Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Clinton Heylin is a Big Fat Idiot

So I picked up a copy of Brit rock scribe Clinton Heylin's history of the bootleg album biz (largely due to recommendations by a couple of folks here) the other day, with some trepidation.

I say trepidation because I'd read Heylin's From the Velvets to the Voidoids some years ago, and found it well-researched but otherwise insufferably pretentious and full of shit.

Anyway, like I said, I just started reading the Heylin bootleg book and I should have guessed it was going to irk me after the opening chapter began with a history of the various original pirated editions of Shakespeare's plays.

But even before that, when I got to page 8 of the intro (let me repeat that: page 8!!!) I found myself reading the following words (which were arranged sequentially, but I won't dignify them by calling them a sentence)...

"The Beatles excepted (and they essentially stank as a live band)..."

...and I immediately thought: Is it too early to start drinking?

Yeah. The Beatles. Lousy live band. Also: Ringo Starr -- worse than Hitler.

Jeebus, what a dope.

Anyway, here are The Fabs live at the Hollywood Bowl, blow-torching their way through "Long Tall Sally" in 1964.

To paraphrase Crow. T. Robot on MST3K: And in conclusion, Clinton Heylin -- bite me.


Ken J Xenozar said...

Yowza! Flames shooting through the headphones! And to sound that good with a crappy PA and monitors over the screaming crowd?! Yeah, bite me Mr. Heylin.

Gummo said...

Oh, it gets better --

In a book supposedly about the history of rock bootlegging, HE IGNORES THE GRATEFUL DEAD.

Which is like writing the history of radium and ignoring Marie Curie.

But I still say it's an invaluable book, if only because no one else has done anything on the subject.

rurritable said...

Heylin's an idiot.

buzzbabyjesus said...

People who dis The Beatles really don't know anything about music.

How can you believe a word when you encounter such bullshit on page 8(!) of the intro?

Here is "Long Tall Sally" from their first US appearance in Washington DC, February 1964. Half the fun is watching Ringo tear it up.


buzzbabyjesus said...

If you want to know about "The Velvets To The Voidoids", look no further than "Please Kill Me" by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain.

steve simels said...

"Let's Kill Me" is a fun read, and I've hung out with Legs, who is an amusing guy.

But there are parts of that book that make me want to take a shower, and there is way WAY too much hero worship of the reptilian Danny Fields. Who is without question one of the creepiest people I've ever met, in or out of the music biz.

Brooklyn Girl said...

Good thing the Beatles' records sounded SOOOOO different from their live stuff.

Oh wait. They didn't. They sounded exactly the same.

Of course, none of them had a successful solo concert career after they broke up.

Oh wait. They all did.

But I'm sure we can all agree that those (insert adjective of your choice) Broadway shows performed by cover bands definitely improve on the Beatles themselves.

Oh, by the way, did you know I'm the Grand Duchess Anastasia?

And Gummo's analogy is --- um --- okay --- dead on. :-)

Billy B said...

The Beatles "stank" as a live band? That's cute. I love G-man's analogy too.

Oh, and the Beatles were exceptional live.

Gummo said...

Actually, Please Kill Me and From the Velvets to the Voidoids work very well read in tandem - Kill Me is strictly a social history of the American punk scene with next to nothing about the music; Heylin's book is all about the music (whatever you think of his opinions & conclusions).

Sal Nunziato said...

Here is my fave live Ringo and the example I usually go to to shut up any pain in the ass Ringo naysayers.


Dave said...

I was AT this concert at the Hollywood Bowl. In the front row of boxes. I obtained this plum ticket by filling out the vital information within an ad in the L.A. Times and having my mother send in a check. No Ticketmaster. No brokers gobbling up the best tickets.

It might not have been the best concert I've ever seen, but it was certainly the most exciting. The screaming was so loud that the only vocal I remember hearing was Paul on "I'm Down." I went with my older brother (who was old enough to drive) and there were two teenage girls in the box with us. When we offered to loan them binoculars, they wouldn't or couldn't stop screaming.

Mrs. Peel said...

Not only were they great on stage, who else could get away with telling the Queen Mum to rattle her jewelry?


Makes a Brit proud.

wardo said...

I haven't figured out why Heylin keeps writing about Dylan when he can't stand the guy.

buzzbabyjesus said...

It's like Lester Bangs writing about Lou Reed.