The Dogs D’Amour – Straight??!! For without The Dogs and their rags to rags tales of destruction I would never have become the rags to rags singer of self-destruction. This album is so full of heartbreak poetry, the imagery of swashbuckling pseudo glamour of highwaymen and pirates and typical lowlife gutter excess that, of course, other bands before tried to feed me, but it’s that grittiness from Tyla’s voice, a Tom Waits on Valium who struck the nail home on my musical vice. The Dynamite Jet Salloon , Graveyard ( of Empty Bottles ), Errol Flynn and with Darrell Bath More Unchartered all are some of the finest Gutter punk n roll albums you’ll ever likely to hear. Straight just tops them all for me. Pure class
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction I had a rough teen years living in a squalid caravan where the water pipes burst in the winter. I lived hand to mouth, stealing food to survive and eating cold ravioli and rice pudding from the tin as I had no cooker. From the moment those immortal riffs start to ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ I knew I was still in my own personal rock n Roll dream. Drinking cheap booze, getting as much substances as I could inside me to stay warm. They made me understand that even the down n out can still dream, I felt kinsman ship with the image. I was a stupid teen. Vices aren’t as glamorous as they seem but it seemed like fun at the time.
Adam & The Ants- Prince Charming My Uncle bought this album for me for my 8th birthday as a joke (my real name is Adam ) unfortunately it totally backfired for him. I had a tiny mono record player and never listen to the radio. Between listening to my Basil Brush long play and Adam Ant I listened to very little else til I was 13. It’s another strangely dark set of songs with lyrics I didn’t understand for years but I wouldn’t get on that stage if it wasn’t for Stuart Goddard’s words ‘ridicule is nothing to be scared of’. I met him once when I was 10. I only remember his house having guitars on the wall and I was so star struck I Can’t remember a thing he said to me.
The Doors- The Doors By the time I hit my teens I was getting stoned and using a lot of hallucinogenics and after hours of lying in bed with hippy girlfriends listening to Jims records and starring at ‘That Poster’ the one in The Lost Boys, so much of me wanted to be a shamanic front man. Many I’ll advised jeans and white shirts later I still lean on the mike stand stealing from the lizard king. He like Tyla and another of my heroes Tom Waits had an incredible beat poet style to their writing that I’ve never shrugged off. I’m quite shallow, image is almost everything but first you’ve got to be good with words. I can listen to these guys reading poetry without any music behind them and it’s good, if not better. Words are everything to me.
Motley Crue -Girls,Girls,Girls Dirty, nasty and in my opinions The Crue’s finest hour. The moment ‘Wildside’ kicks off like a greasy biker on his hog , you know what you’re getting. It’s really low fi for the crue, a very, very dark underbelly. Everything about this record says sleaze and that’s how I always wanted my music, especially in my early 20’s. My hair got backcombed, the pvc jeans n twenty studded belts, too much eyeliner. It all fed my need to pretend I was on sunset strip. Pretty hard to do when you’re living in a seaside town in Devon but I tried oh how I tried. Again Nikki Sixx’s lyrics although way more dumbed down than my Beat poet lyricists, he still had a way with word. I related, in my strange messed up teenage mind.
Tom Waits – Nighthawks At The Diner Now firstly, after getting this far, I have to mention that I’m not a muso , I don’t collect hundreds of albums or listen to that much music to be fair, I’m more of a reader, and I guess that’s why Toms amazing live album speaks to me, again like I’ve already mentioned it’s the insanely brilliant use of words that attract me to most records. Nobody comes close to Tom Waits use of poetic verse, his delivery on this album is impeccable. Truly captivating. Just listening to him makes you want to crack open a bottle of red. Light a half smoked cigarette from the ash tray that still has lipstick on it. Swig through the smoke and stagger to a bar and hope your luck is in with a pretty little dame on the end stool. I read a lot, and I mean ALOT of Charles Bukowski, an American Beats poetry from the 50’s and Nighthawks is the musical background to the Bukowski way of life, the way of my life now ( in my imagination ), it’s dark, it’s funny , it’s tragic and yet there’s always a ray of sun behind the rain clouds. Musical genius at work. When I’m finished with The Bullets I want to make a jazz record. That’s my future right there.
Johnny Cash – The Sun Years Well, if Johnny Cash isn’t on your playlist somewhere then there’s something wrong with you. There’s not a song I don’t like from Cash’s early years, except for those dodgy xmas covers. When I started up my tattoo studio I brought everything major that he had done, including of course the American Songbook series, which were stunning, but it’s always the old stuff that burns my path. Again another amazing story teller, I could listen to his music without any music involved. It’s those legendary low vocals that swing alongside those of Waits and Tyla’s of which I seem partial and at times often are ( badly) reflected in my own vocal stylings.
Social Distortion- White Heat, White Noise Mike Ness is a god. This album is hard to pick over others but you made me choose. Why did it influence me? Hard to say, it could be the sweaty railroad hobo imagery I get from it or his rogue to repent sermons he writes that have Bukowskieque vibes again deeply imbedded in its folklore, it could be that he’s one of the coolest motherfuckers out there. My heavy tattoo coverage and vest wearing probably springs from SocialD. His vocal delivery again is rough and haunting and full of emotion which within a punk scene so full of hollering, I found refreshing. I must add that I do enjoy hollering punks at times also. Preferably grungy female riot grrrrl ones.
Hole – Live Through This When it comes to loud and nasty I do love Hole. This goes on when no ones about because it’s mostly a brilliant catatonic noise that my fellow friends don’t seem to like much but It’s far from a guilty pleasure , these people are just not versed in quality Riot Grrrl. Courtney holds a tune better than Katherine Hannah of Bikini Kill and her lyrics are more emotive. There’s not a dud song on this record. Courtney is on agonisingly good songwriting form. It makes me very happy. There’s a massive influx of riot grrrl returning to the scene, acts like Hands Off Gretel, Starshia Lee , A Void … Petty Phrase even. I’m a riot grrrl stuck in a shit trash rock singer body. Now where is my eyeliner and non-waterproof mascara?.
Faster Pussycat – Faster Pussycat More of that Glam, Trash, Lost n Found , Gutter Punk from my teens. It’s hard to make a top ten , it’s here that I’d probably have to put The Backyard Babies Total 13 and Crank County Daredevils Kings Of Sleaze records , not forgetting , Rod Stewart and The Faces , The Stones , Led Zeppelin , The Sex Pistols, Hanoi Rocks and The Dead Boys , Lords Of The New Church . All sit here in my most influential records. Ten is never concise and often changing to our moods. Here lies the beauty in music. It transcends lists. All it’s achieved here is to get a sneer peek into my wanton wasted years. And may then continue.
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