For Charity and the great Scott Miller!
Charity- The Sighs S/T LP
U.S. Girls- Off Broadway Quick Turns
Erica's Word- Game Theory The Big Shot Chronicles
I Do- Randy Gun Shake To Date
Price Of Sex- SVT Extended Play
6 Feet Under- Sugar Stems Can't Wait
Residential Area- Epicycle Cirkle Records Single
Darlin' （And She Called Me)- Elliott Murphy Just A Story In America
^West End Girls- Pet Shop Boys West End Girls
Melody Comes- Spinning Jennies Starstruck
Shake It Up (Ain't It Time)- The Cryers The Cryers
Dance All Night- Free Energy Love Sign
Playing Bogart- Any Trouble Where Are All the Nice Girls?
Best You Leave- The Early Hours Evolution
*Berlin Girls- The Cute Lepers Smart Accessories
*Detroit Girls- Starz Starz
*Liverpool Girls- The Toms The Toms
*London Girls- The Vibrators Pure Mania
*Southern Girls- Cheap Trick In Color
*Tameside Girls- Fast Cars Coming, Ready or Not!
The Man in the Middle- Godfathers Jukebox Fury
Hello Mr. Jenkins- The Finns Yellow Pills Prefill
Roxy Girl- The Radiators TV Tube Heart
>Carolina Girls- Chairmen of the Board Beach Music Anthology
Boomerang- Jim Freeman and the Golden Gate Jumpers Romantic
Crystal Ball- The Nomads Up-Tight
My Life in Rhymes- Phil Angotti Life and Rhymes
Broken Doll- Wreckless Eric Big Smash
Release Me- L.A. Burgers L.A. Burgers
Loud- Richard X. Heyman Hey Man!
Southtown Girls- The Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America
^Power Pop Peak: #1 Billboard Hot 100 3/1/86
*SacroSet: Girls Around The World
>Power Pop Prototype: 1980
I'm not sure why, but when I was first getting into rock and roll as a kid I never thought of the bands I worshiped as music fans themselves. I remember being shocked when I read that Gene Simmons of Kiss is a huge Beatles fan. I thought to myself "but Kiss are so much better than the Beatles!" (An admittedly minority viewpoint that I maintain to this day- seriously, for shear rock and roll abandon I'll put Dressed To Kill up against anything the Fab Four ever released.) Within a few years I'd come full circle and started to seek out the musical influences of my rock heroes. When Cousin Rich showed me a New York Rocker interview where Ross The Boss of The Dictators said the MC5 was his favorite band it made us feel closer to him because we were MC5 fans too. Imagine how awesome this 1981 show in NYC must have been- Ross and Wayne on the same stage! The Dictators were also big Stooges fans, their second album included a cover of "Search and Destroy," so I can only imagine what is going through lead singer Handsome Dick Manitoba's head when he posed for this photo with Iggy back in the day:
The Handsome One and Mr. Pop
What is especially cool is that, what must have seemed like 100 years later, Iggy stopped by Handsome Dick's Underground Garage satellite radio show for an interview. I bet those guys have forgotten more awesome rock and roll stories than today's "rock stars" will ever tell.
|Joey should get a refund |
for that "Punk Haircut"
Youth's Bad Moon Rising and a Sun Ra bootleg ....really?) As for myself, I wouldn't have gone the Sun Ra route with my Desert Island Discs but I doubt I'd have had the guts to tell the whole truth and put Dressed To Kill or AC/DC's Highway To Hell alongside London Calling, Rocket To Russia, The Dictators' Bloodbrothers and The Real Kids' debut so who am I to judge. Anyway, those monthly lists of Desert Island Discs in Pulse! proved that famous or not, we are all music fans.
ALRN in 1980 (Scott Miller center)
Scott Miller, pictured at the top of this post, was also a big fan of rock and roll. I say "was" because sad to say he passed away on April 15th at the young age of 53. Miller's musical career started in the vibrant early 80's music scene in Davis, CA featured in ALL KINDSA GIRLS Show #28. Along with his bands Alternate Learning and Game Theory, this scene spawned The Dream Syndicate, True West and Thin White Rope. While many of his contemporaries moved to LA, Miller chose to remain in Northern California putting out music on his own Rational Records label. On January 27, 1987 I saw Game Theory at The Rat in Boston on the tour supporting their magnum opus Lolita Nation. Throughout the set Miller talked about Boston bands he liked, raving
Game Theory On Stage
(Scott Miller far left)
After Game Theory imploded in 1989 Miller went on to form The Loud Family who had an "every sound but the kitchen sink" approach I found even harder to follow. (Actually if they could get sound from a kitchen sink they probably would have.) Even so, in the midst of every Loud Family record you'd still hear a couple pure pop gems. That band wrapped it up in the early 2000's and Miller started blogging on the Loud Family website, writing in 2008 that he remained "utterly serious about music, I just respect the buying public’s judgment that it’s not what I should do for a living."
Starting with 1957, the columns run down his top 20 songs from each year and have been published as book titled Music: What Happened? As always, Miller's observations are spot on, take this from 1981: "nothing was sadder than watching The dB’s Swiss-watch-precision sense of the progression of music history get lost on a generation that just wanted to dress like Adam and the Ants." Or in the post for 1983, Miller writes "Every Word Means No" by Let’s Active "was my idea of a million-selling hit, and its lack of impact on any but indie circles contributed to my realization that I was getting into the music business at a time when I didn’t have the slightest idea what people wanted." Brother- I know what you mean.
I encourage you to head over to the Loud Family website where you can download all the Game Theory albums for free. See for yourself what a great musician and writer Scott Miller was and I think you'll agree that he was first and foremost a music fan.
Download this week's ALL KINDSA GIRLS at the link below
ALL KINDSA GIRLS #101
p.s. Thanks to Stephen Burt who wrote this great essay on Scott Miller in 2012