Main differences between Peter Laughner and myself:

He died in Cleveland
I literally would not be dead caught there
Black Hair
White hair (though mine admittedly from a bottle, as was my solace)
Dressed as Lou Reed in performances
Did not
Had song recorded by "Buns and Roses"
Did not, and so far does not seem likely
Wore sunglasses
Most adamantly did not (see below)

One fine Saturday in May in the way-early seventies, Peter paid a social call on me in my parents' suburban enclave in Lakewood (from his parents' suburban enclave in Bay Village.) At some point in the festivities, Peter had to use the facilities and bizarrely, as it turned out, removed his sunglasses and placed them on the chair he had occupied. On his return he sat on them. He looked at me (knowing I had known) and holding the broken frames queried, "Why didn't you stop me?" My heartfelt reply, "I thought you did it on purpose."

I was physically unable to wear sunglasses till I was 47 as a consequence of this landmark transpiration.

The best thing to come out of Cleveland was Ghoulardi, and he's dead, so there's absolutely no point in going there now.
In Cle, we ended up sharing a loft with Rocket from the Tombs / Pere Ubu and Frankenstein / the Dead Boys. We didn't have a lot in common with either of them. We were of extremely divergent musical styles and life styles.

Quite frankly, Stiv watched Davy a lot. I mean like a way-lot. I mean, like Stiv like "studied" Dave E.'s stage presence very studiously like a way way lot. Got it? And it's like way-typical of Stiv not to be around to deny my accusations.

When "Rockets" broke up to become "Ubu" they fired their drummer, Wayne Strick, who took his revenge by pulling a station wagon up and stealing our equipment. The cops, ever helpful, suggested we go to his house and steal it back.

It is my understanding that as a young lieutenant in 'nam, Wayne was the victim of fragging. 37 grenades were thrown into his tent. One for each and every dogface in his unit.

 

The Grievously Unreleased Material

Black Leather Rock The unemployed Eels were sitting around one mournful Monday morning watching TV and saw the Hammer film, "These Are The Damned" (the English title was "The Damned") with Oliver Reed as a teddy boy, "King", who was about as convincing a character as Harvey Lembeck . A teddy-girl sings "Black Leather Rock" a cappella with exquisite youthful exuberance several times throughout the cine. Dave thought it was way-cool and we should do it. One full year later, Paul, tired of hearing Davey endlessly go on about it made us arrange it from memory (The first line actually is "Black leather, black leather rock, rock, rock . . .")

 

 

 

 

The composer, James Bernard, said of it in an interview:

Q: "The most unusual thing you composed for Hammer was probably the pop song played and sung in The Damned."
A: "Ah yes, Black Leather Rock. It's rather embarrassing now! It was easy to compose that simple little tune; the music was very basic, and the lyrics were officially by the film's scriptwriter, Evan Jones.
Q: Officially?
A: "I have a feeling Joe Losey might have had something to do with it as well. I think I came up with the title Black Leather Rock, but that was my only involvement with the lyrics."

Well Mr. Bernard, seems like you have the Eels© to thank for taking your "rather embarrassing very basic simple little tune" and catapulting it into a mega-super-hit!

Dead Man's Curve It certainly is no fucking place to play, just ask Jan Berry.

Girl Mike Rubin wrote, "Angst-ridden before that was a genre unto itself, Dave E. sings with one of the recorded era's most protrusive speech impediments: "Wheah are you now?" he moans in "Natural Situation," as tone deaf as love is blind, "Dead on da gwound."

I was listening to "Girl" for the first time in over 25 years. Dave's pronounced "impediment" was just affect, like Roger Daltry's stutter on "My Generation." Why he chose to feign a listless lisp? If you knew Dave, you just expected and accepted it.

Dolly Boy "All I want to know is, what's in it for me?" I penned this ditty because I was incensed at Brian (we always had a kind of sibling rivalry and both sought Dave's compliments.) I don't know what particular incident spawned me to write it, but I found it hilarious to teach it to Brian (with him being studious and all) and him not knowing it was about his very self. He actually wrote me an e-mail recently about how he liked it and was glad it was coming out. He STILL doesn't know I was like way-incensed at him!

Flash Coats I just thought you'd like to know. A word, just a word. When I was in Junior High, I somehow got connected with Royce Dendler, an assistant professor of art at Oberlin College. He and his wife, Susan Demming, were the first real artists I had ever met. Among his many talents, Royce had a (non-Levi) jean jacket that I lusted after. Like Tom Ripley, I was wont to put it on and gaze at myself in the mirror when Royce wasn't there (And boy did I have a couple of close calls!!)

Five years later in 1971 when I went to NYC to flunk out of Art School, Royce had relocated there. I paid him a social visit.

"Hi Royce, how are you? How do you like New York? How's the art going and what ever happened to that jean jacket? You know, that one you used to wear?" I had a fucking worm in my mouth (baited breath.)

"That thing? It finally fell apart and we started using it as a doormat."

And I saw that I was indeed standing on it. "Oh well shucks, if you don't want it, . . . then, perhaps . . . then maybe I could have it?" He assented after I promised to supply him with a replacement mat. I trembled visibly.

Mine! Mine! It was finally mine. However, it was totally fucking ripped to shreds and un-wearable.

Cleveland sucked my dick !
What to do? What could I do? I certainly couldn't/wouldn't/didn't know how to sew ! ! The answer came as satori. I bought two packs of assorted size safety pins. I got that baby repaired to a point where it was wearable and then, I liked the look so very much that I went out and bought five more packs of pins. IT WAS MAGNIFICENT and the rest . . . is history!

Tom? Richard? Did either of you see me wearing it?


John Morton ®
Mayo 2001, La Habana

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