Thursday, October 30, 2008

isgodaman ?

leonardo da vinci: vitruvian man, 1487.
a question of singular proportion.

An album I haven't listened to in over thirty years: the "Streets" compilation of "Select Highlights From Independent British Labels".
The first LP release for Beggars Banquet, BEGA 1 ; a swelter of fine British talent from The Lurkers and The Doll to John Cooper Clarke
and Slaughter & The Dogs.

The last time I heard this, I sported holes in the knees of my trousers and safety-pins on my shirt. Nothing much has changed.

Arthur Comix - or "Arthur Comics ?", as the band was credited on the back of the sleeve - were in reality none other than those infamous Snivelling Shits, formed by legendary 'Sounds' and 'Zig Zag' journalist extraordinaire, Giovanni Dadomo in 1977. Rumour has it that Beggars Banquet forced the name change to get the record into distribution, but given Dadomo's occupation - and reputation for spinning a line - the tale is more than likely apocryphal.

Rechristened as the Shits proper in time for their excellent debut 45 release, "Terminal Stupid b/w I Can't Come" on the Ghetto Rockers label, Dadomo hoodwinked Monty Smith from rival music rag, NME, into voting it 'Single of the Week'. The real joke was the record was a gem and thoroughly deserving of the hype. Such was the level of the backlash unleashed by the tabloid press in the UK, in the wake of the Bill Grundy and Silver Jubilee fiascoes, that the Shits were forced to tout themselves as 'The Hits' in order just to secure a paltry handful of gigs, but they did manage to record a session for The John Peel Show - and posterity - before disbanding to the sound of one hand clapping in 1978. Briefly then, the British equivalent of Lester Bangs' foray into making loud music with The Delinquents; "Jook Savages on the Brazos".

"The front cover photo [to "Terminal Stupid"] originally graced the front of
The Sunday Mirror newspaper, June 12th 1977. It's of a girl fan watching The Stranglers in Manchester and the headline was 'Punk Rock Jubilee Shocker'."

The fabulous Dadomo sadly died in 2002.

Giovanni Dadomo: vocals; Dave Fudger: bass; Steve Nicol: drums; Pete Makowski: guitar.

Produced by Ed Hollis and Steve Lillywhite.

ARTHUR COMIX: ISGODAMAN ? from "Streets: VA" LP (Beggars Banquet) 1977 (UK)



Your driver said...

The Sniveling Shits is, without a doubt, my favorite band name. I wish I liked their music better. 30 years ago, I had a friend who created various fake corporate entities, mostly so that he could rent cars cheaply. One of my favorites was, Sniveling Industries, a division of The Wretched Group. His goal was to become a respected white collar criminal. I wonder how he's doing with that?

ib said...

"Snivelling Industries". Great name. Great parent company name, too. If he is a respected white collar hooligan these days, I'll wager his corporate moniker is sadly something a lot more prosaic.

I like Dadomo's music. It has a handmade feel to it which reminds me a little of the Television Personalities. I only discovered that he'd interviewed Syd in 1971 when I was chasing down a few facts.

The Streets LP was raw and patchy. Me and my friend, Michael played it down to a worn out groove though, for whatever reason. There used to be a great record shop in Glasgow whose legend was "Cheap & Nasty". It suited that record very well.

ib said...

The wonderful thing about that interview is how clearly sane and unpretentious Syd comes across; very willing to discuss music and joining the dots back to his adolescence with completely unselfconscious candor.

Dadomo knew it too. As did Steve Took.

It really makes you question the Floyd's take on his stability all the harder, I think.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

isgodaman? is one of those songs I would like to see used in a movie soundtrack the most. DOA and Biafra's Full Metal Jack Off is another.

ib said...

Anything is possible.

Mondo said...

Dadomo did a great piece on the Pistols TOTP appearance - It's in the Ray Stevenson's Sex Pistols file if you've got a copy.

And I can't recommend Barry Cain's mighty 77 Sulphate Strip year-in-a-life-of-a-Record-Mirror-writer book enough. It's red hot.

There's a Q and A with him about it on my blog if you fancy a peep

ib said...

Thanks for tipping me off with that link, PM. Terrific post and interview.

mr.kenneth said...

one of my favourite tracks, ib.

in fact I went straight for this one first when Shirl and I put together "Shirley's All Male Revue" last year.

pulchritude is indeed a big word ... which I did have to look up when I first heard the song!



ib said...


Thanks for spelling it out, mr. K; i've long wondered what he was saying at the end of the song. I thought he was babbling about chickens, Hasil Adkins style: Poultritude!

I still had to look it up, mind you.

PS. I grabbed the link to Prehistoric Sounds from Radio Shirley - great site which I otherwise might never have stumbled on - and "isgodaman ?" was on his player, which reminded me that I'd been meaning to do a post on it for a long while...

"We're all intertwined, man", the inner hippie in me mumbles!

Thanks for the link to Shirley's All Male Revue, too.

ib said...

mr. K: great setlist on that revue. Yes, sir. And a great pic too.