Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Imperial Dogs: Garage Rock? Proto-Punk? Heavy Metal? Or All Of The Above?

"Building on the influence of '60s garage rock and '70s proto-punk like the Stooges and Mott The Hoople, the traces of things to come are all over the material: a song called 'Loud, Hard & Fast' is indeed all of the above,"so sayeth Smith College professor Steve Waksman, author of This Ain't the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk (University of California Press, 2009), writing about the Imperial Dogs' Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD here.

Waksman -- whose book takes its title from the song that was originally written and performed by the Imperial Dogs, then later re-worked and recorded by the Blue Oyster Cult for their 1976 Agents Of Fortune LP -- had not previously heard the Imperial Dogs' version, which they can be seen and heard performing on the DVD. But now that he has ...

"It's amazing this was recorded, let alone that it's been issued on DVD," continues Waksman. "The liner notes are great and help to put this lost nugget of hard rock history in the perspective it deserves. I urge anyone with an interest in the twisted, intersecting paths of metal and punk to buy a copy."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Punk Legend Keith Morris Meets The Imperial Dogs!

Former Black Flag/Circle Jerks frontman/fellow South Bay homeboy Keith Morris just scored a copy of the Imperial Dogs' DVD and this is what he posted here on his Facebook page: "HEY RAWK PEEPS! Just watched The IMPERIAL DOGS live in Long Beach and I've gotta say... GET THIS! If yer a fan of the STOOGES, STONES, MOTT THE HOOPLE, KINKS, VELVETS, DOLLS go to: theimperialdogs.com And yeah that's IMPERIAL as in IMPERIAL HIGHWAY runnin' right through South Central w/a brown bag fulla Budweiser! This was filmed in 1974 when we didn't have much real local music 'cause they were all playin' Top 40!"

Monday, February 15, 2010

I-Dogs On Kim Fowley's 'Underground Garage' Radio Show!

Wearing an Imperial Dogs T-shirt, the already legendary Kim Fowley welcomed the Imperial Dogs to the stage when the fearsome foursome played their first show at the similarly legendary Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco on November 11, 1974. (See photo at right.) Fowley later introduced then-former I-Dogs frontman Don Waller to then-Blue Oyster Cult co-manager/co-producer Murray Krugman, which led to the BOC's re-working and recording the Imperial Dogs' original version of "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" for their 1976 platinum-selling album, Agents Of Fortune.

On Saturday (Feb. 20), Kim Fowley welcomes the Imperial Dogs to his weekly portion of the "Underground Garage" satellite radio program, which airs from 9am to 1pm on the Sirius 25 and XM 59 channels. This week, the Fowley show's theme is "a tribute to local bands," so he'll be mashing up instrumental audio segments from the L.A./South Bay-based Imperial Dogs' Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD with glory-that-was-grease instrumentals -- all cherry-picked from Kim's colossal collection of vintage vinyl -- and delivering his inimitable sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll-fueled raps over the top. Now that's info-tainment!

Tune in, turn on, and hear the Imperial Dogs' version of the Kinks' "Till The End Of The Day" collide with Lonnie Mack's "Memphis" (DJ break #3) and the I-Dogs' originals "Midnite Dog" and "Loud, Hard & Fast" segue into Duane Eddy's "Because They're Young" and the Frogmen's "Underwater" (DJ breaks #6 and #9, respectively). Stay tuned and bear ear-witness to the Imperial Dogs' version of Mott The Hoople's "Rock And Roll Queen" swapping precious bodily fluids with Lonnie Mack's "Wham!" (DJ break #11) and the I-Dogs' fans screaming for an encore sliding seamlessly into the Routers' "Let's Go" (DJ break #13). Losing band to have heads shaved on stage!

Kim Fowley's name has been on a lot of loose lips lately, seeing as how he plays a Machiavellian role in The Runaways movie, which is set to open on March 19. As an original member of the Back Door Man fanzine staff, Don can't wait to see whether the film includes the Runaways playing their first gig at a party held in BDM founder Phast Phreddie Patterson's parents' living room on September 11, 1975, or BDM staffer D.D. Faye's bringing guitarist Lita Ford into the group, or Don himself teaching Joan Jett the John Lee Hooker-style monologue that appears in the middle of "Born To Be Bad" backstage between sets at the Whisky-a-Go-Go ...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

'Playing Bone Shattering Music & Causing Mayhem' Pt. 2

Featuring guest commentary from Back Door Man fanzine founder Phast Phreddie Patterson and first-generation L.A. punk-rock photographer Jenny Lens, the second installment of a two-part interview with former Imperial Dogs ("a band that seemed to exist for the sheer enjoyment of causing mayhem and playing electric music at bone shattering decibels") frontman Don Waller can now been seen here at Troy Church's The Bigfoot Diaries blog.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Imperial Dogs On 'The Watt From Pedro Radio Show'!

Former Imperial Dogs frontman Don Waller is this week's guest on bassist extraordinaire Mike Watt's long-running Internet radio program, "The Watt From Pedro Radio Show," playing audio selections from -- and giving background info on -- the Imperial Dogs' Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD, and trading South Bay proto-punk war stories about the Back Door Man fanzine, the Blue Oyster Cult, Patti Smith, Rodney's English Disco, the F.B.I.'s busting into an I-Dogs' practice in search of Patty Hearst, and much, much more. Hear it all here.