Monday, December 10, 2018

On Buzzcocks, Runaways, and Cannibal Girls Feasting an Or Else Opera Out of Bounds

Pete Shelley, centre, with Howard Devoto, left, and Steve Diggle performing with Buzzcocks at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, Manchester, in the late 70s.
Cannibal Girls, Buzzcocks, and Runaways

@breadandpuppet’s The Or Else Opera at @theater_for_the_new_city
12/5 - 12/9 Wed- Sat 8pm Sat - Sun 3pm

Photo by @gregcookland 
#breadandpuppet #opera #orelse #tnc#theaterforthenewcity
#Repost @paulhbedard
No automatic alt text available.
Still no economic offer for CUNY!One year with no contract!

Music was flowing everywhere, poems hanging in the air.
Up and down, from past to present.
Obits of  punk heroes and new bands,
Kids growing and winter reminding
In organic smorgasbord of sounds.

The story has it that the audience was more important than
the  performance of that June 1976 Sex Pistols show
in Manchester. Morrisey, Joy Division, and the Buzzcocks
were on  hand.

Those records were all I cared about.
David W had a copy of Singles Going Steady in 83
With their anthem about my favorite habit.

Everything else sacrificed for it.
The runaways, Cannibal girls, Brecht right here in December.
Peter Shelley there. There she goes here he comes.

A few  years before I bought that New  Bohs tape,
We listened to,
I discovered the Buzzcocks.

The crushingly honest words Singles Going  Steady,their album, caught  my ear.
It was all part of a world I was only just then beginning to see.
What would I be without the words and habits they triumphed.
You’re  an  Orgasm Addict?
It reminded us that everyone grasps for napkins and notepads
to clean up and make sense of things, even when we have sticky
fingers. Punk was a diy project unlike anything.
Possibly,sex, even the solidary sex the band sang about reminded me there was no need to apologize.
 Listening, writing notes,
letting  go of shame, the music was part of my story as a young writer
finding his voice, letting go of shame.
Thanks for your humorous, lovely, brutal honesty Peter Shelly.

The Buzzcocks offered a small glimpse of a space
where libido and creativity grow, linking eros and burning ambition,
growing up and attraction, aching balls and feelings that drive us mad.
It had to get out somehow.
Music and guitars, ideas gushing.
We are all wonderfully  horribly made.
That desire pulls and lulls us,
Launching a thousand ships.

Shelley and Devoto conceded:

“Well, you tried it just for once found it all right for kicks
But now you found out that it's a habit that sticks
And you're an orgasm addict, you're an orgasm addict
Sneaking in the back door with dirty magazines
Now your mother wants to know 'bout all those stains on your jeans
And you're an orgasm addict, you're an orgasm addict
Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh
Uh, uh, uh…”

And then (now?) Orgasm Addict made it all make so much more sense...the acceptance, possibilities....

Music and majestic December, the city thriving,
Cold and soulful.

Riding over  the bridge
Wednesday, to join Bread and Puppet Theater back to
for the New City for its annual December residency!
Dec 5th- Dec 9th: The Or Else Opera - Eisler/Brecht 

Peter Schumann  was  there, leading and sitting. 
Still here, reminding and  laughing.

“A paper maché puppet opera, punctuated by melting ice drops
under a starry sky made of garlic. The composer Hanns Eisler,
a major Brecht collaborator, fled the Nazis, joined the Berliner
Ensemble and now enters the 21st century's humanity, its giant fears
and overcrowded spirit, at the moment of re-occurring fascism.”

Afterwards few of us met  with  Andre’s salon,
Giddy, chatting,
talking late into the night.

Reading about the last  tape I wrote about a few weeks  back,
Nancy sent me back one of the New Bohs Its like This tapes from 1986.
One of 500!
Merry everything she wrote.
Its your mitzvah,
Thank you Nancy.

Thursday union meetings, plans  for  civil  disobedience.

All  day Saturday, we talked about books, three book clubs.
I went to two.
Read about Nomads on the  move, labor and cities in  Capital.
A rickety basement reading room in Vanderbilt
At Unnameable Books, near St. Marks Place.
Taking  notes unground, lights flickering.
A short walk from the 7th Avenue and Flatbush Avenue B
train line or all the trains that go to Grand Army Plaza
Promptly at 12 noon.
We will continue reading from page 814 from the Penguin edition
Michael recommended.
Conversations everywhere.

Beautiful big blue winter skies.
Korean food for a break.

And then back to Emily’s for on 8th street.
Transcendence in the Intuitionist.
UP  and down, the metaphysical novel took us.
Its the fate  of everyone’s life.

Careening out to Poughkeepsie listening to Utah reminds us about free speech.

Rob was reading, Louis MacNeice, when I  arrived
Wondering about The Last Ditch,
On Suicide and desperation.

We went out for a slice, listening to stories.
The pizza guy ran from behind the counter  to tell us about an afternoon.
Dropped off a pizza in 83.
At Vassar
No tip but come to  my room for something else.
She lured  him.
Virginity gone.

We remember those firsts
Some are gone, some still here.
You learn they are no longer.

Hiking Swane Trail remembering the foliage,
Recalling the fall.
The ponds now ice.

On our way back.
To Judson and Forbidden Planet
Birds and wonder. 
Friends on First Ave.
Possibly a safe injection room.  
Back to Trash n  Vaudeville
West to East,
Walking the timeless village all  day long.

Ran into Caroline sitting looking out the  window drinking a beer. 
Greeting friends.  
She is the city, the city is her...
You know everyone noted the waitress.

The Cannibal Girls opening gig.
Not quite Manchester  1976, but still something.
Four song their first set, including an  instrumental like Djam Karet.

Staring with  the Raincoats reminding us that we’re all lost in  the supermarket from time to time.

Elevators down.

Go Cannibal Girls!

The band came  alive as they played their two songs.
Theres a lot to overcome on the stage.

Before the third song, the base and guitar players exchange instruments.
Play another original.

“Fractured mirror killed her spirit!”
Over  and  over again, exchanging leads.
A crescendo of sound.
Friends screaming  along to a mash up of Rebel  Girl  by Bikini Kill and the teen  anthem
Cherry Bomb, by The Runaways.

Can't stay at home, can't stay at school.
Old folks say 'You poor little fool'.
Down the streets I'm the girl next door.
I'm the fox you've been waiting for.
Hello, daddy. Hello, mom.
I'm your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!
Hello world! I'm your wild girl.
I'm your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!
Stone age love and strange sounds too.
Come on, baby, let me get to you.
Bad nights causing teenage blues.
Get down ladies, you've got nothin' to lose.
Hello, daddy. Hello, mom.
I'm your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!
 Hello world! I'm your wild girl.
I'm your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!
Hey, street boy, want some style?
Your dead end dreams don't make you smile.
I'll give you something to live for.
Have you and grab you until you're sore.
Hello, daddy. Hello, mom.
I'm your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!
Hello world! I'm your wild girl.
I'm your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!
Cherry bomb!
Cherry bomb!
Cherry bomb!
Cherry bomb!

Mom  and Dad in back,
Peter dying, the Cannibal girls thriving.
There  he goes, here she  comes.
Three more gigs coming up.
Rebel sounds reinventing.
Sometimes they kill  their  men before  they eat them.

New chapters as old heroes pass.
Ashes to  ashes.
Dust to dust.
And tapes return from the stratosphere.

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