Please note the items you are about to read consist largely of scurrilous gossip, vicious back-stabbing and idle speculation. As Jon Stewart might say, its stories are not fact checked. Its informants are not journalists. And its opinions are not fully thought through.
Nov 23. Whenever Gal and Clyde get together an orgy of song-writing ensues, and this trip was no exception. The boys conjured up FOUR classic new tracks – ‘Senile Kicks’, ‘ ‘Three Chords & The Truth’, the Mott-like ‘Crazy World of Sandie West’ and the chest-beating brickwall punk anthem ‘Gonads, Gonads USA’ which name-checks every American Gonad from André to Jay and the boys. But that’s not all. In the back of the tour van, on the long trek to Las Vegas, they also managed to write the bulk of the long rumoured concept album, Parousia (AKA The Quest for the Golden Goblets... or Oi! The Opera). The story, complete with Gregorian chants, centres on FrankenSkin’s heroic heir and his epic, continent-spanning search for the seven golden goblets. The songs are: ‘Son Of FrankenSkin’, ‘The Gentlemen’s Pissoir’, ‘Helga (Auf Wiedersehen Meine Schatz)’, ‘The Golden Shot’, ‘Spa Crazy (Let Him Pee)’, ‘Stand Up For The Champion’, and the album-closing ‘The Curse of The Golden Goblets’. There are tentative plans to record the album in Cyprus next year with Mark McMighty, Lord Waistrel permitting, although his Lordship may prefer the band to finish an un-themed studio album first for as well as the four songs mentioned earlier, we have already demoed the passionate street-punk protest number ‘Better Land’, ‘ParanOi!’ and ‘Harry On The Boat’. Watch this blog for developments.
Some of the funniest exchanges of the tour happened off camera. Like when an angry Gal told the dizzy director: “Sandie this is a fucking circus, a shambles. It’s unorganised, chaotic and totally unprofessional.” And Clyde added: “Can you be more specific, mate?” Then there was this verbatim exchange. Sandie: “I love improv, I can make things up as I go along.” Gal: “I hate improv, it’s completely wrong for this kind of film. It has to be scripted but feel like improv.” Sandie: “Yep, me too, I love a script so you don't have to improvise!”
Clyde writes: We forget to mention our very flirty Uber driver, Juanita Geronimo too. When we wanted to tip her, Juanita said: “We’re not allowed tips but I'll take a twosie” and Gal replied: “I can do better than that” and slipped her a five dollar bill... Sandie also promised us a load of high profile big names but much to the director’s dismay the likes of Howard Stern, Jimmy Kimmel and Steve Jones must have turned up in Prince Klaus Kuntz’s limo as we were taking off from LAX!
Nov 22. We keep remembering more crazy things from the US jaunt. Like the Vegas pimp who approached us outside the Dive Bar and asked “Hey, do you want some action?” When Clyde politely declined, the pimp responded by sticking three fingers in the air and shouting “Ay! You wanna smell my sister? She STINKS!” Then there was “Licky Lisa” in San Diego who asked one senior Gonad if she could lick his neck after we came off-stage. “Be my guest,” he replied and so she did... until Gal noticed she was holding hands with some moose of a bloke on the table behind him through-out, a boyfriend who was clearly getting off on it... (It’s always the Nads who attracts creeps and perverts, funny that!).
Coming back from LAX, Gal groaned when he saw the size of the queue to get through airport security, but then a (presumably short-sighted) female official beckoned him over with a curt “This way soldier!” and guided him down a passage to a queue-free x-ray machine. (We knew his old green combat jacket would come in handy). Funny things happened every day! Too many to recall here. But we should give special thanks to Dianne Sexton from Pomona (Radio DJ and dominatrix), and give a mention to Cash 4 Chaos, the blinding record store next to Dive Bar. Clyde’s astonishing feats of bar-room magic should not be overlooked either. The punters were left nearly as baffled as Anya, the spa’s hard-working Polish maid who was asked to “pick the right number between 1 and 5”, and was then told by some foul joker: “Wrong answer, take your top off.” The poor woman replied: “I never heard of sumzink like zis.” Last word to Jay The Tripod who said: “I always read the Gonads blog and thought it was a bit ‘made up’. But now I believe it’s the ABSOLUTE TRUTH because it’s all happening in front of me!!” And it will again, friend. It will again. Roll on 2018!
LA translations: “I’m ten minutes from the airport” = “I’m 55 minutes from the airport”. “I’ve booked you a luxury Air B&B apartment” = “I’ve got a blow-up bed in the front of my shop you can get about two hours a night’s sleep on.” “I’m a great driver” = “I will drive, talk and text simultaneously for an entire journey with scant regard for trivial things such as lanes, kerbs, speed limits or your blood pressure.” “It’ll only take an hour to get there” = “It will take the best part of three hours, if we’re lucky.” “Filming will be between 1 & 3” = “Filming will start at 3.15.” “I’ve got a brilliant masseur to work on your back” = “I’ve got a grumpy, low-talking fat bird who will go reluctantly through the motions” (continued ad infinitum in The Crazy World of Hollywood’s Best, Sandie West).
Medical update: thanks for your concern about Gal’s health. After a day on pills his temperature is down, he’s seeing a specialist about his back, and he is being treated for septicaemia. We expect him to be fully recovered in time for the great Gonads Xmas Ruby – watch this space for more details.
Nov 21. Here are some amazing shots from last week’s shenanigans. One day we might even have the patience to caption them! Enjoy!
STOP PRESS. Gal was sent to Emergency Care today for urgent tests, less than 24 hours after landing home. Fit-Bird tells us: “’E’s sufferin’ from a mystery virus on top of crippling back pain and an infected finger. ’Is temperature is sky high. E ’obbled ’ome yesterday looking like some old codger. It was a pitiful sight” Clyde says: “Gal is in a bad way. His back went early on in the tour, thanks to Sandie West’s cheap blow-up bed, and on top of that he contracted some kind of flu. He was in a lot of pain for the last few days but soldiered on with the gigs and the shooting schedule like a proper soldier. Never surrender – that’s the Gonads way.”
Nov 19. And so it’s over. This morning we left California behind, but not before one last example of Sandie West’s “old-school Hollywood” style. The determined director wanted to film one final scene for the movie, and brought in a hugely fat man to play a homeless guy (street people being notorious porkers). She told him to bring two McDonald’s quarter-pounders as props, which he did. In the process of filming, fatty took a bite out of both burgers. But when he asked for $6 to cover the cost of the burgers, West hit the roof. “He just tried to knock me for six bucks!” she told our boys indignantly. “Can you believe it? The cheek of it!” But you asked him to buy burgers for the shoot, we said. “Yes but he’s eaten them!” she replied. Um, yeah, it was in the script... but never mind. Not for the first time we realised that this shouldn’t be a film about us, it should be a reality TV series about the demented world of Sandie West, the David Brent of the Hollywood fringe. Madder than a wet hen. Thanks to everyone who came to the gigs, stopped by for chat, or otherwise helped make the last week special. Extra special thanks to the US Gonads - Jay Letendre, Rodger Shosa and Geoffrey C Palmer for dedication beyond the call of duty. To the incredible disappearing Dave. To Raine Palladino, Dylan Melody, Leanne Bowes and Shira Leigh of Shiragirl and the great bands we shared stages with including Rat City Riot, Doug & The Slugz, Bad Ass & Corrupted Youth. To the very wonderful Christine Peake and Susan Dynner. To Janine McDonough and Diana Bird of PNX. To Mikie, Joe, Chris & Brent. To Ronnie & Esmeralda who flew down from Seattle and the kids who trekked up from Tijuana and over from Texas. To everyone involved in the filming and last of all, thank you Sandie West for drawing us into your world of madness and making this incredible week happen - despite the odds! We love you all! See you again soon chaps! Cheers & many beers, Gal & Clyde.
Nov 18. The shocks started pretty much as soon as the lads arrived back at the beach house. For starters, Gal noticed that someone had been rifling through his stuff. Sandie West (demented director) admitted it was her, saying “I was looking for something”. “For what?” Gal asked. “Um, a camera charger,” she replied. “I’ve lost a camera charger.” “Why would your camera charger be in my suitcase?” asked the indignant singer. “Well it wasn’t,” snapped Sandie. “So that’s all right then.” No. It really ain’t. On the plus side though we did get a song out of it – ‘We’ve Been Rifled!’. All together: ‘She was sniffing my pants, going through my underwear/Looking for some money that wasn’t fuckin’ there/We’ve been rifled, we’ve been rifled....’ Shock 2: we lost our driver. Dave had gone to Hollywood the night before to hang out with Tequila Mockingbird and never returned. Still it wasn’t like we had a big trip ahead of us... just a five hour drive to Las Vegas... Nads US drummer Rodger ‘Keyser’ Shosa stepped in and drove the tour bus there – and then drove another five hours back straight after the after-party. He is awarded Lord Waistrel’s highest honour, a Hero of Oi medal (not redeemable for cash) and his name will live on in perpetuity in the history of our movement.
Vegas was our last gig, and several incredible things happened. For starters Ronnie Riot and Esmeralda flew down from Seattle just to see us. And we met Psycho Manny, a local Mr Fix-It who sourced and delivered a much-needed bass amp. A top man, we thought. It wasn’t until some hours later that we realised Manny was actually a member of Las Vegas’ biggest streetgang The Wanderers – the speech he made (on camera) about it all being about “streetpunk, gangs, guns and drugs” was a bit of a giveaway. But nevertheless, he came through for us and even promised Clyde his protection whenever we are in the city. Thanks pal, we appreciate it. The final set could well be the most perfect ever played: ‘Lager Top’, ‘Jobs Not Jails’, ‘Punk Rock Will Never Die’, ‘Grant Mitchell’, ‘I Lost My Love To A UK Sub’, ‘Oi Mate’, ‘British Steel’, ‘Beano’, ‘Charlton Boys’, ‘Tucker’s Ruckers’, ‘Punk Rock Till I Die’/‘Joys Of Oi’/‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ (RIP Malcolm Young). Encore: ‘Buy Me A Drink You Bastards’ and ‘Alconaut’.
We would like to tell you more about the last night of the tour but unfortunately it hit such heights and plumbed such depths of punk rock Babylon we feel that reading the stories might corrupt your innocent minds. As is traditional five Gonads went to Vegas but only four came back. Geoff disappeared with two UA air hostesses who promised him an easy ride to his home base – and also a flight back to Boston. One Gonad had eaten a chilli taco before performing what the papers would call “a sex act” on a local woman, with unexpected consequences. Perhaps the sweetest and most repeatable tale involved Saffron who approached Gal and Clyde saying “I’ve read about your goblets...” Turned out she wanted hers delivered freshly on draft in one big golden shower... but enough. Stories like these can destroy lives. Let’s just say we made it back to LA at 6.30am, with a sack-load of memories and unanswered questions like: why is Clyde Ward’s new nickname The Golden Shot? Will we really be recording a cover version of ‘Yellow River’? And why was Jay after a step-ladder so soon after meeting a 6ft 6 transvestite? The answers my friend, are blowing out my ass... the answers are blowing out our ass.
Gal’s final Golden Goblet rating:
Spillage level: Flood Warning.
Nov 17 Extra. (today’s events, not yesterday’s). So Gal and Clyde popped down to their favourite Mexican caff for breakfast only to find the place swarming with agents from ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) and their chef pal Enrique being led away in cuffs. He caught a glimpse of Clyde and went nuts, shouting: “You said you were my friends! But you are informantes!” No, the horrified Clyde replied. “This has nothing to do with us” but Enrique wasn’t having it. “You are rata socia! Dirty rats! Federales! Federales!” The guys were so distraught even the shock of finding Miley Cyrus filming around the corner couldn’t lift their mood. In other news, Brent was replaced by Afghan Joe on camera duties. “We’ve got a lot of songs about the English back home,” Joe told them. “Really?” replied Clyde. “Well, we’ll have a listen once we’ve resuscitated you.” But as it happened Joe was a good egg and did a great job filming our new promo vid for ‘Oi Mate’ on Venice beach. We will be working with him again. With no gig tonight, the pair slipped away and spent the evening with Gal’s friend Christine Peake and punk film director Susan Dynner washing mussels and chips down with lager and “chard” al fresco in Margo’s on Montana Avenue. The Peaky Blinder put them up in her plush Santa Monica pad – a blessed relief, what with Gal’s back problems. She really is the greatest woman alive. Christine even cooked them a proper full English breakfast the morning after. A great end to a relaxed night with not a sniff of the horrors to come...
Gal’s Golden Goblet rating: zero. Status: empty.
Nov 17. Another day thwart with drama yesterday, all of it missed by the cameras - largely because the emotional turmoil involved Brent, the camera guy, rowing with Sandie West (dictatorial director). The barmy blow-up was sparked by conflict over money - Brent wanted some. He confiscated her camera as a bargaining tool, and outrageously cast aspersions on her production skills by saying: "You couldn't direct fucking traffic." It was proper tears before bedtime stuff. It would be tedious to go into details so let's just say it was down to the noble and heroic figure of Clyde Ward to "sort" the escalating situation. Gentleman Clyde, henceforth known as the Henry Kissinger of Oi, jumped in after Brent nearly catapulted Sandie off the trunk of his car. Pulling the pair apart, Clyde persuaded him to hand over the car keys and her to write a cheque. Job done. (The alternative was either to call John Corleone - or the cops, and we were already three hours behind schedule through no fault of the band's). Sandie was understandably fuming about the incident and denounced Brent as "a sleeper agent working for Wattsie Watts". Clyde warned her not to go on about it to us in the tour bus as it'd wreck our mood so she phoned other people and went on (and on, and on) about it to them instead. For the sake of our sanity, the lads drowned out the racket with a medley of such completely random songs as 'Silence Is Golden', 'Rabbit', 'Gob', 'Give Peace A Chance'... etc, etc. (Requests for 'Crazy Bitch' were rightly ignored). It's been a tough time for Hollywood veteran Sandie who has had to suffer days of abuse for her time-keeping and driving... she definitely went to the Death Before Yielding school of motoring).
When we finally got to San Diego the crowd could not have been friendlier. We found Bones from the Lower Class Brats behind the bar, and to our surprise met a bunch of Mexican kids from Tijuana who had trekked over the border just to see us. (Another humbling moment). Rat City Riot were awesome. Shiragirl and co put in a strong shift (but drop the Green Day cover chaps) and we made many new mates including heavily tattooed lawyer Sara who is now working with Clyde and Gal on a top secret project. Mad/funny moments included: Sandie ordering us all food from the local taco van and then not being able to pay as they didn't take AMEX (D'oh!). Jay the Tripod leaving the stage repeatedly after his guitar strings bust. "If that had happened to Clyde, he'd have just grabbed some knicker elastic from a woman in the audience and repaired it right there on stage,' claimed one of the Rat City mob. We end on some big questions: which member of the Gonads was asked by a hot blonde if she could lick him (and duly obliged... with her boyfriend sitting behind her!) Why was Charlie on the guest-list? How did Sandie's cash-free handbag end up bulging with 700 smackers? (That's magic!) Will there really be a Mexican Gonads tribute band called The Gomez? Why were love bites written in to tomorrow's film script? Why does Sandie Time always run several hours behind local time? Whose bright idea was it to stop the van and take a communal leak on the edge of a mine-field? And why did Clyde wake up with a "Mexican black eye"? These are the questions. If you want answers you'll have to pay - cash up front, because like the taco van we don't accept credit cards, and like Brent we'd prefer something a bit more spendable than a written IOU... One sleep till Vegas!
Gal's Golden Goblet rating:
Spillage factor: high.
Nov 16. Last night's Viper Room gig was the greatest show of the US tour so far. 'The Gonads took Sunset Strip with three chords and the truth', one excitable reviewer wrote. Even the correspondent for OK! Los Angeles raved about it. The boys hit the stage with a honed-down heavy-hitting set: Lager Top, Jobs Not Jails, Punk Rock Will Never Die, Grant Mitchell, UK Sub, Oi Mate, British Steel, Beano, Charlton Boys, Tucker's Ruckers, Punk Rock Till I Die. Encores: Buy Me A Drink You Bastard and Dance Fat Boy Dance. Talk about all killer, no filler! Plenty of stuff happened off stage too but for once it's best not to go into the details. Suffice to say that last night was the night Lord Waistrel decided to "drop the Peake Bomb" by bringing in feisty former glamour legend turned media mover and shaker Christine Peake as our US manager. The consequences, including blazing rows, thrown punches, near death by dangerous driving and Gal being accused of attempted murder (!) are best left for the band biography that is bound to follow.
Gal's Golden Goblet rating:
Nov 15. Huge and sincere apologies to everyone who turned up to meet us at Doctor Strange Records in Alta Loma yesterday afternoon. We were stuck in a traffic jam so chronic it made the M25 look like Brands Hatch. We could have walked there quicker. Sandie West (dictatorial director) immediately blamed Wattsie Watts and her curses for the embarrassment, and again she might be right. Only the worst kind of nay-saying cynic would suggest that when embarking on a 60mile drive across LA it might be prudent to assume you might hit a smidge of traffic.
Missing shop hours meant we got to Pomona for Gonzo's birthday bash gig in Characters club nice and early. A little too early as it happens as we weren't on stage until 11.30 and by then the PA had blown up, none of the backing mics worked and Jay the Tripod and Clyde were both electrocuted on stage. You could actually see blue sparks flying off Jay's fingers - and it wasn't because he was playing fast either. All part of rock's rich tapestry, some might say, but for Gal - in pain from a lower back injury, utterly jet-lagged from two hours sleep a night, coping with a sore throat and expecting to start gigging at 9pm - it all proved too much. Around 10.45pm for the first time ever he walked out of the gig in a strop. Sandie West immediately scrambled a search party but the Godfather of Oi could not be found. Clyde threatened to pull the show and walked out himself only to miraculously stumble upon our leader in a shop doorway where passing freelance nurse Loretta appeared to be administering the kiss of life. A happy Clyde tells us: "It was such a relief, and we are grateful to Loretta although I must say she had an unusual way of taking his temperature." West put the blame for the bad time slot and equipment failure firmly on Wattsie Watts but such is the backlash against "Mussolini in Heels" that at least three of the band are now openly on Wattsie's side and are even calling for her to be flown out for the Vegas show. Only Clyde is still backing Sandie 100% and that's probably because she spent hours last night examining his bobbles. Rash talk of a wildcat strike later today ahead of the Viper Room gig suggests things will get a lot worse before they get better. PS Great bands on Gonzo's bill included the legendary Doug & The Slugz, fanatical Gonads fans Bad Ass, anti-fa herberts Blue Collar Criminals and the mighty Rat City Riot.
Gal and Clyde have hit a solid gold song-writing streak on the road and have already knocked out a string of new Gonadian gems such as 'Cock Blocker' (for Jay), and the anthemic 'Curse Of The Golden Goblets' (AKA 'Let Him Pee'). The duo are protected at every turn by their new buddy Himinez a Columbian bodyguard supplied by JC, a good guy with a steady supply of special Columbian salt for Gal's breakfast eggs. In a nice gesture, Clyde managed to calm Gal down by taking him fishing off the jetty with another new pal, the local American-Somalian rapper TuMac Xasan. Clyde swears blind he saw a massive dead dolphin jump out of the water and "bow" at them both. We're putting this far-fetched claim down to the "Mexican mushrooms" they had for breakfast, for why would a dolphin be wearing a body bag?
Gal's Golden Goblet score last night: on the door, on the floor.
Nov 14. The Gonads USA tour was said to be "on the brink of collapse" last night after a series of set-backs, including but not confined to: INDIAN RESTAURANT staff cutting short our acoustic mini-set! CALLS from outraged religious groups for Gal to be LOCKED UP after "devastating pictures" from a private Prankster ceremony were leaked to the net! Our tour bus got TOWED! And PNX news bloodhounds GATECRASHED our filming schedule threatening to "expose Gal Gonad". The day had started well, writes Clyde Ward, with Gal and I getting approached on Venice Beach by John Corleone, a gentleman of Sicilian origin, who greeted us with a cheery "Hey, Starksy and Hutch!" and gave us a message "from Wilf" (Thought to be a reference to Wilf Pine - Ed) guaranteeing our safe passage and affirming our status as "friends of ours" in the LA area. Later that morning we got together with our two brilliant US guitarists, Geoff Palmer and Jay Letendre to work out a three hour long, Springsteen-like acoustic set for the curryhouse. A pleasant few hours of sun, Ska and Screwdriver cocktails gave way to a busy afternoon casting the movie Get Your Gonads USA.
How did it go? Well let's just say that the best contender for Gal so far is a 5ft 8 Glaswegian skinhead. Sandie West (dictatorial director and stunt driver) REFUSED point blank to have anyone read for the Wattsie Watts part, saying "that b-i-t-c-h will never be mentioned in my movie". But we did find the perfect Snaky John character in a towering gent of Greek/Russian extraction who looked like Lurch with a better clothes budget. Jay did a brilliantly funny audition for the Gal role, despite being an entire foot shorter than him. And Rodger "Trotsy" Shosa tried to subvert the process by walking in and demanding "a full body couples massage on the casting couch".
Things then took a turn for the worse when the session was invaded by a team from PNX news including Roberta Bird and punk legend Casey Royer (former drummer with the Adolescents, singer with D.I. and current drummer with the Radolescents). They disrupted filming and vowed to find evidence to RUIN Gal. Sadly that evidence was to come several hours later... The inaugural Punk Rock Curry Club, LA branch launch, got off to a bad start when Sandie got us to the Bollywood eaterie in Sherman Oaks a full hour late. (Thanks for waiting Melissa!)
Thirteen stalwarts made the event and were immediately dubbed "disciples" with Gal as their "messiah". Diana Bird (wearing a dress so incredibly arousing it could cure impotence) had the idea of staging a group shot based on the Last Supper. Bad taste maybe but nothing on the horror to follow. For Gal gave a speech explaining Curry Club rules and rituals and then began to clap to a strange and unusual rhythm - apparently a pattern known only to pranksters. At this point two of the US Nads responded in kind outing themselves as members of the equally secret US brotherhood the Merry Fellows - a fraternal organisation. Overwhelmed with joy, Gal decided to "baptise" Jay. "Use breast milk'" urged Birdy and Janine (AKA international skiing champion Astrid Von Hinten). The pictures that resulted were described variously as "horrendous", "revolting", "blasphemous" and "beyond sick". It made the summer's Wanda Watts controversy look tame. Unfortunately Casey and Roberta had infiltrated the ceremony, they leaked the pictures and our LA HQ is now being picketed by outraged evangelicals.
To make matters worse, the Indian shut up shop at 10pm cutting the set back to just 'Grant Mitchell' and 'Alconaut' with a curt "stop that racket now!" Just when the gang thought the night couldn't getting any worse, they emerged from the nosherie to see the tour van getting towed (pictures to follow). Sandie West immediately attributed the disasters to supernatural intervention on the part of psychic supremo Shona Wattsie Watts. Well it might be true but we suspect that the person who got to us late with the tour van and the person who was giving directions but forget to say which exit to take because they were rabbiting on their moby might be more to blame, especially when they happen to be one and the same person.
Gal's Golden Goblet score:
Nov 13. A terrific opening gig at Alex's Bar tonight was marred only by a CRASH which cost us a tour vehicle. In a Spinal Crap moment, sadly missed by the cameras, we got to the venue at 6pm for a soundcheck and were refused entry. Despite the vast smorgasbord of dining opportunities in the Longbeach area, our food vouchers only allowed us to eat a a down-market sandwich bar (Sam & Ella's) where unlucky cockroaches end up in the cataplana stew After frantic phone calls, we were allowed into the venue but told there wouldn't be a sound check until 8. (In the event there wasn't one at all). Inside the club, a quite sublime Ska and reggae event was still in progress with great vinyl DJs like Tommy Gunn mixing sixties & seventies sounds with prime tracks by The Clash and The Oppressed. We were greeted warmly - cheers chaps! The friendly crowd had brought vinyl from the early 80s to be autographed. Then Gal and Clyde were marched away by Sandie West (dictatorial director) for promo interviews. A review and set-list will follow in a few days time. But let us just say for now that the US Gonads acquitted themselves well and "US Wattsie" Shiragirl has real stage presence. We played with the awesome Corrupted Youth. Shiragirl's group opened, and the night was a great success. Until the end when Sandie, drunk on something more than power, had to be physically prevented from driving. A HUGE thank you to Diana "Birdy" Bird who personally chauffered Gal back to the beach, and to "Astrid" and top roadie Dave who got everyone else back. The incident with the car happened some time later. We can't reveal the identity of the dodgy driver(described as "short, blonde and trappy" by the LAPD) but Sandie West immediately attributed the prang to "Wattsie and her witches", which might be true...but probably isn't. PS. After yesterday's Mexican caff incident we can report that this morning Gal and Clyde returned there and were mysteriously treated to breakfast "on the house". Long live the Federales!
Gal's Golden Goblet score:
Nov 12. Gal & Clyde's journey into the unchartered waters of Sandie West's imagination has started and has already seen unexpected levels of chaos, farce and misunderstanding. Even the lads' trip to a Mexican cafe for a 7am breakfast backfired. Clyde reports: "The caff was full of Mexican guys, me and Gal were tucking in and I started dictating notes about the trip for the blog on my phone. While we finished our extra hot chilli omlettes the whole caff emptied. All twenty of our fellow diners vamoosed. It was only later that this made sense because one young guy came up to me outside and asked if we were Feds. I said no and he replied: 'Then why were you contacting someone on your walkie-talkie?' Uhoh. This explains why the owner looked so miffed when we told him 'See you again tomorrow mate.'"
Other nonsense: the boys teamed up with the Gonads USA on arrival and headed for the rehearsal studio but when they arrived they found the road sealed off by the cops. Turns out a suspect device had been found and the Old Bill were everywhere. ("Obviously the work of Wattsie Watts and her allies" - Sandie West). They eventually got through the cordon on foot and were allowed to rehearse with Shiragirl. Then, their eyes held open with matchsticks, the duo crashed out in West's luxury Air B&B (a blow-up bed in the reception area of her splendid beach spa...and almost certainly the only thing getting blown this trip.) Sadly the lay-out logistics required the return of the infamous "Golden Goblets". Naturally taste and decency dictates we can say no more about this distressing affair. Minor complaints such as realizing an LA "ten minutes" works out at three quarters of an hour were outweighed by the joys of sharing the flight with the delightful Astrid Von Hinten and the boys' decision to record 'Gonads Gonads USA' b/w 'Senile Kicks' as a single sometime soon. More joys to follow.
R.I.P. New York punk legend Kenny Kendra who has died way too young at 48.
Nov 11. Okay. They’ve gone, so I, Colin Gannon, am now running the show, and the most important matter in the coming week that I can bring to your attention is the campaign to cut beer tax. Interested parties will be holding events in pubs all across the country next week to highlight the effects of a high beer duty, and all are welcome. The boozers in question are: The Red Lion, Egham - Tuesday 14th November, 4.30 to 6.30pm; Ape & Apple, Manchester - Wednesday 15th November, 4 to 6pm; The Old Joint Stock, Birmingham - Thursday 16th November, 5 to 7pm; The Old Fish Market, Bristol - Friday 17th November, 5 to 7pm; The Old Bell Tavern, Harrogate - Saturday 18th November, 3 to 5pm and Queens Vaults, Cardiff - Sunday 19th November, 3 to 5pm. Drinkers of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our bar tabs!
In other normal blog news, I am asked to point out that Randale have released a split 7inch ep featuring Anger Flares from Japan & Lion’s Law from France! Each band recorded two new, unreleased songs for this project. ANGER FLARES have contributed ‘Making Noise Tonight’ and ‘Oi! Will Never Die’ while LIONS' LAW throw in ‘Some of Us’ and ‘June 6th 44’. 100 copies are available in red vinyl and you can only order it here! The rest are black... and the Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards Live & Loud album is out on vinyl from Pirates Press on the 25th.
Nov 10. Just 30 hours before our brave lads fly out, another grim warning comes from Wattsie Watts. South London’s most powerful psychic went back to her Tarot cards only to discover that the spirit world’s message about next week’s great Californian malarkey is... the hanged man. Gulp. Most of our readers, being avid students of Wattsie’s work, will know that this powerful card – the “trump” or Major Arcana card in most Tarot decks – has a specific meaning, one of self-sacrifice. “Either Clyde or Gal will perish in California,” she tells us solemnly. “I don’t like to say this, but the cards never lie. The only silver lining is this tragedy will give the band a great re-birth.” Well sod that for a game of soldiers. We put this stark warning to Clyde who just shrugged and said: “Okay, so be it – as long as it’s after the Curry Club do.” (Yes, as you’ll see from the date sheet, the Punk Rock Curry Club has its inaugural Septic get-together in Sherman Oaks on Monday... although that might be a bit too far to come for Millwall Roi). Wattsie for her part is insisting that all women closely associated with the band dress in black, like the boilers from the Scottish Widows advert, as a show of respect and impending grief throughout the tour period. (Fat Col will collect all the garters after use for his “band archives”). Farewell chaps. Keep calm and soldier on. Sporadic updates on this blog may... or may not... follow. So mote it be.
Nov 9. A resurgent Fat Col last night accused Hollywood big wheel Sandie West of running the so-called Nads documentary film as “a blatant tax dodge”. The whole operation “stinks of skulduggery,” alleged Col. “No serious film-maker would have made such a botched job of the travel arrangements for the talent. But then such mundane details would not matter a light if the movie were just a ruse, a sick scam to, say, launder West’s profits from the holistic medicine racketand write off a large sum as a tax loss.” Col, whose own investments run today at Ludlow and Market Rasen, has been bolstered by the support of such unlikely Gonads high-flyers as Wattsie Watts and Miss Management, not to mention Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner) and Terence Hayes, PM (who even now is learning our set lyrics to “step in” if Gal and Clyde never return). Speaking frankly, Col tells us: “I realised West wasn’t taking the project seriously when she asked STALIN” (aka Paul Hallam, Millwall Marxist and illiterate publisher) “to write a feature on the band for publication in Los Angeles. The man can barely write his own name!” With tensions running high on both sides of the pond, and the East Coast Gonads packed and poised to make the big trip West later today, the fat man upped the ante by unveiling his latest odds on how the next few days will progress: Our boys reaching LA and getting immediately deported – 16/8. Reaching LA and getting nicked – 9/4. Getting stopped from leaving the UK to begin with – 12/1. Dying of hunger/thirst on plane – 16/1. Filming & dates proceeding absolutely as planned – 200/1. Gal or Clyde marrying Gwyneth Paltrow and/or Jennifer Lawrence – 100/1. Film coming out next year (or at all) – 500/1. (Col is offering a range of sub-bets on what fate might await our doomed mates inside the California State Prison gates. You can also get 9/1 on the Gonads to be taken over by Terence Hayes and James “JC” Cruttwell by January. But hurry those odds are shortening by the day).
Nov 8. New panic erupted yesterday when Clyde got a message from Sandie West saying “We are fixing our bass for the shows” – note the word “fixing” as opposed to say, hiring or customising. Mercifully all of the great man’s fears dissipated when Sandie sent through a Snapchat shot of the deluxe instrument – ain’t it a beaut! We are happy to report that Clyde and Gal finally shelled out to reserve their plane seats yesterday too... right at the back, by the bogs. “They should think themselves lucky to have seats,” sniped Sandie. “I could have made them sleep in the aisles! They’re lucky to have toilets nearby too. The other plane in the fleet is so old it still has an outside loo.” All complaints vanished into the ether however when our intrepid travellers discovered they are sitting either side of Martine Rodseth Hiorungdal, also known as Miss Norway, 2015.
Nov 7. A furious Clyde Ward last night ripped into Sandie West over travel details for the States after it emerged that he and Gal would each have to pay an additional £200 per head to reserve a seat, take one piece of luggage and eat ONE WAY on their VahallaAIR flight. “You’ve heard of the 2-Tone Tour, well this is the 2-Bob Tour,” fumed Clyde. “For that much extra we could have got a normal flight on a proper airline.” Such was his fury that poor Fat Col, who has been reinstated to his duties pending his appeal, returned to work for five minutes, turned around and went home to Plumstead. He was so shook up he only managed to stop at three pubs and a kebab shop en route.
Congratulations to Stinky Turner who gets married today! Our invite must have got lost in the post.
Big news, possibly. GATWICK GANGSTERS – the near legendary gangland drama starring Gal and Wattsie is out NOW! But only in the microsoft store (whatever that is).
RANDOM NOOS: Slaughter & The Dogs play London’s 100 Club on 11th August 2018. Tickets on sale now.
Nov 6. Wattsie is a little concerned that her comments reported on this blog portray her as cold-hearted, so just to demonstrate her true cuddly and compassionate nature she has sent Gal and Clyde some jump-leads just in case their plane doesn’t get off the ground... and a pair of defective parachutes in case it does.
A furious Fat Col has employed the services of the Beast to contest his exclusion from Nads HQ following allegations of sexual harassment (which he denies). Col is planning to counter sue his accusers and says he will be releasing a chest-beating debut single to “celebrate the explosive joy I bring to the world’. Called simply ‘Fat Col’ the song opens with the words: ‘They call me the fat man/Cos I weigh in at 18 stone/But all the ladies love me/Cos I am randy to the bone/I’m Fat Col, and I’d like you to go down/I am Fat Col/And I will ride you like a hound’. Hmm. Sounds like the case for the defence to us.
SKA noos: The Selecter/Beat double-header tour will conclude with six more dates in 2018. These are at Cheltenham, Cambridge, Frome, Margate, Brighton and Salisbury. Tickets are on sale now... King Hammond has also pulled out of the Dec 8th show; a source close to the sovereign of Ska tells us: “a Xmas gig with no GBX is like Xmas dinner with no turkey”. We’ll try and re-arrange the show soon.
Nov 5. So Gal and Clyde are in Nads HQ, Chelsfield, when they finally get around to examining the plane tickets for their big West Coast jaunt. Sandie West – dictator, director, dreamboat – has booked them seats on the obscure Scandinavian airline ValhallaAIR but the tickets are so ‘economy’ that they include ZERO GRUB for the eleven hour flight. There isn’t even a baggage allowance. With Wattsie’s cruel laughter ringing in their ears, the lads angrily phone Sandie who dismisses their complaints airily saying “food is for wimps” and “just don’t change your pants”. So they ring Waistrel who tells them it is an utter disgrace. “Will you pay for an upgrade, me Lord?” Clyde asks respectfully but the line goes unexpectedly dead. Wattsie, still laughing, comments: “Welcome to fuckin’ Hollywood, losers.”
Random noos: the East End Badoes are in the studio in January recording a brand new album... The Professionals, whose new album is out now, will play the Great British Alternative Music Festival in Skegness next October along with the UK Subs, Bad Manners and many more... Amazon Prime are in talks to develop Lord Of The Rings into a TV series... German melodic punks Empire Me have just released their new EP Where Are We Going Anyway. To which the answer is: it doesn’t matter too much mates, unless it’s on a flight booked by Sandie West, in which case panic.
Prankster alert: tonight’s Guy Fawkes party is on. In that Kent place. See your Tyler for details.
Nov 4. Just as the band finally get over the schisms and tensions generated by this month’s controversial US tour, we are sad to report a fresh crisis is looming. To wit, we have learned that while in Hollywood Gal and Clyde will be meeting with a major TV and film-maker to discuss a “reality TV” series with the working title Go Mad With The Gonads. This is not a joke. The meeting is set in stone and we hear Netflix and HBO are both interested in the project which is described as “like the Monkees TV show but older, grumpier and much more drunk”. Others call it “a punk rock Curb Your Enthusiasm”. But this is good news, right? So what’s the problem? Well it appears that discussions have been going on for some time and if the LA meeting goes to plan then the pilot episode of the show will be filmed over the second weekend in December... which explains why Gal has just pulled the plugs on the GBX show scheduled for the 8th December at the New Cross Inn. Huge apologies for that. If you’re one of the many who have bought tickets you will get a full refund. Let’s just hope, for the sake of our sanity, that the full band is involved in the show, along with Miss Management, and not the US line-up.
NOOS: Prince Buster’s son Sultan Ali will perform an exclusive one-off tribute to his late father at this month’s Skamouth festival... the Members play the 100 Club next Saturday... and the classic Iggy & The Stooges alum Raw Power has been re-issued on colour vinyl by Sundazed. Including the essential tracks ‘Search & Destroy’ and ‘Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell’.
Nov 3. This splendid account of The Gonads assault on the US West Coast has just been published in the States. Written by the respected pulp fiction author Craig Brackenridge it is a poetic warning of the horrors to come: Having successfully dodged the full force of mainstream success with the swiftness of a heavyweight boxer for forty years, The Gonads are now coming to break America... literally. Slade tried it and failed, The Jam also could not crack it but The Gonads have never been shy of a challenge whether it be attempting the land speed record for clearing the backstage rider or exceeding bar takings beyond all previous levels at the venues they play in. These are no rope-a-dope stumblebums taking a pot shot at the American music biz though but a crack team of veterans from the punk rock wars led by the inimitable Mr Garry Bushell – the Godfather of Oi!, the Tsar of streetpunk, the big kahuna of boot-boy rock ‘n’ roll. With over a dozen albums under their belt and a myriad of other recordings and compilation appearances in their arsenal, The Gonads mean business and their forty year mission to spread the seed of brickwall punk rock across the globe continues with the relentless live energy that they are famous for. Watch out America – you’re about to get an eyeful. There will be boots on the ground when the Gonads touch down at LAX in November only this time they won’t just be being followed by angry cops, crazed fans and lawyers clutching subpoenas from their last visit to the land of the free. This time their entire American odyssey will be captured on film for posterity by a shadowy group of filmmakers from Venice Beach who are willing to go where no sane movie buff would dare enter – the heart of darkness known only as The Gonads tour bus. Emerging from the sand-soaked streets of Venice Beach, Beach Dancer films have assembled a crack production team willing to withstand the filth, fury, foul language and empty beer bottles that spin mercilessly around the hard core centre of the Gonads tsunami. When the dust settles, the whole hell-spawned event will be splattered onto the silver screen in the rawkus rockumentary Get Your Gonads USA.
Their journey will take them from the hell holes of Long Beach to Las Vegas’ sleazy streets of broken dreams. Along the way there will be pit stops at San Diego, downtown L.A. and the very real opportunity for a riot on Sunset Strip at the infamous Viper Room. On top of all that there is a stop off at the legendary Burbank Studios for a live streaming event that will seep through the world wide web and spread gritty Gonads goodness across the face of the earth. The whole journey will be fuelled on beer, bad behaviour, gas station porn mags and the relentless driving force of street-level punk (with a side order of ska and good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll thrown into the mix). The Gonads musical history has more twists and turns than a San Pedro sewage system and has had to peacefully co-exist alongside the other nefarious activities of Mr Bushell such as journalist, biographer, radio presenter, Cockney Rejects manager, Charlton fan,TV star, author of razor-edged British pulp fiction, chronicler of the history of underground street cultures and the man Howard Stern referred to as “my ambassador in England”. Alongside all that there have been musical detours under a variety of guises including Prole, DMG, The Orgasm Guerillas, The SkaNads and, most recently, GBX – The Garry Bushell Experience. However, it is The Gonads that America is going to get and they are going in rampant. Like a nagging itch on an unmentionable body part, Gonads activity has flared up at various points throughout the decades but now that itch has grown into a flaming boil that must be lanced... all over California. It’s time to get down and get with it America. Come on all you loon stompers. ’Ave some of this!
Nov 2. Here is the link to pre-order copies of our special US-only compilation, American Gonads. The fantastic 12-track beauty features some of the finest songs from our forty year career: Tucker’s Ruckers Ain’t No Suckers, Jobs Not Jails, Rob A Bank, Valhallaballoo, Alconaut, Sandra Big (Really Big), Punk Rock Till I Die, I Lost My Love (To A UK Sub), England In My Blood, Go Mad With The Gonads, The Joys Of Oi, and British Steel. It’s the bollocks! And it goes on general sale as soon as the tour is over.
Nov 1. So there’s a knock on the heavy reinforced steel door of Nads HQ in beautiful downtown Chelsfield, and when we open it all we see is the corpse of a garrotted badger and a bloody note signed ‘Love from Bear’. The letter consists of a list of survival tips, purporting to come from TV survival expert Bear Grylls, “to help Clyde and Gal get through the risks and threats of the hostile US West Coast”. These include: 1) How to avoid a crocodile attack – don’t go swimming! If a croc comes at you on land, go for its eyes. 2) If a bear attacks, don’t play dead! It’s probably after carrion. Your only option is to fight back like Tyson in a temper. 3) In the event of a hostile shark circling you, swim towards it aggressively screaming ‘Are you ready to ruck?’... Really? At this point we decided the list wasn’t from our buddy Bear at all but from someone who wants the duo to end up “brown bread”. Someone hostile to the US tour, say for example, Wattsie Watts or one of her acolytes, or even Jello Biafra...I mean, would a former special forces soldier really say this ‘Be prepared to drink your own urine, it will certainly be stronger than most US lagers’? Our suspicions were confirmed by the fifth and final tip: 5) If lost in the desert, urinate on your t-shirt and wrap it around your head. It won’t do any good but you deserve to spend the week stinking of piss for deserting your band mates you dirty, sell-out, glory-hunting bastards...