Wednesday, September 24, 2003

For those whose tastes don't turn to disco chanteuse Goldfrapp at the Park West on Thursday night, consider the Ramones documentary Hey! Is Dee Dee Home? at the Siskel Film Center. Heck, since the film starts at 6:30 and is only 64 minutes long and the Goldfrapp show is at 7:30 with an opening act, you could probably do both. Those moved by my call for a Replacements reunion tour may be more interested in Come Feel Me Tremble, a doc about Paul Westerberg featuring lots of fan-shot footage. It airs September 28 and October 2.

In any case, it's safe to say that these movies will not be coming to a Blockbuster near you any time soon.

Monday, September 22, 2003

While waiting for Interpol to take the stage last Friday, I overheard a guy much younger than I excitedly tell his friends the Pixies are planning a reunion tour in April and that this was great news. I barged into the conversation to inform him that, sadly, this is not great news because they were a terrible live act. He was still in elementary school when I was out of college and seeing the Pixies in 1989-1992, so he never witnessed that, for all their innovation and cool weirdness, the Pixies were largely charisma-free and rather dull on stage.

On the karma scale, I would much sooner see the Pixies finally get rich from their artistic impact than the Sex Pistols if only because John Lydon is an arrogant bastard who needs to get over himself, a criticism I would never lob at Black Francis after interviewing him several times. But in terms of influential bands that broke up before getting their due, I'd prefer to see a reunion tour by the Replacements. They were much more volatile and vibrant live than the Pixies. Besides, it would save Tommy Stinson from having to stay with Guns N' Roses, and, while I wouldn't wish substance addiction on anyone, Paul Westerberg wrote better songs before he got sober.

Maybe it's just time for a kick-ass Pixies box set. Or someone should feature "Gigantic" or  "Debaser" or "Tony's Theme" prominently in a movie soundtrack. At least David Bowie has already done his part in helping to expose them with a great cover of "Cactus" on Heathen.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I'd been saving my "brush with Zevon" anecdote for his death, and I'm sorry to say that his time came.

In late 1990, I parted on bad terms with a boyfriend who was also a Warren Zevon fan. Zevon was in town about a month later. I expected to run into my ex at the show when I arrived during the opening act. The club was crowded, so I wasn't surprised that I didn't see him. Then I realized it was a familiar voice over the P.A. He was up on stage, alone with his guitar.

Afterwards, I got the full story. He'd brought his guitar to the club in hopes of getting Zevon to autograph it. The scheduled opening act was a no-show. The manager of the venue spotted the kid with the guitar and asked if he could fill in for the absent support act.

When Zevon took the stage, he was full of praise for my ex's bravery. I think his exact words were, "Has that guy got cojones or what?!" Afterwards, my star-struck ex was getting Warren and his cohorts to sign anything he could as evidence of his magical opportunity. The irony was that, with an audience of about 700, I was the only person there who already knew him. He quickly realized that unless he treated me right, I could deny that the whole thing ever happened.

Meanwhile, I introduced myself to Zevon. I had done a telephone interview with him earlier that year but had never met him face-to-face. He acknowledged he'd never read my article because his label had already dropped him, so he scribbled down his manager's address where I could send a copy.

Swell guy, underappreciated talent. RIP, Warren.