Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Tough assignment, boss! OK, could have been easy to wade into Wayne/Jayne County territory with some uber-punk swearies, but, on stripping away the counter-cultural and taboo-breaking schlock tactics, let's agree the music was, well, a little thin........ But during this same time period, roughly 77-80, punk rock year zero onward, is a golden one for unearthing golden little rotten apples of impurity, all being required is something of even just a little merit to fit our bill. (Whaaat? And this from the man who posts Chris de Burgh?!?) And then I remembered this!

Snuff was a film that relied more on hype than hope for it's trajectory towards any legendary status, purporting to be "genuine" footage of a murder, whereas it was merely an earlier dismal and dismally made slasher pic called "Slaughter". When this bombed on release, it lingered awhile in the vaults until some unrelated footage could be tackily  tacked on to the end, so as to cash in on the popular urban legend of snuff films, i.e. the filming of an actual slaying. With a rough cut and abrupt "finish", it was palmed off as being for real, with fake protesters being hired by the distributors to picket any performance, to drum up custom. This worked, to a degree, with the NYPD having to look into it and dismissing it as no more than conventional trick photography. The public were also told that the "dead" actress had contacted the Police, wishing to assure her fanbase she was still alive and in many fewer pieces than the film might otherwise suggest. (But as wiki says so often, this reference needs corroborating..........)

Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias were a comedy rock band from Manchester, UK, plugging away on the live circuit since 1972 and until a decade later. Actually very good musicians, they were a staple on the live circuit and at festivals between those years, with merciless lampooning of any number of their more earnest compatriots, from Lou Reed to Status Quo, accepting that you really had to be there, comedy and rock seldom cutting it away from the live experience.Come 1977, and arguably running out of targets, the idea of combining the punk ethos with snuff films came to them, whereby the band kill themselves on stage in the name of the ultimate anarchist expression. Every night. This actually began as a play, and was premiered at London's Royal Court Theatre, no less, with the Albertos playing all the parts and all the instruments, albeit with a more conventional "show" as their support act. And I was there, having been the recipient of a ticket as thanks for giving up my room to a pair of old chums, up in London for a week. As is the way, the original soundtrack recording became available as a record, albeit merely an EP (extended play, kiddos), 7 inches of vinyl with 2 tracks aside, something I still own with pride and play with pleasure. These were 3 parodies of the big 3 of the english punk movement, the Sex Pistols, the Damned and the Clash, along with the then, de rigeur, roots reggae association with punk. I heartily endorse you to seek this one out, this time my link being for real, rather than a sop to the digital download police as to my what me innocence around posting youtube links. See if you can guess which this one is:

A footnote: C.P. Lee, one of the key lynchpin members of the group, is now Senior Lecturer in Film Studies and has written a brace of worthy tomes about Bob Dylan, actually well worth reading.                                      

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