Monday, February 16, 2009

Rock Hard

Alex Chilton - Live at Berkeley Square, Berkeley, CA (6-22-85) 1 & 2
Alex Chilton - Live at the VFW Hall, Baton Rouge, LA (9-27-85) 1

Alex Chilton - Live at The Heartbreak Hotel, Languedoc, France (5-7-86) 1 & 2

Like so much of the music that hit me right between my eyes and somehow also pierced my heart in my Golden Youth, Alex Chilton's came to me via a tape made by Oldest Brother. He put Bach's Bottom and Like Flies on Sherbert on it with some Cramps to fill 'er out. I didn't know what in the hell I was hearing, but it struck me as being somewhere between madness and brilliance in the giddy, throw myself at the walls way it made me feel. It was a new language to me, alien in its raw blueness and its lowdown drunken heartbeats. I didn't know how to hear this stuff. (A few years later Oldest Brother and the 'monkey had too many beers and spent a night singing - nay, screaming - along to "Take Me Home and Make Me Like It" in the kitchen of the apartment we shared).

And then Chilton had his 80s renaissance and not only was he recording but touring - huzzah! High Priest became a party album and a point of commonality between me and my friends who came to music via a different path (non-punk, classic rock and blues). And Chilton live was an awesome thing. I've never stopped hearing his totally wacked and extended solo on "Volare" from one of his O'Cayz gigs. My Smart Wife and I still go all glassy-eyed when we talk about it. (And if you are out there, guy who was next to me at that show, guy who had microphones on his baseball cap and wires going down into his shirt- release your tape! If the tape self-destructed, unable to contain such beauty, you are forgiven. If you are dead, you are forgiven. Otherwise, I will find you and you will pay for keeping this from the world for so long!)

Saw Chilton in Middleton, Wisconsin in 2000 at The Hotel which I think is gone now, probably an apartment building or something. Sweet show. Got all fanboy and asked for his autograph. He was a gentleman for sure. This was just before or after the show at Schuba's that's passed around a lot in trading circles. I don't recommend that show; the sound sucks. These kind of tinny, raw tapes from the 80s are much better. They really capture Chilton live.

Enjoy! Buy shit!


Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the Chilton shows. I attended a slew of shows in the San Francisco during the 80's with my friend Aaron, who taped every show along with recording demos for High Priest with Alex. Aaron was transferring these shows to digital, but unfortunately died before he finished the task. I saw a memorial to Aaron by Chuck Prophet after Aaron passed, where he claimed he was going to take over getting these shows released. Hope he does!

Take care,
Tom Wheeler

gomonkeygo said...

Thanks for the comment, Tom. Sorry about your friend's passing. I hope his work does get finished for him.

Ya know, I used to trade with a taper named Aaron, who had hundreds of shows from the 80s, but he lived in Chicago at the time, I think. (Some kind of Chicago connection sticks in my head). Probably not the same Aaron.

Hope you find other tunes you can enjoy and please stop back when you wish.

Have a nice day,


Memphis said...

It was The Club Tavern(world famous)show in 2000.We thought you were never going to stop humping Alex' leg.Bloody spectacle,it was.......really weird how you kept yelling "Choo Choo Train"Choo Choo Train"..........

gomonkeygo said...

The Club, really? I'm probably wrong in my memory of you in the red thong giving "Happy Girl Kisses" to the bass player, then, eh? Some other bar, some other show...many other bars, many other shows.