PopKrazy Store PopKrazy Guide
to Pop
Culture

August 2009

Here you can step back through the vortex of time to view old PopKrazy content. Pages, Podcasts, Polls, and Stories will appear here.

THE CHERIE CURRIE CHAINSAW MASSACRE

Cherie Currie with Echo chainsaw

Now what was even stranger, I realized that this was some kind of sign...not only was that academic chick absolutely correct in her chainsaw/horror theory (I know, I know...it's not really proof because Cherie actually uses the chainsaw to create things of beauty while in the slasher movies the guys use the chainsaw to destroy flesh...but that's the way my mind works, okay?), but now I had to read the f***g book just to solve the mystery of why women & chainsaws seem so culturally connected.

And then, as I read through Cherie's info even further, I almost lose it. .....Holy shit, where have I been?  Of course!  She's the pretty blonde from that punk band, the Runaways, & I actually liked that first album when it came out, even reviewed the damn thing, and played it over & over.  But I guess I lost track...never really heard Joan Jett or anymore Runaway albums...but then had to admit that the only reason I played that album in the first place when it came in the mail via aforementioned record service in the ‘70s was because I had an immediate crush on CHERIE CURRIE.  (Hey, come on, gimme a break...you can see why.)

Those of you more up on rock history than me know that Cherie was the lead singer of the Runaways, and on the band's debut album on Mercury in 1976, the first track on the album was called "Cherry Bomb," which was indeed referring to our beloved Cherie. The track was actually created off the cuff because Cherie was told to prepare a song that sounded like Suzi Quatro, but she picked one the band didn't like.  And so, the other charming band members made the "Cherry Bomb" song up to make fun of Cherie.



POPKRAZY SPECIAL ALERT!!! THE ULTIMATE SOURCE FOR STAG MAGS!

There's just so much to love about this cover that I don't know where to begin! There's tons more here. Seriously - who are these wondrous folks that painstakingly scan and catalog these? To these anonymous lovers of sleaze, a tip o' the c-cup to you.

 Adam men's magazine with sexy redhead

 



THE LAST JOURNEY TO TWITTY CITY

Brochure for Conway Twitty's Twitty City Nashville TN

Harold Lloyd Jenkins–or Conway Twitty, the name WE knew him by–was one of the America’s most successful country music performers. Until 2000, Twitty held the record for the most Number One singles of any country act, with 45 Number Ones on all the trade charts!

Twitty lived for many years in Hendersonville, Tennessee, just north of Nashville, where he built a country music entertainment complex called Twitty City. It was famous for its lavish Christmas decorations and display of lights, and included the Conway Twitty Mansion and Memorial Garden. Conway and his wonderful tourist attraction were once even featured on the then-popular program “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Sadly, Twitty City is no more and now called Trinity Music City, USA. Since the great country singer’s death, it has been converted into a Christian music venue owned by the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Perhaps you have seen their TV programs while channel-surfing.

Me, I went to Twitty City once on one of my many sojourns to Nashville (next to Memphis, the holiest of all cities). There the wind whipped through the cultural debris of the once mighty fortress of a country legend, and I stood in memory, waiting for the ghost of Conway.

Things happen. Heroes die and fade. But maybe you can still look at this great tourist brochure and dream of things gone by.



THE CARTER FAMILY'S BIGGEST FAN

freeman kitchens in his post office

I can’t remember the exact date, but it was after one of those Nashville Fan Fairs that I used to love. My cohorts in product development for Time Warner were with me. I know that much.

We were heading north of Nashville to find this barbq truck we’d heard about. (We found the thing, actually, and there is a great picture of the three of us–Joe, Charlie, and me–with the sauce dribbling down our swag T-shirts [on mine, it looked like Merle had blood dripping down his face]).

Anyway, after the food break, we decided to locate this guy Freeman Kitchens, who had been contacting Charlie for awhile to see if our repackaged oldies biz would release a Carter Family set for TV direct-response sales.

Of course, the sound of ancient Carter Family recordings on TV would have put us out of business–not to mention the fact that there wasn’t any real footage. I mean, A.P. wandering the Virginia hills with a handheld camera behind him, wobbling as his depressed thoughts meandered, would have been great, but…..that’s the real problem with the media overload: all the good stuff was long before YouHooLookAtMeTube even existed.

And so, we find Mr. Freeman, who turns out to be a great host, and he’s surrounded by reel-to-reel & cassette tapes of the Carter Family with tons of memorabilia & stuff all over the place. He sure had focus, I’m telling ya. He was a really kind and thoughtful gentleman, and we stayed for an hour or so, but didn’t really promise him anything. Nevertheless, we came to believe in the Carter Family even more.

But not enough to put them on TV, mind you.



THE NEW YORK DOLLS...AND A SENSE OF STYLE, PART ONE

new york dolls in costume 1973

They did it. They were glamorous.  They were, are, the New York Dolls. 

 

Formed in 1971, and after a break-up period, are still going strong today.  Decidedly American,the band was "protopunk" and a harbinger of what was to come... the punk era.  They painted a new picture.  Straight men, out of New York, wearing dresses and high heels.  Girls still wanted to f*ck them. They fascinated their audience and the press. Johnny Thunders, however, he wasn't wearing no dress, thank you very much. Though his hair and makeup did make him look a bit like "Glam, Italian, Junkie Barbie".

 



THE NEW YORK DOLLS AND STYLE, PART DEUX



TRACI LORDS IS NOT OF THIS EARTH!

 

 

Traci Lords Not of This Earth  Poster

TRACI LORDS IS MORE, WELL, EXCITING THAN BEVERLY GARLAND, I THINK IN THE REMAKE OF NOT OF THIS EARTH.

 

It was the invasion of the sleazoids in deadly dull black and white, and I have the flyer somewhere.  I’ve looked all over the web, but can find neither hide nor hair evidence of this grand event that occurred in downtown Wilmington somewhere in 1975.

The filthiest bunch of skum ever descended upon the incredibly dead city of the Chemical Capital of the World to romp and barf in mindless abandonment under the banner of the First Annual World Sleaze Convention. (Not really the first, fact hounds: Tokyo had several before this one, usually with Ultraman look-alike contests and various Mothra color slide shows, and once, Johnny Sokko of Albany, NY, showed sleazee snapshots of his mom’s undies for 50 cents a peep, AND, if you want to stretch a point, every flea market worth its weight in garbage is a first-class sleaze con minus the pretensions of cult fondling), but like all conventions, whether it’s for babyfat Trekkies or Beatle mop tops, its spells CON, and the fix is for the hustlers. In Wilmington, the dada was squelched as the wares were foisted on every burned-out creep who flopped near each “bizarro bazaar.” Actual moolah was exchanged for stuff best left near Rover’s daily dump.



THE GREAT MUSES OF ROCK 'N' ROLL

sexy anita pallenberg sprawled on a sofa 

 Rock and roll is FASHION. 

Think of Creem Magazine's "Eleganza" column if you will.  My first oasis of hipness was found in those pages, that column.  When I think of style and rock and roll, of course it's players and their brilliant style come to mind, but so do many of the beautiful women/muses that surrounded the bands.  Narrowed down to two, Anita Pallenberg and Loulou de la Falaise are my inspirations.  Beauty queens, rebels, fashionistas (before the word was invented), these women to me, as archetypes are pirates. No surprise that they are both designers for the hip and chic today.



WHICH IS THE GREATEST ROCK BAND OF ALL TIME?

           

The Rolling Stones
22% (17 votes)
The Beatles
45% (35 votes)
The Clash
17% (13 votes)
The Shaggs
17% (13 votes)
Total votes: 78


THE UBIQUITOUS POP MASTERPIECE

Billboard feature on the Beach Boys Pet<br />
Sounds

“Sometimes I almost feel/Just like a human being.”
–Elvis Costello, “Lipstick Vogue,” 1978

The discovery of self, getting to know the inner you, is the very stuff of our troubled and crazy times. The growing number of support groups, the proliferation of psychotherapists, and the overwhelming and seemingly all-powerful self-help sections at bookstores attest to this fact. “Feel the pain,” sez Zippy the Pinhead as he hands a friend a box of Milk Duds just before he heads spiraling into a nervous breakdown.

Pop music abounds in such eccentric edifices of the inner self. In fact, pop music is such a refuge for so many selves in search of self that pop and rock are probably nothing more than the babble generated by a series of cathartic experiences. Many of rock’s landmark albums are probing works, painfully introspective, almost dull in fact, until you hear them in the isolation of your empty room after a long night of dark fear and sweaty terror.



MICHAEL JACKSON ON THE ROOF OF WOOLCO IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, IN 1977

 

Michael Jackson on the roof of Woolco in Memphis, Tennessee

 

When Michael Jackson appeared on the roof of Woolco in Southgate Shopping Center in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1977, he had no idea that one day he would be wed to the daughter of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and that he would even vye for the King’s throne.

Then, Michael was not yet the beknighted King of Pop. In fact, he was more one of the Five, and not yet the grand amalgamation of pop cultural touchstones that he would become.

As the story has been told, the Jackson 5 were appearing that evening in concer and had just visited the South’s great R&B radio station, WDIA. Michael and his brothers were eager to please their fans, and that would mean going into the community to sign autographs. So WDIA planned a remote broadcast at a Woolco in the Southgate Shopping Center on South Third.

Although Woolco was selling Jackson 5 recordings, the manager of the store had never even heard of the group. As a result, nobody at this particular Woolco had anticipated what would happen when they opened the doors of the store despite the fact that the store was actually selling tons of their records.

Of course, hundreds, then thousands, of fans rushed in to meet the young pop icons. One estimate is that at least 10,000 people had been waiting in the parking lot to see the group.

The WDIA handlers decided to put the Jackson 5 on the roof for everyone’s safety.



TUNE IN, TURN ON, DROP OUT, PART 1

Psychedelic rock was a mind-expanding consciousness, the first vestige of free-form experimentation in rock ‘n’ roll history. Prior to the spirit of psychedelia, rock ‘n’ roll was restricted by a certain form and melodic structure–teenage or British bands hacked out hits and atonality was taboo. As rock began to establish consciousness and to perceive its tradition, the mental state became as important as the physical condition.

When you realize the full contribution established by this sonic movement songs, the psychedelic experience seem awesome!

Consider that this consciousness gave us the following:

rock as a revolutionary force (social, political, and sexual)
the concept album
LP covers as art
rock criticism and its sense of rock aesthetics
rock lyrics as poetry
the notion that rock was every bit as important as blues or jazz….

That’s quite a formidable contribution from a supposedly footloose and haphazard genre, and its major influences certainly negate its minor irritations such as body painting and the overabundance of hippies and incense.