Thursday, December 1, 2022

Nick the Stripper versus Mac the Lipper

Electrifying piece of guitar playing there from Rowland S

Not sure I've ever played the original

 Also electric

A live version from B. Party

My ex-Goth wife detects a resemblance between Cave's vocal in "Catman" and Ian McCulloch's on this crackles-with-Eros performance 

The source in common being Jim Morrison I guess. Two different inflections of the Dionysian 

The difference between the two is that Ian McC is sexy whereas Nick Cave isn't exactly sexy. In fact, if anyone's the "catman" here it's Mac... 

That commonality is funny in a way because there is the story of how The Birthday Party arrived in the UK all hopped up with anticipation having heard things like "She Is Beyond Good Evil" and practically the first thing they do is go see a postpunk bill at the Lyceum  - Echo, Teardrop, A Certain Ratio, some such combination of hot 1980 type groups - and The Birthday Party never got over the disappointment and professed to be unable to take British music seriously thereafter. After that, they went totally American in their identifications (well, apart from The Fall). 

Ah, here's the quote (my memory is good but then the piece in question is a sacred text for me, parts of which I can recite word for word): 

"Coming to London has been one of the most disillusioning experiences of my life, partly for a lot of obvious reasons, like everything closing down at eleven o’clock, but more important, because when we came here we thought here at least people were doing more than standing around twanging their guitars. I was really shocked. When we arrived, we saw this package show at the Lyceum, with Echo And The Bunnymen, A Certain Ratio, Teardrop Explodes and so forth and... well, I’ve never been able to take English music seriously since. It was horrible."

Now when I interviewed Ian McCulloch in 1989 - a long, mild-and-bitter-fueled (and other stuff fueled on his part -  very green I was then and didn't realise why he kept going to the bogs with one of his band mates) colloquy in a Liverpool pub....  towards the end, drunk and grandiloquent yet also fishing for compliments,  he asked who my favorite group of the '80s was....  my mind went completely blank (the accurate answer would have been the Smiths, which would have cued a huge rant from Mac), and  I said "probably The Birthday Party".  No doubt put out that I didn't say "Echo and the Bunnymen", Mac launched into a sizeable tirade about Nick Cave and junkies. 

Perhaps he remembered and stored up the grievance of Cave insults like this: 

"I mean, fuck it, what we’re trying to do is the biggest musical cliché in the world. It’s just that some people forget the cliché. Can you imagine Echo And The Bunnymen trying to let themselves go?"

Seem to remember him also saying that The Crucial Three were on his death list or something like that. 

Cave versus McCulloch is clearly a case of A/ narcissism of small differences  B/ hair rivalry (they were probably both competing to get hold of remaining supplies of Elnett hairspray)

I have a story about McCulloch's "exploded cock" but it's probably actionable. 


A 1970 doc about Gene Vincent, he seems very mild in this compared to all the stories about him pulling pistols on people (and actually firing shots at Gary Glitter - this before he was Gary Glitter, if you get me, a Brit rock'n'roller earning a good crust playing gigs in Hamburg and other German cities) 

A song about Gene Vincent 

1 comment:

  1. With reference to rock stars with guns, get a load of this:

    And this:


Canterbury and the cuppa tea

  Standing on a golf course dressed in PVC I chanced upon a golf girl selling cups of tea She asked me did I want one, asked me with a grin ...