Ain’t Nothin’ But a House Party
No musical movement can really be pin-pointed to a single vinyl release or headline but this represents a pivotal moment in the UK pop charts when Farley Jackmaster Funk’s “Love Can’t Turn Around” came through a week later in ’86. A harbinger of the dance beats that would dominate towards the end of the decade, though acid-house and the ‘second summer(s) of love’ of ’88/’89. Stuart Cosgrove travelled to the home of House, Chicago to report back. Of course this scene had been bubbling under for years. The term ‘Garage’ was first banded-about in the clubs of New York with Walter Gibbons and the release of Strafe’s “Set It Off” in 1984, while meanwhile auteurs like Frankie Knuckles were plying their trade at The Warehouse in Chicago.
Probably more transgressive in it’s ultimate legacy than the punk revolution of a decade before, because House emerged from the gay black clubs, mixing up soul and disco roots with modern (mainly white) European electronica. A meta art form that would eventually infiltrate the wider musical landscape in a truer way than the more-self-contained (and in some quarters reviled) disco of the 70s. In January ’87, “Jack Your Body” by Steve Silk Hurley would become No. 1, albeit two years after original release. It’s takes us Brits a little while to cotton on sometimes. Ibiza then became the European haven for the scene from Summer ’87 onwards and the rave scene took hold back home.
And now for something completely different…. David Quantick sort of interviews Freddie Mercury over a lush dinner during their record-breaking concert trip to Budapest. It’s a favourable meeting, mainly, with Fred opening up on the back of a Skoda taxi- “The thing is, I believe in personalities, not papers. I’m not interested in us versus the NME, I’m just here talking to you. People do think that because I don’t do interviews, I’ve got this thing about the press and it’s not true”. In the article however, Mr Quantick won’t allow the few shows at Sun City to slip by unnoticed, or indeed the “pseudo-fascist imagery of the videos”. Oh dear.
In the News section it is announced that 120,000 tickets have already been announced for the final show of the ‘Magic’ tour this coming Saturday, the 9th August at Knebworth Park. The biggest rock event since Bob Dylan played Blackbush ten years previous. British Rail have put on a special service from London to Stevenage, with shuttle bus, the dears. Support comes from Belouis Some (remember “Some People”?), Status Quo and Big Country. It would be the last time ever that Mercury would perform live.
Don Van Vliet’s last record release was ’82’s “Ice Cream For Crow” and in the intervening four years had seen the former Captain Beefheart take what proved to be a permanent hiatus from the music scene to return to the canvas full-time. In an interview with Kristine McKenna, here are some interesting insights from a unique mind:
“There aren’t too many men in this world. Too many of them believe in that Greek stuff, that Adonis crap. A nude man is not very interesting believe me, I’m a man and I’ve been nude and seen what I look like, and it doesn’t look anything like a dolphin, which is a beautiful thing. Women spend most of their lives babysitting little boys- I’m a man so I know this is true. Woman is the superior sex, indubitably. What makes them superior is the fact that they have to have a man. I have enough woman in me to know these things, and yet I’m not gay. I don’t dig rockets that are made out of flesh.”
“Elizabeth Taylor once said that a little success is the best deodorant. She’s pretty cool.”
“I’m definitely finished with the rock star scene…..The entire process was torture. I must admit though I do love music- I suppose that’s kind of corny of me. But, really music is just amazing. Unfortunately, they’ve slaughtered it as far as I can see, and it seems like it’s getting worse. All the dead people are great though, and hearing cats howl is pretty wonderful too. Now there’s the sound of the lovers.”
Here’s him gate-crashing the video age from that final album. MTV thought is was “too weird” for broadcast.
In Other News…..
The Smiths hire Derek Jarman to direct The Queen Is Dead videos, Run DMC come to the UK next month, Anita Dobson single release and Nick Drake retrospective on the same page!, interviews with Icicle Works, The Bible, crime writer P.D. James, Gwen (“Ain’t Nothin’ Going On But The Rent”) Guthrie, avant-garde composer Steve Reich, LP reviews for Keith Leblanc, Laibach, David Lee-Roth, caught live- the return of Elvis Costello and The Attractions after two year split, Stan Ridgeway, Youssou N’Dour, the Montreux Jazz Festival, The Damned.
UK No. 1 Single: Lady In Red by Chris De Burgh
Moving on very quickly indeed from the insipid top-seller, I was going to stop off at this week’s No. 21- Happy Hour by The Housemartins with is very ace, with its fun clay-mation video, however, the new entry at No. 39 deserves more exposure, albeit 28 years too late. Criminally only reaching 28 in the UK (but 5 in the U.S.), this is a glorious song, I loved it then and I love it now. Daryl Hall (of Hall and Oates) – Dreamtime. Great co-production by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics.