Day 10

July 16th 2017
Death of Alan Vega

Expe­ri­ence real­ly does make you bet­ter, man.”
– Alan Vega

It was the imme­di­ate after­shock of the Trans-Atlantic depth charges of 1977’s Punk Explo­sion that blast­ed Alan Vega out from deep with­in the sub­stra­ta of the fir­ma­ment of the Col­lec­tive Con­scious­ness. With­out that oppor­tu­ni­ty, this LSD-munch­ing fine artist might nev­er have come to our atten­tion, at best secur­ing a fab­u­lous foot­note in the appen­dices of New York Punk also-rans. Ah, but what Punk has to answer for! When the two sev­ens clashed, all of hell broke loose and the already mid­dle-aged Vega demand­ed that his time had come. And how! Even Kim Fow­ley had recog­nised that he was by 1977 too old for Punk – instead hang­ing back in the dugout, pre­fer­ring to field on his behalf an awry array of off kil­ter LA teen scen­esters in the forms of The Run­aways and Venus & The Razor­blades. Not so Alan Vega. Despite being a full year old­er than ’60s vet­er­an Fow­ley, Vega cap­i­tal­ized on his remark­able demos tapes – made through­out the ear­ly ’70s with his key­boardist Mar­tin Rev – to blast forth as the Future/Retro duo Sui­cide, whose lean, impos­si­bly stripped-back sound unit­ed min­i­mal­ist Ter­ry Rileyisms with the Jaynetts’ ‘Sal­ly Go Round the Ros­es’, or Take­hisa Kosugi’s CATCH-WAVE with the Shirelles ‘Baby It’s You’. Greedy for it all, Vega squirmed and screeched and sim­pered and sobbed his way into our hearts.

Tin­ni­tus-induc­ing and son­i­cal­ly reduc­ing, Vega’s songs were radio trans­mis­sions from the Heart of Dark­ness. If you want­ed the Ramones, he gave you Paul Anka on a bro­ken radio. If you want­ed Deb­bie Har­ry, he gave you the Cold War. Too old to be hood­winked by the gauche tabloid cash-ins that too soon afflict­ed UK Punk, the defi­ant Vega even wore red flares to per­form in front of a Clash audi­ence – how he paid the price! At var­i­ous times in his career claim­ing to be both Jew­ish, Catholic, AND fif­teen years younger, Alan Vega – along with his avant-garde Boy Won­der Mar­tin Rev – demand­ed such par­i­ty with their co-Rev­o­lu­tion­ists that their maniacal/mystical/diabolical duo Sui­cide actu­al­ly became an instant blue­print for D.I.Y. Futur­ists. With­out Sui­cide? Unimag­in­able. That Vega died dur­ing last year’s SydArthur Fes­ti­val only con­firms that this Great Oppor­tunist knew pre­cise­ly his place in the Cos­mos – today our hearts are full!

Day 10, and we’re check­ing out ‘I’m A Liv­ing Sick­ness’ by the Cal­i­co Wall. Yeah, The Doors have a lot to answer for! But wasn’t it great! And sure­ly Mor­ri­son & Co.’s great­est lega­cy was by inspir­ing umpteen teenage garage bands to step away from them­selves and look deep deep with­in. Here, the Cal­i­co Wall jour­ney through their minds with all the insen­si­tiv­i­ty of Patrick Starr climb­ing inside Spongebob’s head – that messy, that bru­tal, but tru­ly that effec­tive! Was the fuzzbox ever put to more gar­gan­tu­an use in the his­to­ry of rock’n’roll? And did the record­ing engi­neer ever get anoth­er ses­sion after peo­ple saw his cred­it on this 7” single?

Fri Friday
Sat Saturday
Sun Sunday
Mon Monday
Tue Tuesday
Wed Wednesday
Thu Thursday
Day 1: Friday Jul 7th
Day 2: Saturday Jul 8th
Day 3: Sunday Jul 9th
Day 4: Monday Jul 10th
Day 5: Tuesday Jul 11th
Day 6: Wednesday Jul 12th
Day 7: Thursday Jul 13th
Day 8: Friday Jul 14th
Day 9: Saturday Jul 15th
Day 10: Sunday Jul 16th
Day 11: Monday Jul 17th
Day 12: Tuesday Jul 18th
Day 13: Wednesday Jul 19th
Day 14: Thursday Jul 20th
Day 15: Friday Jul 21st
Day 16: Saturday Jul 22nd
Day 17: Sunday Jul 23rd
Day 18: Monday Jul 24th
Day 19: Tuesday Jul 25th
Day 20: Wednesday Jul 26th
Day 21: Thursday Jul 27th
Day 22: Friday Jul 28th
Day 23: Saturday Jul 29th
Day 24: Sunday Jul 30th
Day 25: Monday Jul 31st
Day 27: Wednesday Aug 2nd
Day 28: Thursday Aug 3rd