Thursday, June 12, 2008

the neon boys

the neon boys circa 1972-3: note drummer Billy Ficca's passing resemblance to one Robert Zimmerman.

Well before Richard Lloyd came to town, Tom Miller and Richard Meyers had a masterplan.

Having forged an alliance at school in Delaware, the pair lit out and were picked up by the police in Alabama for arson. The apocryphal tale goes that when routinely questioned, Tom Miller replied he was cold. Meyers looked at Tom and promptly stated for the record that he just "wanted to see it burn."

And so it was that in Alabama Richard Hell was born.

Miller followed Meyers to NYC in 1969 where Hell had already soilicted the use of an offset printing press and begun publishing his own poetry before age twenty-one. Poems quickly appeared in print in Rolling Stone and lesser periodicals. A literary bent was precociously established.

The road to perdition was paved with good intention.

In April 1973, Verlaine, Hell and Ficca recorded six demos which were to later appear illegitimately on Shake's bootleg EP. One of these proto punk demos was "Love Comes In Spurts" which Hell would later re-record with the Voidoids featuring Robert Quine on guitar.

This is a truly fascinating document, as they say. Just don't expect to hear anything approaching the psychotropic tingle of Television's "Little Johnny Jewel".

THE NEON BOYS: THAT'S ALL I KNOW (RIGHT NOW) from "The Neon Boys" EP (Shake) 1973/2001 (US)
THE NEON BOYS: LOVE COMES IN SPURTS from "The Neon Boys" EP (Shake) 1973/2001 (US)

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