"Picky picky me. I'm sure that Gizmos song was recorded when they were still in Bloomington. I know they did it when I first saw them in Detroit, circa 1978/79 and it was frequently included in their sets when they were in Bloomington.
"I figure punk rock died about the time Ivy League college boys learned how to play Robert Johnson songs, or maybe it died when Ed Sullivan only showed Elvis Presley from the waist up. Nah, it died when I decided I was done with it. Yeah, that's…"
I saw the Dale Lawrence Gizmos in Detroit in 1979. I had just quit my job as a weldor and thought I'd go to college. Moved to Bloomington a couple of weeks later. College lasted three semesters. I was too busy going to shows, drinking and working for campus bus. Finally left Bloomington, summer of '84. The scene was huge fun from '79 to '81, but collapsed horribly in '82. The Gizmos left town and the economy collapsed. Half the people I knew seemed to be homeless. Things were starting to pick up by '84, but I had met a girl from San Fran who was willing to import a heterosexual from Indiana. I've lived in Northern Cal ever since.
What bands are you or have you been in?
Do these count? Scarcity (one show) and I was almost in The Retarded Gods. I was invited to the one and only rehearsal, but couldn't make it. Missed their only show too.
"Do you mind if I vomit in your toilet?" ha ha ha! My question to Burroughs would of been, "anything left in that syringe?" or "Where the hell do you get heroin in this town?" maybe later it would of been, "Do you want to go to Bruces?", just to hear him reply "who's Bruce? Some local drug peddling faggot??!?"
Wherein, I would have answered "yes" or "uuullllllpppp!" depending if there was something left in that syringe.
I'm sure we met but it was a long time ago. I can't remember the publication that I interviewed Burroughs for, although it was definitely when he was in town in 1981. I stayed awake most of the night before, drinking and doing speed. The interview was early and I was in that hell state where you are experiencing all of the misery of a brutal hangover, plus you have not quite sobered up. I'd imagine I looked horrible. I was with a guy named Sven Serrano, who was the actual interviewer, although he had never read any of Burrough's work. I was supposed to be the one familiar with him and I was supposed to ask the knowledgeable questions. In fact, the best question I might have come up with was, "Do you mind if I vomit in your toilet?" Fortunately, I had vomited on the way there.
The interview was a mess. We talked about guns for around half an hour. I was very keen on the subject of guns at the time. Someone else ended up using Sven's notes and the article did not include any mention of either of us. Given the quality of the notes, it was not surprising that the article did not make much sense.
I think the interview you are referring to was done by Shadow, the drummer for the Gizmos. That was a terrific piece and made me feel much worse about my interview.
I've been clean and sober since 1992. I had a lot of terrific opportunities come my way while I was in Bloomington. Unfortunately, I was usually too drunk or too loaded on something to take advantage of them. Still, I have fond memories of Bloomington and my friends there. One of the things I've enjoyed about Musical Family Tree has been comparing notes concerning my memories. It is good to have the facts established, because, as I say I was drunk most of the time.
I have an old friend who led a much more glamorous life than me. She also abused herself even worse than I did. She knew Iggy Pop in Ann Arbor, was friends with Debby Harry and the Ramones before they were famous, hung out at CBGB's in 1976/77 and married a painter who was an up and comer in the SOHO arts scene. I've told her many times that she should write her autobiography, but she always says that she remembers that she went to certain shows and events, but all she really remembers was shooting up in her apartment before she left for the show. It seemed like fun at the time.
I'm surprised we never met. It was from WSB's 1981 visit when he and John Giorno performed at the Bluebird and the Dancing Cigarettes opened for them. I helped with interviews of both of them for the lit mag The Artful Dodge which Daniel Bourne is still publishing out of Wooster, Ohio where he teaches. Did you do the interview where he is on his way out of town and says "sinsemilla, sinsemilla ... " and that he planned to make Ginsberg go skydiving when he got to Boulder ?
"Jon Nelson said…
Charles, I can't say that I remember you from Bloomington, which is surprising because we certainly seem to know a lot of the same people. I have a question. That picture of William Burroughs(at your website); was that when he came to Bloomington circa 1983 or so? I interviewed him then. It was one of the great disasters of American letters. I winced when I saw the picture."