Radio Birdman - Radios Appear (1978 - MC5, Stooges, The Saints)
A while back I was obsessed with Black Sabbath. And not just Black Sabbath, but anything even vaguly sounding like or remotely ralated to the heathen god-fathers of all things doomed and metaled. But soon one thing lead to another and i found my self listing deep into the crusty grooves of obscure psydo-satano progressive Kroutrock bands for even just one thick-as-bricks guitar riff. Wet noodle guitar solos stopped bothering me, the words "jazz/rock fusion" no longer scared me. Yes, I'll admit it, I started likeing prog rock and so it had to stop.
Thus began my new quest for the purest of dimonds in the meaty, sweaty, leather clad rough. Yes I'm talking about rock n' roll.
Sounds easy, don't it? Well it isn't. I'm talking about pure, uncut, wepons grade, no-frills, rock and fucking roll, the kind that makes girls tingle and buckle at the knees while the guys can only nod approvingly and the sheer magnatitude of the leavel of balls-deep testostarone. Not psyche, not punk (not strickly at least), not metal.
We could argue this for hours, I'd say AC/DC is the purest rock
band, you'd retort by mentioning the MC5's. I'd say that Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" embodies all that is rock, while you would say that it is The Flamin' Groovies "Teenage Head" that is the true bastion of the rock and roll holy grail.
This is all fine and good but geographicly we've hardly (with a few exceptions) moved from two central and vital locations. Detroit, Michigan and Australia. Deniz Tek, lead guitarist for Radio Birdman, was originaly from Ann Arbor, MI before heading to the land down under to form this rock and roll powerhouse as a knee-jerk reaction to Detroit's Iggy and the Stooges. Here's an ad they put out for like minded :
What is not wanted: bands who play shit like Quo, Purple, Queen, Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Bad Co, Ted Nugent (post 72), Bowie. In short any of the crap anyone can hear anywhere in this boring burg.
-- quote from Radio Birdman's ad looking for acts to play at their Funhouse gigs.
Radio Birdman pre-dated The Saints in Australia, who played a more obvious punk rock sound before "matureing". Radio Birdman on the other hand had the speed of punk, but were more deeply indebted to the proto-punk sound of band like the Stooges and the MC5.
Radio's Appear is their first album, but there are two versions of this scotcher of a debut. The Australian version out on Trafalgar Records has a different track listing than the US version on Sire. I don't have the Australian track order, but how you can tell the difference is to see which song is covered. The Australian version has a cover of the Stooges "T.V. Eye" as the first track, while the US version has a cover of the 13th Floor Elivators "You're Gonna Miss Me" some where in there. I have the US version, and now I'm going to have to get both versions. Or just the CD reissue with all the tracks plus bonus tracks.
After Radio Birdman broke up, Deniz Tek (guitars), Rob Younger (vocals), and Warwick Gilbert (bass) recuted their direct influences in Ron Ashton (guitarist for the Stooges) and Dennis Thompson (drummer for the MC5) to form a one album group New Race, who put out 1982's The First and the Last. If any one has access to this album, let me know. Check out another Stooges/MC5 mashup in the amazing band Destroy All Monsters.
- overview by denez (Denez, Deniz? Coincidence?)
- What Gives?
- Non-Stop Girls
- Do the Pop
- Man With Golden Helmet
- Descent Into the Maelstrom
- New Race
- Aloha Steve & Danno
- Anglo Girl Desire
- Murder City Nights
- Your Gonna Miss Me
- Hand of Law
- Hit Them Again
You can buy the CD with the Australian and US track plus bonus tracks here!