Afghanistan All GIrl Band Rock their Burkas!!!

January 29, 2011

I have not had this much excitement over a discovery of a new band since my friend dragged me to see the Japanese Punk band Peelander-Z who bill themselves as a “Japanese Action Comic Punk band hailing from the Z area of Planet Peelander”. Each member is dressed in a Power Rangers style costumes with hard plastic colored wigs to match and name themselves after each color: Peelander Blue, red and Yellow. They have one of the craziest and funniest stage acts and songs. I’ll have to right about them another time. Look them up on YouTube although you have to see them live to really appreciate them. It’s like watching rocky Horror on television instead of the movie theater or worse: listening to the soundtrack without ever seeing the movie at all.

This article is about my latest discovery. It’s about the controversial Afghan all girl pop punk trio called the Blue Burka Band. The band had a short career in 2003 because in Afghanistan music and dancing was forbidden under the Taliban rule. Afghanistan still considers girls playing music and singing as even more of a disgrace.

These three girls draped in their blue burkas blare their rebellious and hilarious songs like pros. Their style has been compared to the 1980’s band Bananarama. They do the standard simple steps, microphone and guitars swinging but between the satirical and political lyrics and pop punk music they are not just your average girl band. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the burkas that not only make a political statement, show their sense of humor and mystery but hide them from their audience, the media and their potential oppressors and enemies.

They sing songs making fun of the Afghanistan oppressors and the burkas them selves. Their biggest hit is a song called Blue Burka with lyrics like “You give me all your love, you give me all your kisses, and then you touch my burka, and don’t know who it is…”

Unlike the rock n roll legend KISS who kept their secret identities in the 1970’s for the novelty and the anonymity in public, the Blue Burka Band stay under their burkas hide their identity from the authorities of Afghanistan. Their very existence was and stil can be dangerous on multiple levels. The were breaking “laws” by being women singing in a band, making fun of the ruling class, wearing the burkas to mock the oppression of women in Afghanistan.

They recorded their single in Germany in 2003 and played shows in Europe when they could. Despite the changes in the following years they still won’t play in Afghanistan and are pretty much staying underground waiting for the right time to emerge again. According to the singer to this day there are only 10 people in Afghanistan that know their real identity.

Unfortunately the only way to see their video these days is on YouTube. One day they hope to get back on the road and record. I can’t wait. I hope they grace the stages of the United States or I might have to break down and get a passport.

GG Allin King of Scum Rock Birthday Tribute

August 29, 2010






It Thing Hard On: The Cramps Revisited

July 13, 2010

The Cramps were an American garage punk band formed in 1976 and were active until 2009. The band split after suffering the death of lead singer Lux Interior.[1] Their line-up rotated much over their existence, with the husband and wife duo of Interior and lead guitarist Poison Ivy the only permanent members. Guitarist Bryan Gregory and drummer Pam Ballam rounded out the first complete lineup in April 1976.

They were part of the early CBGB punk rock movement that had emerged in New York. The Cramps are noted as influencing a number of musical styles: not only are they one of the first garage punk bands but also by being the first known band to blend punk rock with rockabilly, The Cramps are widely recognized as one of the prime innovators of psychobilly, and they inspired many of the early goth rock bands.

On February 4, 2009 at 4:40 AM PST, Lux Interior died at the Glendale Memorial Hospital after suffering an aortic dissection which, contrary to initial reports about a pre-existing condition, was “sudden, shocking and unexpected.”  – Wikipedia

I wrote this after seeing them on October 13th, 2004.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

It Thing Hard On

John, my cousin’s wife Nicole and I walked into the Trocadero around 7:45 pm. Our night was set. We were to see the Cramps. Nicole thought she could get us in for free because her old room mate works there. He wasn’t there but she found this other guy she knew that said he’d get al three of us in for twenty bucks. It’s better than Twenty-two dollars a piece. This dude was big and black and ugly. Not just his face but his entire manner. His name was Beast. Appropriate. Here’s the real price. Nicole had to actually talk to this massive monster. He looked at me with confusion and assumed I was looking out for her or protecting her. “Don’t worry man. I ain‘t trying to get with the girl. You look like you want to protect her.“ he said to me. “I’m not worried.” I said. “This is my husband’s cousing, Rich” Nicole said. He shook my hand in some weird handshake and half hugged me. “What’s up, cousin Rick?” he said. “It’s Rich. What’s up” I said “This is my body gurad, John.” I said jokingly, introducing John to Beast. “You need protecting?” he asked. This guy gave off the strangest vibrations and I was uncomfortable and he and Nicole wandered off and I was guessing he was trying to get her back stage. I was just glad I didn’t have to deal with him anymore.

Nicole eventually came back alone to join John and I and we got ready to feel the Cramps. The first opening band was finished. We missed them. Oh well. The Gore Gore Girls were up next. I remember hearing them before and thought they sucked but I was hoping maybe they were better live. No such luck. At least they were eye candy. Four hot chicks in short skirts and boots playing instruments. I spent most of the time in the bar upstairs so I could smoke. No smoking in the main area’s of the Trocadero. Can you believe it?

I’m not much of a reviewer or review writer or what ever it’s called. Here it goes. After all I am Rock n Roll Rich and I ought to write about Rock n Roll once in a while, right? I Love Rock n Roll. Always have. Always will. The Cramps were everything Rock n Roll is. Some say that Punk Rock is dead. They are right. With the exception of Peelander-Z the Greatest Japanese Punk Rock Samurai Noodle band in the World and Anti-Seen.

I also heard that Rock n Roll will never die and that’s the point. Some bands rock so fucking much that they seem to go on for years way past the rockin’ abilities of their fans. Look at AC DC and The Rolling Stones. I don’t care how old these guys get as long as they still pump out the raw energy like they do Rock will always be the greatest music around. Feel it. Live it. Breathe it.

Yeah, my nick name in High School was Rock Roll Rich because I always wore Classic Rock or Punk Rock t-shirts. I was in several bands and all I did was listen to music. Zeppelin, The Beatles, Elvis, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Jimi Hendricks, Alice Cooper, The Dead Kennedy’s. I didn’t give a crap about anything else except sex, drugs and Rock n Roll usually in the opposite order. My first Rock N Roll Show was The Rolling Stones at JFK stadium in Philadelphia. George Throrgood and Journey opened up. Even thought I was with my dad and I was about thirteen years old, I rocked out. It changed my life.

Since then I’ve seen The Who, The Clash, Santana, The Hooters, David Bowie, Rush, Yes, Frank Zappa, Ry Cooder, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Paul Mc Cartney, Robert Plant, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, David Lee Roth, Billy Joel,((It’s still Rock n Roll To Me, ya know), Sex Pistols, Misfits, Lous Reed, Patty Smith, Guitar Wolf, Dan Bern Moxy Frouvous, The Ramones, Rob Zombie, Primus, Hot Tuna, The Beach Boys, Santana, Metallica, Macabre, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Neil Young, Sonic Youth, Gwar, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Richie Havens, The Buzzcocks, The Specials, Brian Setzer, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, KMFDM (or was it DMFMK?), Face to Face, Iggy Pop, Reverend Horton Heat, Anti-Seen, The Meatmen, Rollins Band, Jane’s Addiction, Kiss, Skid Row, Bon Jovi, The Cure, Dick Dale, Los Straightjackets, Link Wray, The Scorpians, Alice Cooper, Satan’s Pilgrams, Sylvain Sylvain (of the New York Dolls), The Moldy Peaches, Daniel Johnston, The Violent Femmes, Jayne County (formerly Wane County), The Murder Junkies, Rockets From The Crypt, The Bomboras, Peelander-Z, The Cramps, Morrissey and a load of others that I’m just too burnt out to remember.

Of all of the band I’ve seenperform live, The Cramps are the most Rock n Roll. Lux Interior dressed in his tight black leather pants and shirt is the front man for this Psychobilly extravaganza leads the night into an orgy of psychotic Garage Rock with a Rockabilly backbeat. Poison Ivy on Guitar dressed in the sexiest see through lingerie top revealing her red panties as she wails like A hot sexy female Keith Richards or Angus Young in their prime. They’ve been rockin’ it out since the mid Seventies and still give it the same youthful energy covering old sixties garage rock, reggae, and even Ricky Nelson like no one you will ever see.

The Cramps are everything Rock n Roll should be. Rock n Roll. Lux screams and sings and yelps and moans into the microphone as the band consistently blows out each tune with passion and a punch that you don’t notice that they aren’t always polished. It doesn’t matter. You can count on them to Rock. This was the third time I’ve seen them and each time was a true down and dirty gritty Rock n Roll experience. I wish there were more bands like this.

Despite the audience filled with posers and trend setting hipsters who just got tuned into the Cramps because Hot Topic sells their T- shirts, overall it was a good night thanks to The Cramps. We headed out of the show after the encore where they didn’t do Surfin Bird like they usually do. We filed out onto the street towards the car to recover from this night of rockin’ out.

On the way out we once again ran into Beast. Great. Well I guess I should be grateful to him because he got us into the show pretty cheap and all. He wanted to talk to us again. He hit on Nicole again. “You guys got any drugs? Weed, coke? Anything to get me high?” he asked us. “No.” I said. “How about a couple of bucks so I can get some drugs?” he asked. I figured the guy got us in to the show so I could throw him a couple of bucks and get the hell away from him. I reached in my pocket and started to pull out a few dollars. “Fuck you man! I don’t want your fucking money. You think I’m just some Nigger on the street.: I ain’t like that.” he said to me. He looked real angry. I was getting uncomfortable. Before i could explain anything he grabbed the sides of my head and face with both giant black hands and pulled me close to him. I went limp in fear of what he was going to do. I was going to get my ass kicked, I thought. I was in complete shock. He kissed my head then pushed me away and said something I can’t remember because I was to distracted with my own fear and desire to get the fuck away from him. I walked away slowly and towards the car. John and Nicole followed. I just got kissed by a big black man and I didn’t care. Why? Because the Cramps were that much more memorable

It was my third Cramps show and unfortunately my last.

Everything Passes Including This

July 4, 2010

Thank God everything passes especially the bad. I’d love the good the good feeling to stay forever but I wouldn’t be human if it did. Yesterday, I had sudden anxiety for no good reason. I’m sure there were plenty of reasons but I wasn’t sure which one. It was the frist time in my life that I’ve had a panic attack the day of a performance. It eventually passed.

I made it to the show slightly grudgingly and slightly late but in plenty of time to perform and see the guest of honor, Ryno, my sick friend who the benefit was for. He is not only a friend but a former band mate. A musical genius. He’s always loved my songs.

A side note: I never understand why ultra talented musicians have come up to me on numerous occasions and told me how much they love my songs and sometimes the even compliment my guitar playing. These people are usually way more talented than I am. I’ve always admires Ryno’s talent for playing anything. He adapted my songs brilliantly. Although we’ve only been friends for about four or five years now I consider him to be a close friend. He’s always been there for me so I instinctively knew I had to play last night.

They asked me to play a lot earlier than scheduled and there weren’t that many people there yet and I jumped at the chance since Ryno was there. That was all that mattered is that he see me play. Normally, I only do a very short set of about five or six songs. I hate when bands play too long so I play too short. This wasn’t about me last night. It was about Ryno. He kept shouting out requests for songs I didn’t practice or I wasn’t planning on playing so I actually played a full half an hour set. I watched him singing along not caring that his family was sitting next to him while I sang about serial killers and cursed a lot.  He was having a great time.

Surprisingly, a small crowd gathered of about ten to 20 people. Most of them were laughing and singing along. I have a tiny following in Delaware and their enthusiasm always throws me back. I had a good time watching the audience while they were watching me. When I was finished I was tired. I was dehydrated and wanted a cigarette. So I drank some water and lit up a smoke outside.

No anxiety. Luckily, I’ve not had any anxiety while performing. Knock on wood.

Ryno’s father came up to me after I was finished and told me that he was impressed that I rhymed “nonchalant” with “no response”. Apparently he is an expert in poetry. I told him about the artist GG Allin was one of the few song writers I knew that could rhyme words with the same words like done with done. He told me that some of the great poets in history could do that. He named a few that I can’t remember.

I hung in there as long as I could for the night and talked to a bunch of people that I know from playing Delaware over the years. It does become tiresome for an anti-social person like me that doesn’t drink and has lost his taste for live music to hang around as long as I did. I watched most of the bands until I couldn’t take it and finally left.

I was happy to see Ryno so happy and enthused. I hope he gets better.

Now back to my unemployed hot sweaty life on my porch in Haddonfield New Jersey.

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