Culture Fusion has a new writer, Edwin Oslan, who will be contributing on Wednesdays. This is where I would normally go in-depth on what the writer is going to cover and their own style but Edwin helpfully provided this solid little self introduction. Tomorrow, I’ll post the first part of his epic Hawkwind discography review. That’s right: he’s doing all of them. He’s nothing if not incredibly ambitious (and he and I share a name: one of my middle names is Edwin…)
Without further ado…
I’m Edwin and I like weird music, old horror, cult and exploitation films and reading old E.C. comics like Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, The Haunt of Fear, Weird Science and Weird Fantasy along with Warren magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland, Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella. I collect things and like drinking. People think I need to write about something just so they don’t hear me talking about it so much.
The name “Savage Hippie” comes from a Melvins song. When asked about this in an interview Buzz Osbourne said that the song was a reference to Alice Cooper, Charles Manson and other long haired freaks from the late 60s and early 70s who may have emerged from the psychedelic era but did not share in the hippie ideology. After all it was Alice who said his group put the stake in the heart of the love generation. Also my friends Sarah called me a hippie once because of all the “psychedelic rock” I listen to.
You know there was punk rock once but the most unfortunate thing about it is that certain journalists give the impression that before the first Ramones album came out, the musical landscape was completely baron (excepting the Stooges, MC5, New York Dolls, etc.) and that, I feel is utter nonsense.
Aside from the bizarre notion that the punk rockers only listened to five bands, it’s clear just from John Lydon’s vast musical taste that there was so much interesting music available at the time. Sure, there were was corporate rock and arena rock and bands that played 20 minute guitar solos and sang about nothing but that doesn’t paint the whole picture, does it?
Thanks to John Lydon and Mark E. Smith name dropping their favorites, I got into (in no particular order) Hawkwind, Can, Captain Beefheart, Miles Davis, Lou Reed, the Pretty Things, the Monks, the Move, the Creation, the Other Half and the Groundhogs. And through those I found about so much more in the sub-sub-genres of psychedelic, prog, Krautrock, early heavy rock, proto punk and proto metal and who knows what else. There is also something called Zuul, which is seems pretty cool.
I like a lot of music but one thing that I’m absolutely addicted to are nicely packaged CD reissues – I know vinyl rules, blah blah, I buy a ton of that as well – but I love when you get a really nicely designed package with extensive liner notes, photos and extra tracks, so that the original issue of whatever is expanded to like three times its length with b-sides, outtakes, demos, live versions and the whole thing. And thankfully reissue labels like Castle/Sanctuary, Akarma, Cherry Red/Esoteric/Reactive/Atomhenge do this beautifully, making a bunch of old, obscure and ultimately weird bands available again.
Anyway, I digress. Although, I don’t know what from since this all seems like one long rambling piece with no particular direction but, I guess, the point I want to make is that I like music and writing about it. Also that I find the pre-punk era often times more interesting than the punk era. The old idiom holds true that in the spirit of “no rules,” they created lots of rules, didn’t they? That’s probably why I lean towards the weirder side of punk and post punk and experimental stuff.
So, then, it seems weird that punk introduced all of this chaos when prior that, the late 60s seemed a lot wilder and weirder. Plus, again, there’s a notion that the 60s was all peace and love. But, come on; biker gangs, satanic cults, bad trips and well, you get the idea.
Again I don’t really know where I was going with this. According to Frank Zappa the freaks in Hollywood were way freakier than the hippies in San Francisco. Oh, and I don’t plan to talk about the Stooges, MC5, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, T. Rex (though I might write about Tyrannosaurus Rex) and New York Dolls too much since that’s been covered ad nauseam. These are all great mind you but you don’t need another blog telling you about this stuff. If you don’t all three Stooges and MC5 albums, both New York Dolls albums and the classic Alice Cooper band stuff, then I really can’t help you. In fact, nobody can; you fail.