Saturday, August 23, 2008

new york doll: the boy looked at johnny



"i'm fuckin' sure that shit's right here in my pocket".

It was only a matter of time. A lot has been written and discussed regarding the various mixes of "L.A.M.F." which have surfaced over the past three decades in the search for a definitive. I tend to agree with Henry Rollins; in terms of fidelity, the cleaner Alan Hauser "Lost 77 Mixes" released on Jungle in 1994 are hard to beat. The original Track Records production overseen by Speedy Keen of Thunderclap Newman - at Pete Townshend of The Who's Ramport Studios - is the one to seek out if you're determined to spin some vinyl through a valve driven amp.

It's not unlike the controversy surrounding the Stooges' "Raw Power" mixes, but less easily resolved. We are not talking about how much the original may have been "stepped on"; it's all a question of individual taste or thirst for refinement.



track 2409 218.

Anyway. While that controversy raged, even through the summer of 1977,

'"Chinese Rocks" had been released as a single. Written primarily by Dee Dee Ramone with original Heartbreakers bassist Richard Hell contributing lyrics, but also credited at the time, falsely, to Thunders and Lure, the single sold 20,000 copies...'

The second cut is a live performance from London's Lyceum in 1984 - originally recorded for his 1978's solo effort - seven years after "L.A.M.F." first hit the streets, with 'Ratso' once again reunited and ably backed by those Heartbreakers. Hit and miss. Dependent on your capacity to indulge Johnny's frequently irksome habit of lecturing an adoring audience while clearly out his face and wallowing in a combination of pity and naked adulation.

"Walter Lure comes from the U.S.A.!"

JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS: CHINESE ROCKS from "L.A.M.F.: The Lost Mixes" LP / CD (Jungle) 1994 (US)

JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS: SO ALONE from "Dead Or Alive: Live At The Lyceum, March 1984" VHS (Virgin) 1989

BUY INTO L.A.M.F.
DEAD OR ALIVE ON DVD

5 comments:

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

One of rock's perfect swaggering performances.

ib said...

Yes. I remember, too, from the video of the Lyceum gig, that he had a peculiar way of almost dancing or running on the spot when he announced,

"D'ya want the Hippie Shit, or the Rock N' Roll Shit ?"

It was all one to Johnny. He looked like he was about to keel on over at any moment. Walter Lure had seen it all before.

ib said...

I forgot to mention this earlier, but while listening one night to "So Alone" a while back it struck me how heavily it borrows from Neil Young's "Cowgirl In The Sand".

wzjn said...

What a great slab of CBGB's!

ib said...

hey, WZJN. yeah, still wish I'd been there.