Ryan Katastrophe

Ryan Katastrophe
Because one man's trash is another man's treasure

Monday, May 31, 2010

Record Hoppin' & Junk Shoppin'

First off, let me just say thanks to all the service men and women who fought for the freedoms that I have today.

This here weekend was a mess of fun. Last night I attended the Sound Barrier DJ set at the Atomic Cowboy. DJ Ashley Vulture aka Trashley, bka Ashley Hohman was flying solo this night and oh man, did she tear the house down. The place was going wild dancing to the punk rock and soul shakers she was putting down.

Ashley Hohman

Folks losin' their shit to a soul stomper by Gino Washington.

Cuttin' a rug!

There was a dunk tank in the back as well. I don't even think it was for charity purposes. Folks were just doing it to be doing it and I'm glad about that. That's no knock on charitable causes by any means, I'm just saying there is no bad reason to get yourself dropped in to a pool of water.

I also had the chance to do some junk shopping this weekend which is always fun. I went to the Gypsy Caravan which is taking place as I type this on the campus of University of Missouri St. Louis. It's such a clusterfuck and I can't even tell you why I still go. Between the heat, the walking, the terrible parking, last nights 50 cent Stags still taking their toll, and the sheer amount of human clutter, I was determined to get in there and out as fast as possible. There was an upper and lower level and one parking garage full of vendors selling mostly crap. I have a fondness for certain kinds of crap, and so I went and I bought. Here are my scores for the weekend.

Two ass naked dolls

A small stack of records including The Castaways, the Louvin Brothers, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, Cannibal & The Headhunters, Elvis Presley, ect.

A framed piece of pin-up/cheesecake art by Gil Elvgren

An old rag called Country Song Round Up featuring Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley from 1956

And last but not least, a prosthetic baby arm (!!!)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Uncle's Garage Bands 1964-69

The Crestmen

Frank (?), Larry Strathman, Fred Hilligardt, Tom Connelly, Doyne Hubbard

I knew my uncle, Fred Hilligardt, played in bands back in the mid to late 1960's and I was always intrigued by it. It wouldn't be until later, once I discovered the garage genre, that I needed to know more about my uncle's bands. When the Beatles hit the Ed Sullivan show in 1964 bands like these would pop up in garages all over the country, hence the term "garage band". I'd asked him about it a few times and while he did answer some questions, he was a bit reluctant to speak on it. Like me, he is very passionate about his interests and when he is no longer interested, he's quite done. He's done with music.

At the end of March, 2010, Tom Connelly, the bassist of the Crestmen put together a reunion of sorts. He is currently battling cancer and he wanted everyone to get together for what could possibly be the last time. I just happened to be visiting my grandmother that weekend where she had gathered a stack of old band photos. Obviously, I was more than thrilled to take that stack of old pictures and scan them. And so, here are some of those for your viewing pleasure.

The Crestmen

Frank ?, Tom Connelly, Doyne Hubbard, Fred Hilligardt, Larry Strathman

The Crestmen

Tom Connelly, Fred Hilligardt, Jim Mollison, Barry ?, ?

When the Crestmen had finally called it quits, some of the remaining members formed the Cheshire Fountain. Here is a scan of their promotional photo.

The Cheshire Fountain

T: Don Lash, Larry Strathman
B: Lacey Haug, Terry Roy, Fred Hilligardt

That band would later drop the "Cheshire" and become known as The Fountain. They would release one 45 on the Cinema label which was run by Ron Lipe, a rather interesting man in his own right. In the 50's, Ron Lipe cut some rockabilly records as Uncle Bud Lite. In the 60's he ran the Cinema label and was also a widely respected DJ for KSHE 95, known then as Prince Knight.

The Fountain - Renaissance Fair (Birds cover)

If you have any interest in viewing the rest of the photos I scanned, they are all up on my flikr account and you need only click RIGHT HERE to see them. There are photos of other bands from the St. Louis region and otherwise. Enjoy!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Happy Together Tour

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to go to the Happy Together Tour at the Fox Theater featuring Flo & Eddie of the Turtles, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & The Raiders, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, the Buckinghams, and Rob Grill of the Grass Roots. I'm so bummed that I forgot my camera because they all were signing autographs and such in the lobby after the show was over.

Up first, the Buckinghams put on a rather dull performance even though original members Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna's voices are still quite intact. Here is one of my personal fav's.

The Buckinghams

Next up was Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & The Raiders. I am happy to report that Mark is still quite capable of a worthy performance and his vocals are nearly as good as they were 40 some odd years ago. I was impressed. Even after all these years, kicks just keep getting harder to find.

Paul Revere & The Raiders

On third was Rob Grill, the voice of the Grass Roots. It saddens me to say that Rob has had some apparent health problems in recent times and it weighed heavily on his performance. Rob was helped out onto the stage and sat on a stool for his entire performance. His voice is nearly gone but he was able to hit the mark a few times. He had to have the tunes slowed in tempo in order to keep up but I give him credit for trying.

The Grass Roots

That brings us to Micky Dolenz of the Monkees who probably put on the most energetic show of the night followed closely by Mark Lindsay. Micky sang my favorite Monkees tunes and I always loved watching the TV show as a kid. I always thought Davey Jones was a bit of a tool and Micky was the cool one. The only song he didn't perform which I was hoping to hear is this number.

The Monkees

Finally, we have the headliners Flo & Eddie of the Turtles who, quite frankly, sounded terrific. Happy Together sounded pretty much exactly like the 45 I commandeered from my parents collection when I was probably all of 5 years old. They like to do a lot of joking and talking between numbers but that was alright. Along with the other performers, Flo & Eddie did all the hits and not much else. I'd have been thrilled to hear Just A Room, or perhaps this number...

The Turtles

Over all, the show was enjoyable for nostalgic purposes. It's kind of what one would expect from an "oldies show". Old guys singing old songs for old people. While the Fox Theater is a beautiful venue for plays, I'd imagine, and the acoustics are great, I'd be hard pressed to see another concert there. The stadium style seating forces you to sit throughout the night and the $7.25 price tag on the beer left me a little sour. I'm still kicking myself for forgetting the camera though...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Weekend Road Trip To Memphis

This past weekend, myself and my friend Kat K. embarked on a weekend road trip to Memphis, Tennessee. We set off on our journey Friday morning and just 30 minutes out of St. Louis, down highway 55 South, we came across a most peculiar phenomenon. What appeared to be the carcasses of armadillos littered all over the highway. I wrote off the first couple as possums as I had no idea that the animal inhabited my state of Missouri and surely my mind was just playing tricks on me. If they did, they couldn't be living this far north, right? I convinced Kat that we would need to pull over and capture it on film for proof and of course, your viewing pleasure.

Crossing the bridge from Arkansas to Tennessee a sign reads: Welcome to Memphis "The home of the Blues and birth place of Rock & Roll". A debatable statement, but I am inclined to agree. Memphis indeed has an American musical lineage that rivals any other city in this country. We decided that our first stop after checking into our room at The Artisan Hotel would be Goner Records. Goner Records is an independent record label and record store co-owned by Eric Friedl of The Oblivians and Zac Ives specializing in punk rock and garage rock music. Needless to say, together, we spent a small fortune loading up on vinyl. We'd hit Goner one more time to sew up the loose ends before the weekend was said and done.

After our shopping spree at Goner, we hit the Xanadu Books and Music store. As you may have guessed, it's not your typical book store. Not only can you pick up a good book but you can purchase homemade shakers (think maracas) made of beer bottle caps, guitars made of cigar boxes, and Orange amps. The stores owner, Johnny Lowebow is also a very talented one man band. We were treated to an impromptu performance. Johnny strummed his guitar simultaneously while playing the drums. It looked something like this:

Next, we headed back to the hotel to plot our next move. We did very little pre-planning for this trip as we agreed that it would be better suited as a spontaneous kind of thing. We didn't take in to consideration the fact that Memphis tends to cut business hours much earlier than they do here in St. Louis. We remained determined to keep things going full speed despite the minor set backs we encountered. While many of the places we intended on visiting were closed for the night, there was one particular spot just across the street from the Artisan that was still wide open for business...This Place:

We pulled up and parked in the back, still pondering if this was a good idea or not. When Kat stepped out of the car and immediately onto a used condom wrapper, we knew that we had come to the right place. For $40 a piece, we had our palms read. While my reading was a bit of hit and miss, Kat was noticeably shaken by the extraordinary accuracy of the reading Mrs. Monica had delivered. Here is a pic of me looking a bit skeptical.

We had dinner then headed over to the Poplar Lounge for booze and conversation. The place was absolutely dead but we didn't seem to mind much. We got drunk and then went to sleep.

Saturday morning we got up and made plans to hit the Stax Museum. Stax Records was
founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the name Stax Records was adopted in 1961. The label was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and blues recordings. While Stax is renowned for its output of African-American music, the label was founded by two white businesspeople, Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton, and featured several popular ethnically-integrated bands, including the label's house band, Booker T. & the MG's. Stax were responsible for releasing/creating records from outstanding artists such as Otis Redding, Al Green, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, and even Elvis Presley recorded records there in the 70's. I was told that visiting the Stax Museum would be like a religious experience and indeed it was. Me and Kat were equally moved by it all.

From Stax we headed on over to Shangri-La Records which carries a nice stock of used records. This leads to my lamest moment of the trip. The previous nights booze and 4 1/2 hour commute had finally caught up with me and I was suddenly overwhelmed with exhaustion. I flipped through some records and the ones I contemplated purchasing seemed a little pricey and so I left Shangri-La empty handed but Kat was able to grab herself a few 7 inchers. We then darted across the street to Huey's for a burger and then back to the hotel for a well deserved nap.

Here is the reason why my old ass is unapologetic about needing to nap. As it turns out, it would lead to one of our most memorable moments. As I slept, Kat had become restless and went outside to talk on her cell phone. I woke up to discover her gone and headed downstairs to have a cigarette where I'd find her sitting on a bench. As we sat, an older man approached us and mentioned that the hotel sent him outside after he had walked in with a lit cigarette. He admitted that he couldn't keep track of which places allowed smoking or not so he just assumes they all do until he is notified otherwise. Unbeknownst to us, this man was outlaw country rocker, Curtis Buck a.k.a Jerry Mcgill. He told us of his current "hit" record featuring Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and "five colored working girls who could all sing". As it turns out, Jerry recorded for Sun Records in the 50's and was a rhythm guitarist/road manager for Waylon Jennings in the 1970's. He was notorious for carrying up to three guns on him at a time and ran into trouble for that in the 70's when airports started using metal detectors. Not only that, but he was being followed around by a man from Ireland who was creating a documentary about him. Below is a photo of Kat and Jerry Mcgill and one of Jerry's Sun recordings.

It was now time for some nourishment so we headed downtown for Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken. The place was packed to the gills with patrons. We placed our order and waited for an hour or more for our names to be called. The wait was well worth it and besides that, you can also purchase a 40oz of beer to help you through. We took our chicken dinners down to the riverfront and devoured them. I can honestly say that it was the best fried chicken I'd ever had and I highly recommend giving it a go. I noticed that in the very back in a garage, a man was frying up the chicken. I sneaked myself back there in hopes of a photo op. On my way back I heard a woman jokingly holler out "don't give him the recipe"! It turns out, Gus's was catering a meeting with members of congress in attendance just a street over at Earnestine & Hazel's Bar & Grill, hence the need for the extra fryer in the garage.

Now it's time we hit the Hi-Tone Cafe for some unadulterated rock & roll with The Oscars, Nobunny, and The Spits! The last time I was at the Hi-Tone it was a hot and sweaty mess and this time would be no different. There were a few 100 less people sucking up all the oxygen though which proved to be to our advantage. Kicking things off were Memphis's own, the Oscars. As it turns out, the rhythm guitar player for this band also rang up our purchases at Goner Records. They put on a damn fine show and set the mood accordingly.

The Oscars

Next up to bat was Oakland, California's Nobunny who put on a stellar performance of lo-fi bubblegum tunes while dressed in little underwear, high heels, and a filthy rabbit mask. At one point Kat mentioned that she was terrified of masks. I replied that it might be a bad time to inform her that the Spits would most likely be wearing masks of some sort as well. Nobunny shot us with a gun that spewed glitter and set fireworks off on the stage. Everyone seemed to be quite pleased and I was no exception. Between bands, we stepped outside for a smoke and seen the previously mentioned Jerry Mcgill and he indeed had an Irishman and a camera man following him around. Kat struck up a conversation with him which may be included in the documentary. I'll keep you posted.


Rounding out the bill was Seattle's loud, and noisy Spits! The Spits played fast and furiously jumping into the next number as soon as the previous ended. The crowd was going apeshit slam dancing and even stage diving. After the show, another fellow St. Louisan we met earlier walked out of the Hi-Tone with a dazed look on his face and simply said "that was fucking awesome". I wholeheartedly agreed.

The Spits

It went something like this:

That pretty much concludes our Memphis trip this past weekend. There were a few other things we meant to accomplish but I think we jammed as much we could in there. We never really had a dull moment so I have no regrets.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Declare Today National "Dr. D" David Schultz Day

I've decided to take it upon myself to declare today National "Dr. D" David Schultz day. David Schultz was a professional wrestler during the 1970's and 80's who portrayed what you might call a typical redneck type character. Whether or not he actually was a redneck is anyone's guess. I'd assume he was indeed. In those times, the fact that professional wrestling was "fake" or "fixed" was a closely guarded secret by those within the business itself. It was thought that if fans knew that it was not really a true sporting event that people would no longer pay to attend such events. In the video below, you'll see the great length that "Dr. D" went through to protect his lively hood when 20/20 reporter John Stossel asks the dreaded question...

John Stossel later sued the World Wrestling Federation for the amount of $425,000 for this incident.

Here we have vignette entitled At Home With "Dr. D" David Schultz where David is trying to convince wrestling fans that at his residence, he is just an ordinary man and not the psychotic, violent man that he is inside the ring. Pure genius if you ask my opinion.

Now go out and celebrate National "Dr. D" David Schultz day.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Human Centipede

I first learned of The Human Centipede through a friend of mine on Facebook who happens to be a emergency room doctor. His reaction to the movie trailer was of utter disgust, while mine was of utter delight. I had no idea that this film would be making it's way to the Tivoli Theater in the Delmar Loop for two nights only until a few weeks later. In my never ending quest for over-the-top, ridiculous fun, I just knew that I had to get some folks together for a midnight viewing.

The movie itself may not be completely ground breaking and if you are thinking of viewing when this movie hits your town/DVD player and expecting cinematic genius, you are certainly missing the point. There is no doubt that the "teenage girls car breaks down in the woods and they run into serious troubles" plot is tried and true in the realm of horror pictures and it is used again here. Never though, have I seen another film where the victims are turned into a fucking human centipede! Hysterical! According to the trailer, the film is 100% medically accurate. That information alone is enough to freak me out. Anyhow, out of the six of us that went, two of us thought the movie was great (in a campy sort of way). It should also be noted that the two of us that did enjoy the film were consuming alcoholic beverages before and during the showing.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cheap Thrills #3

A long. overdue Rock & Roll foot up yer ass.

Download here!

Mean Jeans - Cool 2 Drive (Trouble In Mind)
The Normals - Almost Ready (Electric Eye)
Natural Child - Shame Walkin' (Infinity Cat)
Davila 666 - Bla Bla Bla (S-T/In The Red)
Almighty Defenders - All My Loving (S-T/Vice)
Half Rats - For The Sake Of Love (Douche Master)
Box Elders - Stay (Alice & Friends/Goner)
Crusaders Of Love - Shot To The Heart (Never Grow Up/Douche Master)
Supercharger - Zodiac (S-T/Estrus)
White Wires - You're Mother Says You're Ugly (S-T/Douche Master)
Mojomatics - Another Cheat On Me (Douche Master)
Reigning Sound - Dangerous Game (Love and Curses/In The Red)
So Cow - Dunno (Meaningless Friendly/Tic Tac Totally)
Jacuzzi Boys - Island Ave (No Seasons/Floridas Dying)
The Separates - Fifty Frozen Girls (The Truth Is There/Radio Rebel)
Potential Johns - Can I really Not Go With You (Dirtnap)
Marked Men - Ditch (Ghosts/Dirtnap)
The Fans - You Don't Live Here Anymore (1977)
Hunx & His Punx - You Don't Like Rock & Roll (Rob's House)
Barbara Lynn - Until Then, I'll Suffer
Mean Jeans - Let's Pogo B4 U Gogo (Are You Serious?/Dirtnap)