In fact, it was pretty stupid. Still, we and us man, youth. It was a heady time of fun, horny, fake rebellion that has basically been forgotten in a box for thirty-three years.
This is by way of a progress report on King Dork Approximately the Album.
The recording for the KDATA is almost completely done. It's coming out great, I think, best stuff we've ever done in many ways. Its exceeding my expectations anyhow. We've certainly had a great time recording it. The line up is me, Bobby J., Ted Angel, and Jaz Brown, plus guests. Ted engineered the bulk of it at Hypnotone in Sacramento, but three of the songs were recorded with Denny Muller at the Static Room in Jingle Town, Oakland. I'm giving Sam Hellerman production credit, but there wasn't really a producer per se, beyond me humming my dumb ideas and everyone else chiming in. (And curse you auto-correct for trying to make me type "Kellerman" there. I hate you more than life itself.) The drums sound great.
I often get asked how "punk" it is going to be. My guess is that it probably won't be "punk" enough for people to whom it occurs to ask that question, but since you ask, I'm going to have Ted turn up the "punk" knob in the mix just in case. Twelve good songs, none of which sound the same as any of the others, done as well as we could do them. For free with the book, which is a pretty good deal if you're into the music ($9.99 is the list price) even if you already have the hardcover. There's an appendix in the new edition with the lyrics of the album and the cover matches the album artwork; they are meant to complement each other. Think of the book as the equivalent of the record jacket of old, with the record itself being non-physical, plus there's a free novel crammed in there as well. (We're working on a plan for a possibly expanded vinyl edition later on, but more about that as and if it develops.)
Also got lots of cool fun stuff in the works so stay tuned for another update to see if any of it comes to pass.
You can pre-order here if you like.
Some people count Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood and ...and the Women Who Love Them as full length albums rather than eps because of the CD comps, but if you don't count them (and if you count Road to Ruin) King Dork Approximately the Album will be the eleventh MTX album. Yesterday Rules was released in 2004, so it will be the first in twelve years. Ye gods.
(And though I have no idea specifically how, when, or if it will come about, I mostly have the twelfth one written too, though that's a post for another time. The theoretical track list for it keeps changing and I've been on a mysterious songwriting streak lately.)
Basically, I feel like a pretend rock star once again. It's good to be back.
The peace sign is suddenly a lot more interesting once you learn that its designer intended it to depict "an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya's peasant before the firing squad."
One of the many theoretical irons I have in the theoretical fire these days is an idea that dates back to a few years ago when I came across all my old lyrics notebooks that I'd stopped using when I switched to typing everything in to a vast array of confusing text files.
They included this:
As I explained/claimed at the time, writing that on the composition book cover was done with at least a bit of irony; nevertheless it really was the book I carried around to scribble in ca. '94-95, and it does indeed contain the lyrics to the Love Is Dead songs, as well as some of the Revenge songs. It also contains, among many misfires and quite a bit of embarrassing nonsense, quite a few actual songs from that era in various stages of completion, most of which I've forgotten about completely. The LID recording sessions were absolutely concise and yielded no out-takes at all, but here, in a sense, were some "virtual" out-takes from a period of material that a lot of people seem to be quite interested in.
So, I thought to myself, if the time ever comes to re-issue that album, it would be kind of fun and interesting to try to re-construct some of these songs and record them for an expanded version in lieu of the traditional bonus material that is usually included in projects like that. I'm thinking, an ep of six songs or so, something like that. Especially since we don't actually have any of that traditional material.
Well it is easier to say than to do, like most things, and the idea is still kicking around undone as of yet. But it could happen.
And the reason for writing this post is that in trying to take stock and do an inventory of the contenders and I happened across a slew of other such tunes in a place I hadn't yet looked, including surefire hits like "I'm in Love (with Your Pants)" and "Librarian Fatale." This could get long. Still aiming for an eps worth only, if it happens, but there's more to choose from than I thought.
(And just by way of an update on that old post, "You Have Won Second Prize in a Beauty Contest" turned out to be un-reconstructible as found, and I basically wrote a totally new song with the title. I want to put that on a future record, but it's not a contender for this idea. "She's a Snowman," though, is probably in.)