Monday, November 23, 2009

Get The Picture: The Imperial Dogs Now In 'Ugly Things'

The strange-but-true story of "outrageous L.A. proto-punks" the Imperial Dogs is the subject of a 12,500-word story in the brand-new issue of Ugly Things, which specializes in "wild sounds from past dimensions" and is available here.

Written by musician/journalist Tim (Napalm) Stegall, this .44 magnum opus features 13 must-be-seen-to-be-believed, black-and-white photos -- color versions of which can be found in the booklet to the Imperial Dogs' Live! At Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD -- and a half-page sidebar on the equally outrageous Back Door Man fanzine, which shares some DNA with the Imperial Dogs thembeautifulselves.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fang Mail, Pt. 3

Thought we'd share some more "fang mail" from people who've actually purchased our DVD. Danny Vanneste of Westland, Michigan, a man who actually witnessed live performances by the MC5 and the Psychedelic Stooges (!), writes: "Received the DVD today about an hour ago or so. Dropped the coin right into the slot, gotta hear sumthin' that's really hot. What a tight band and a great performance all around. Right up there with the MC5. (The Stooges' sound and performance was a bit looser.)

"You were a great frontman, keeping it together despite the annoying feedback and your pants slipping down to the delight of at least half the audience. (You must have the coolest mom in the world who made sure she had photos of her son's predicament.) That aside, I liked your raps between songs putting them into context. I can't believe how tight the band was and the songs are strong.

"Hats off to Linda Pascale for all she did in making this document possible. It's a great video that captures what the music scene was like on the ground level of the culture. Considering you were playing under reduced circumstances, with the lights, heat, and feedback, you guys did a great job. Thanks for getting it to me so quickly, and thanks again for making it available."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

'An Evening Of Sex, Violence & Public Outrage' Revisited

First feature on the Imperial Dogs DVD ("Posters promised 'an evening of sex, violence and public outrage.' That is exactly what the attendees got" ..."with eccentric performances and a raw sound, the Imperial Dogs set the pace for other punk bands to come") comes courtesy of Brittany Woolsey at the California State University at Long Beach's Daily 49er, which is the student newspaper of the school where the Imperial Dogs' performance was videotaped on October 30,1974.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kid Congo Meets The Imperial Dogs

Kid Congo Powers -- who's been in more great bands (the Cramps, the Gun Club, the Bad Seeds, the Pink Monkey Birds) than anyone 'cept maybe Ronnie Wood -- can stand up on the bar and shout, "I saw the Imperial Dogs play Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco in 1974!"

Except he's too cool to do something like that. But you can go here and he'll say: "It was a weird strange community, before punk was kind of cool or trendy. All these desperate people -- that photographer Jenny Lens -- strange people looking for something new ... kids ... like a strange Mad magazine picture of people. There were already bands and fanzines like Back Door Man that were raw rock and roll style, Detroit-style rock, the pre-punk thing. Bands like the Motels, who became something different. At first they were much more raw. Bands like the Dogs and the Imperial Dogs -- that was Don Waller's band. And they were hard-edge, kind of like a Stooges-y, MC5 sort of thing."

And just last month ... Kid Congo and Don Waller shared some tales from these dark ages at the Stories bookstore in Echo Park, appearing along with Cole Coonce, Annette Zilinskas, John Tottenham, Pete Weiss, Gordy Grundy, and Margaret Wappler. (Photographic evidence supplied by South Bay homeboy George Waddell.) 'Twas all part of the Part Time Punks shows held at the nearby Echoplex, where Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds were performing later that evening (Oct. 11, 2009).

Kid's side-splitting story -- starring himself, Pleasant Gehman, Jane Wiedlin, Margot Olaverra, and Bing Crosby's grandson -- involved Quaaludes, prescription speed, alcohol, shoplifting, and a night in the Hollywood police station.

Wearing an original Imperial Dogs T-shirt, Don offered "Big Star," inspired by an evening with Lux Interior, Poison Ivy Rorshach, Alex Chilton, Phast Phreddie Patterson, and Tom "The Punk" Gardner.

He also told some choice Imperial Dogs' stories -- taken from the booklet to the Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD -- involving the F.B.I., Patty Hearst, a stolen wheelchair, some blood capsules, and a bogus chain-whipping that sent half the Rodney's audience screaming onto Sunset Boulevard. Good times ...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fang Mail, Pt. 2

Thought we'd share some more "fang mail" from people who've actually purchased our DVD. Campbell McInnes of Edwardstown, Australia writes: "The DVD arrived yesterday. Watched it twice already. Great stuff, very raw and very visceral! It's strange to think that it was Oct. 1974. Hell, I was just a month away from my 11th birthday and listening to whatever was on the AM radio!! (glam rock and country, I guess) -- this stuff would've scared the beejayzus out of me.

"And I hope I don't sound like I'm pissing up your leg, but you were a great frontman. There's so many guys out front that you can tell are an act, a put-on, but you really had that look of total control/abandonment that the good ones (Iggy, Stiv, James Brown) had.

"The best bands are the ones who teeter on the edge of collapse, of losing control, and the Imperial Dogs look like they were definitely one of those bands. I'm sure as hell glad you went to the effort of transferring this to DVD."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fang Mail, Pt. 1

Thought we'd share some "Fang Mail" from people who've actually purchased the Imperial Dogs DVD. Toby French writes from England: "My expectations were high after seeing the YouTube teaser and they've been comfortably exceeded. I was thinking you may have plucked the two best songs in the shop window, but, no, there's not a dud on here.

"That's a mighty fine bit of hollering you've dished out here, backed up with some world-class audience-baiting and flat-out lunacy. The footage reminds me a bit of the Cramps show at the Napa State Looney Bin -- only this time the madman isn't in the audience.

"The liner notes and the packaging are top-notch, too. 10 years before, indeed."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Love Bites

Latest review of the Imperial Dogs DVD ("What I saw [and heard] totally blew me away" ... "a hopped-up, hippie bashing, willfully aggro set" ... "a touch of Doors/Seeds/Music Machine 'dark side of the mushroom' mojo") comes courtesy of longtime journalist/musician/pal Dan Epstein's La Vie En Robe site.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Australia, You Get What You Work For

The first Australian review of the Imperial Dogs DVD ("mind-blowing ... glorious stuff ... the songs are all great -- jam-packed with killer riffs, big hooks and vivid, cool and funny lyrics") comes courtesy of longtime friend 'n' fan David Laing, who also interviews I-Dogs frontman Don Waller about the DVD as well as the legendary Back Door Man fanzine at Craig Barman's incredible I-94 Bar site.