Saturday, May 29, 2010


David DiGiannantonio played the title role in the eighteen-some months of the New York off-off-Broadway run of The Last Words of Dutch Schultz – the rabid r&b musical that Wayne Kramer and I concocted back in the 20th century. Dave died last Friday, back in Italy, of a massive stroke. He was a fine actor, a good friend, a prodigious drinking buddy, and did the best impression of Benito Mussolini I’ve ever seen. He will be sorely missed.

Click here for the studio recording of the overture to the show. Dave does the spoken word parts.


Our good pal UK Steve has sent us this crucial item about how you tell a speedfreak snail from a regular snail.

“In a development whose importance it would be difficult to exaggerate, scientists have produced research answering one of the great questions facing humanity in the 21st century: what happens if you get snails hopped up on crystal meth and poke them with sticks? The drug-pushing scientists in question are Barbara Sorg of Washington State Uni and Ken Lukowiak of the University of Calgary. The mollusc they chose for their experiments was the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. The two snail savants placed their slimy drug-slaves into pond water which they had spiked with methamphetamine, described as "a highly addictive drug that seduces victims by increasing self-esteem and sexual pleasure, and inducing euphoria". Having got their slippery subjects well addled on this delightful but damaging chemical treat, Sorg and Lukowiak then tested their memories by means of varying the amount of oxygen in the pondwater and poking them with sticks.” (Click here for more)

Click here for The Who

The secret word is Escargot


Then Mickey scored the Peppo

(And this is, of course, a shameless plug for my book Speed-Speed-Speedfreak that will be out at the end of June.)

Dennis Hopper – RIP



Click here for Fire Maidens of Outer Space (supplied by Valerie, who is in our thoughts.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

MOJO GOES BACK TO WORK (But not without a blacklist)

The industrial action by the freelance writers and photographers at Mojo magazine against new and onerous contracts offered by the owners, Bauer Media, has failed. (For the full details of the story flip back to Monday April 12th ). Management are not retreating any further from the wholly unacceptable terms of the contract and the negotiating committee led by Phil Sutcliffe have reluctantly given up.

Writer Johnny Sharp succinctly sums up the satiation… "Even if the battle is ultimately lost, in an age when unions are routinely discredited everywhere we have at least shown Bauer and the rest of the media that we can collectively bargain and withdraw our labour if we feel strongly about something. That alone has been worth fighting for.”

Dave Marsh also points out that, even though victory was not achieved, the good fight was fought, and could be emulated by a lot of creative people who are currently being royally fucked by media bosses both in Europe and USA. (I hope Dave doesn’t mind me quoting him.) “I can tell you from long experience that what has happened with music writers in the UK is all but unthinkable amongst any kind of writers over on this side of the pond. I don't know that that is something to be proud of, given how generally worthless we've become, but it is at least an indication that you have a lot more left to lose than you think. And that means, also, that you have a much better chance of gain than many will believe.”

Many of those who refused to sign the Bauer contracts are now effectively blacklisted and I personally will never work for any Bauer publication again. And I hope you won’t read any of them. The irony in all this is the more content providers are screwed, the worse the content becomes, the worse the content becomes the more the sales drop, and the magazine ultimately fails. But that’s modern capitalism for you. The corporate contempt for workers is almost equalled by their contempt for consumers.

Click here for Billy Bragg

The secret word is United


Munz sent us this warning. Modern protesters could wind up as deaf as Pete Townshend.

"Riotous protesters marching at the G20 summit next month may be greeted with ear-splitting “sound cannons,” the latest Toronto police tool for quelling unruly crowds. Toronto police have purchased four, long-range acoustic devices (LRAD) — often referred to as sound guns or sound cannons — for the upcoming June 26-27 summit, the Star has learned. Purchased this month, the LRADs will become a permanent fixture in Toronto law enforcement, said police spokesperson Const. Wendy Drummond. “They were purchased as part of the G20 budget process,” Drummond said. “It’s definitely going to be beneficial for us, not only in the G20 but in any future large gatherings.” Drummond stressed the devices will primarily be used by police as a “communication tool.” The devices double as loudspeakers and can blast booming, directional messages or emergency notifications in 50 different languages; Drummond said Toronto police have used one of the devices already while executing a search warrant this month. But critics say they are really non-lethal weapons and infringe upon protester rights." Click here for more

Click here for Hawkwind (but I couldn’t find a live clip of Sonic Attack)


SPACE OPERA (Devotional Special)

This image was supplied by our very good friend Valerie who has been sending images and stories to Doc40 every since we had the tech to run images. Right now Valerie has some serious health problems and all our thoughts and good wishes go out to her.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


As regular readers will know I have a long and checkered relationship with the combo know as the Pink Fairies, as a consigliere, co-conspirator, performer, drinking buddy, and song writer. It was never easy. And no, this is not a picture of a mutant Larry Wallis, it’s an Australian handfish…

“Found off the coast of Tasmania and Australia, the rare handfish are solitary, slow-moving creatures. They use their fins to walk on the seafloor, rather than swimming. This is how our ancestors might have looked, before emerging from the sea. National Geographic has a series of articles on these fish, which are spotted so infrequently that it's been hard for scientists to study them. There are only 14 species of handfish, and they lay very few eggs. Most are endangered. They eat by wandering very slowly across the seafloor, eating worms and crustaceans. Though they make an easy target for predators, they manage to escape being eaten because they have extremely toxic skin.”

Click here for When’s The Fun Begin (and yeah, I co-wrote this)

The secret word is Blossom


From an ad for an Italian fashion store.

Click here for David




("Thank you. Thank you very much.")


Firello Frozdick was dedicated to his art. Art was a little more ambiguous about the relationship.


My longtime friend and writing partner Andy Colquhoun has a new instrumental track titled “Back In The Day” up on YouTube. Click here.

Andy tells us 'Back in the Day' is the first track from his on-line instrumental virtual album String Theory. (In mp3, 128kbps format.) “The idea is to release a track each week. This one is a 2:38 edit of a 5:47 minute song. The full version will be downloadable too, when I get my website going, which could be soon. Meanwhile, watch this space on you-tube for the next track, next week.”


“Andy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


As I make my way to the computer to try to write what I hope to hell is the best and most ingenious, maybe the most igneous, and ceratinly the most complex piece of fiction I have ever attempted, and which, at my age, I have at least to consider might be my last novel, I see the sorry Louisiana pelicans on TV defiled with oil and I know that most of the poor creatures will die. I read the story below about how yet another species of birds has become extinct and are gone from the planet. I see the corporate machinations that turn apocalypse into a profit/loss cost effectiveness study. I see the distorted and distorting face of that idiot grifter Sarah Palin, who all too recently danced through the nation chanting “drill baby drill.” (Is there such a thing as the fatuousness of evil?) Fugue moments of fury and despair overtake me. How far from its end is my tether. I take time off from Doc40 to cope. But I’m back. Read the following and weep, and then turn with a snarl and continue to fight no matter how hopeless.

“One more step in what scientists are increasingly referring to as the Sixth Great Extinction is announced today: the disappearance of yet another bird species. The vanishing of the Alaotra grebe of Madagascar is formally notified this morning by the global conservation partnership BirdLife International – and it marks a small but ominous step in the biological process which seems likely to dominate the 21st century. Researchers now recognise five earlier cataclysmic events in the earth's prehistory when most species on the planet died out, the last being the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event of 65 million years ago, which may have been caused by a giant metorite striking the earth, and which saw the disappearance of the dinosaurs. But the rate at which species are now disappearing makes many biologists consider we are living in a sixth major extinction comparable in scale to the others – except that this one has been caused by humans. In essence, we are driving plants and animals over the abyss faster than new species can evolve.” (Click here for more)

Click here for The Band

The secret word is Godawful


After a half century, the bloody shelters and the cowering bunker cult are back. Not this time for nuclear fallout but for terrorism, 2010, and more nebulous apocalypse. Our pal Faux Smoke sends this story of the extent to which the unbridled venality of one section of the population will prey on the fearful stupidity of another. Cowboy up you timorous wannabe troglodytes. The planet can still be saved. Maybe.

"I would hate to give all this up and live in a bunker," said Kramer, glancing at sailboats out on the Pacific with his feet roosted on a glass coffee table. "I'm not trying to perpetuate doom and gloom, but you have to be prepared." Legions of Americans dug backyard fallout shelters to ride out atomic Armageddon during the Cold War. Now, with heightened concerns about terrorist attacks in the post- 9/11 world, a new generation is looking underground. "In some ways, our political climate is similar," said Jeffrey Knopf, associate professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. "There's a lot of free-floating anxiety out there about the dangers that terrorists will get nuclear weapons … and it multiplies." Cue the entrepreneurs. Come-ons for doomsday products, from survival classes to earthquake kits, abound on the Internet. Demand is fueled by natural disasters, terrorist activity and websites dedicated to exploring such topics as what will happen Dec. 21, 2012, the last day of the ancient Maya calendar and the date that, some people believe, the world will end. Larry Hall is recruiting rich clients for what he calls an underground survival condo — in Kansas. He envisions a building that goes 15 floors beneath the ground, with units selling for $1.75 million. "After the earthquakes and volcanic explosions, they're calling up, saying everything they said was going to start happening is happening," said Hall, an engineer who lives in Florida. "It's making people nervous." Michael Wagner is peddling a personal "survival pod" for people to take refuge from tidal waves. The Oregon man says he's been getting a lot more nibbles since the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. (Click here for more)

Click here (as ever) for Bob


Anything to lighten the miasma.