Sunday, April 09, 2006

Phil Ochs, Little Steven, Rodney and more . . .

April 9, 1976: Phil Ochs hung himself.

I will never forget seeing Phil at CSUN, supporting Democratic presidential contender Eugene McCarthy.
Early 1970's: In his gold lame suit at the Troubadour.
1979/1980: Hearing “Pleasures of the Harbor” at Club 88 when X played.

April 9, 2006: KCSN, "Power and Glory":

"Here is a land full of power and glory,
Beauty that words cannot recall.
Oh her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom.

Yet she's only as rich as the poorest of her poor,
Only as free as the padlocked prison door,
Only as strong as our love for this land,
Only as tall as we stand.

But our land is still troubled by men who have to hate.
They twist away our freedom
and they twist away our fate.
Fear is their weapon and treason is their cry,
We can stop them if we try."

Before I discovered punk at the end of 1975, I only listened to Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, Biff Rose and Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. The radio was too boring.

Visualize this: last night I updated notes to indicate I shot Darby Crash around the time he was filmed at the Ramones “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” Roxy show (December 1978), based on research by my invaluable archivist pal, musician David Jones. I’m literally writing the captions to my very first photos, Dee Dee at the Roxy, (August 1976) as Little Steven’s Underground Garage Rock is playing “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.”

I am a HUGE fan of Little Steven’s online archive. The stories, quotes, sound bytes and music are literally keeping important bits of our culture alive. Not just rock, but all realms of entertainment and the social and political environments which gave rise to various music, television, movies, radio, vaudeville, Broadway. Mass media entertainment that began in the early days of the 20th Century, focusing on the rise of rock, but its roots go waaaay back. Back to the Marx Brothers, back to Sinatra, and so much more.

I can’t describe what it’s like to work on a photo of Darby Crash for an upcoming art photo book about the LA scene and then hear the Germs on Indie 103.1 ( Better yet, hearing X while working on photos for MY book. Or Gun Club photos for the upcoming “Go Tell the Mountain” from director Kurt Voss and coincidentally hearing them this morning on Watusi Rodeo hosted by Chris Morris. Coincidence or not?

If you aren’t addicted to, you haven’t been paying attention! Amazing amazing. And soon you’ll see lots of my photos of the people who Steve Jones (Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 103.1) and Little Steven play. Sundays I start with Chris Morris on Indie (11 AM to 1 PM), then switch to KCSN (, for Beatles, roots, Dylan and the blues. From midnight to 3 AM, it’s Rodney on the Roq (KROQ, 106.7 FM). Wish those were archived too!

What about Sopranos, Big Love and Desperate Housewives? That's why digital video recorders are created!

If you haven't discovered Phil Ochs, you are missing out on one of the most important songwriters to have ever lived. He always claimed the FBI was watching him, people thought he was crazy, yet many years after his death, he was vindicated. They hounded him like they hounded John Lennon.

Don't know those stories? Watch out, it's happening again. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Iv'e been watching your site for about 6 months now,and to say the least,Iv'e become quite a fan.

I agree,with you: Phil Ochs was the shit!

11:21 AM  

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