Published by Feral House on September 16, 2016. Craig Smith was a 1960s golden boy – good looking, charismatic, outgoing; a preternaturally gifted musician and songwriter whose songs were recorde
By Doug Sheppard The musical, cultural and societal waves that Chuck Berry made by pioneering rock ’n’ roll could fill a book. And of course, there are so many great songs—brilliant
Real high-energy rock’n’roll in its most potent form is best captured live and in the moment. Maximum thrills, minimum frills.
In 1977, London’s Warsaw Pakt took that premise one step further, recording their album live, straight through, direct to the cutting lathe – no tape master, no overdubs, no mixing. The record was pressed, packed and shipped overnight and was in the record stores the following day. No procrastination. Instant gratification.
“The idea was to bypass tape and gain a very accurate recording that would be louder and clearer than any other method then available,” remembers guitarist Andy Colquhoun.
The actual process was simple. “It was play Side One, break, tune up, play Side Two,” he explains. “This was done three times. The engineers were very concerned about us destroying the cutting lathe heads, which ran about five grand each. At first the sound in their control room at the top of the building was very restrained. By the third take of the two sides it was OK, but not as good as the room sound. They used that take anyway. The master was taken directly to the factory and manufactured overnight, and we were in Virgin Records at Marble Arch the following afternoon signing copies.”
Darryl Michael Roy Read born into television blood September 19, 1951, Exeter, Devon, UK, sadly left us after a fatal motorbike accident June 23, 2013, in Pattaya, Thailand, a popular tourist destination for ex-pats. Read had been splitting his time between Pattaya—playing gigs and broadcasting over the airwaves on Pattaya 105 FM—and Berlin, Germany the last several years. Prior to filling the drum stool as a hammer-handed seventeen-year-old for Mod brute proto-punks Crushed Butler in 1969 he’d played with various combos including the Krayon Angels (with future members of Killing Floor and Rory Gallagher’s band ) and Orange Illusion with Silverhead vocalist Michael Des Barres while in drama school. Read remained a rock’n’roll lifer still firmly attached to his ‘60s roots, much like fellow Crushed Butler member Jesse Hector. Read was a multi-faceted talent existing amongst the lunatic fringe as actor/drummer/guitarist/vocalist/poet, and these various skills played on until his expiration.
A one-time teenage pinup, Read’s first love was acting and he attended Corona Academy for Dramatic Arts in Chiswick, West London, along with future Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell and Michael Des Barres. Acting was a vocation he often ran in tandem with more musicianly pursuits via TV and film work—where he came to be known as “One Take Read” being a fast-learner and keen executor. Theater kept him busy in the later ‘70s/early ‘80s. He played Keith Richards in Let the Good Stones Roll, starred in a production called Bastard Angel inspired by the Kinks, and also a UK version of Hair. A veteran of Hammer Films in his youth, in recent years he co-wrote and starred in a low-budget film Remember a Day, playing a hermitic character based on Syd Barrett.
On May 24-26, 2013, we celebrated Ugly Things’ 30th anniversary with three nights of live music at the Casbah in San Diego, and two afternoons of extracurricular fun at Jayne’s Gastropub. Three days and nights I will never forget.
From the start, Anja and I agreed we didn’t want to stage a typical Sixties/Garage Weekender with an exhaustive—and exhausting—roster of reunited ‘60s icons and popular newer bands. Too predictable, too stressful, and, without corporate sponsorship (which we didn’t want), too expensive. We wanted something different, something personal; something that celebrated the DIY spirit of Ugly Things. So we turned to some of our favorite musicians and friends—people who have played a role in the magazine’s growth over the years—and persuaded them to put together something unique for the weekend—something people had never seen from them before: a new repertoire, a new format, or a new configuration of players. We wanted to offer the audience an experience that could never be repeated. What a time it was.
Friday evening began with THE NEUMANS from Orange County, one of the best new, young garage bands on the scene. They delivered a great set of archetypal ’66 fuzz’n’Farfisa punk and mixed a mini-set of Missing Links favorites into their usual stew of original compositions. Next up, something special: EBBOT LUNDBERG flew out from Sweden to be a part of the event (he was trailed most of the weekend by a cameraman who was filming him for an upcoming TV/Internet reality show, Webbot). On the Friday night, Ebbot performed an acoustic set, accompanied by original Loons/Tell-Tale Hearts guitarist Eric Bacher. Along with numbers by Union Carbide Productions (cover story of Issue #16) and the recently disbanded Soundtrack of Our Lives, Ebbot also surprised us with a stirring version of Pink Floyd’s “The Gnome.” It was his performance of Union Carbide’s “Golden Age,” though, that really raised the hairs on the back of my neck—one of my all-time favorite songs and one I’d never seen him sing live before.