Happy Happy 70th Birthday Debbie Harry x
BP Fallon & Debbie Harry at Electric Picnic, Ireland 2014. Photography by Radek

Happy Happy 70th Birthday Debbie Harry !!!

We’re always touched by your presents, dear…

BP Fallon & Debbie Harry first met in London in 1977, introduced by Blondie’s English bass-player Nigel Harrison with whom BP had worked in 1972/1973 with the magnificent ripped-velvet roses-in-the-gutter punk group Silverhead. Blondie were doing their first-ever UK tour, supporting Television.

Here we present a unique collection of photographs of these two rock’n’roll legends Debbie & BP… and friends including former New York Doll David Johansen, BP Fallon & The Bandits whose lineup includes Nigel Harrison & Clem Burke from Blondie plus Aaron Lee Tasjan, Scott Asheton from The Stooges God bless him, Barry Cadogan from Primal Scream… and also here, The Strypes.. and even Ben E King, God bless him too.

Picture this!

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Debbie in Dublin 2011. Photography by BP Fallon

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Debbie in her dressing-room at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash NYC 2001. Photography by BP Fallon

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Two Dolls – David Johansen & Debbie perform at the at The 34th Annual John Lennon Tribute, New York City 2014. Photography by BP Fallon

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Stand By Me – Ben E King & Debbie at The 34th Annual John Lennon Tribute, New York City 2014. Photography by BP Fallon

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BP & Debbie chinwagging outside the Blondie exhibition at The Chelsea Hotel Gallery NYC 2014. Photography by Bob Gruen

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Blondie ‘Parallel Lines’ photo-session out-take 1977 – Nigel Harrison (bass guitar) & Frank Infante (guitar) & Chris Stein (guitar) & Debbie Harry (vocals) & Clem Burke (drums) & Jimmy Destri (keyboards). Photography by Edo Bertoglio

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No Debbie – BP Fallon & The Bandits’ very first gig, Austin 2010 – Aaron Lee Tasjan (guitar) & Clem Burke (drums) & BP Fallon (vocals) & Nigel Harrison (bass guitar). Photography by Bob Gruen

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Blondie – Union City Blue 45 written by Debbie Harry/Nigel Harrison – Nigel Harrison & Chris Stein & Clem Burke & Jimmy Destri & Frank Infante & Debbie Harry, New York 1979

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BP Fallon & The Bandits 2013 – Nigel Harrison & Aaron Lee Tasjan & BP Fallon & Barry Cadogan & Scott Asheton RIP & Clem Burke. Photography by Christopher Durst

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Debbie & Clem. Photographer unknown

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BP & Debbie, Austin 2014. Photography by Linda Carbone

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Charlotte Kemp Muhl & BP Fallon at Blondie, Austin 2014. Photography by Glen Brown

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Clem & Debbie & The Strypes

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BP Fallon & The Strypes with Clem – Ross Farrelly (guitar/backing vocals) & BP Fallon (vocals) & Josh McClorey (guitar/backing vocals) & hidden Evan Walsh (drums) & Pete O’Hanlon (bass guitar) & Clem Burke (cowbell) – Lou Reed Tribute Concert, Austin 2014. Photography by Christopher Durst

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One Dodgy Geezer – Electric Picnic in Ireland. Photography by Radek

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Debbie Harry In The Flesh. Photography by Chris Stein

xxx

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“You want me to pay for them?!” Joe King Carrasco & BP Fallon & Mike Mills & Danny B Harvey. Photography by Mike Webber

Mike Mills of REM comes to see us play and afterwards he’s saying how much he enjoyed it, the songs are great, the vibes on stage are great, the band is great, etc.

I pull out the BP Fallon & The Bandits CD and the ‘BP Fallon Live In Texas’ CD and ask “Do you have these?”

“No” says Mike, thanking me as he takes them.

“They’re $15 each” says I and Mike says “You mean, you give me your CDs and then you want me to pay for them?!”

“Yes please” I say.

Mike takes out two $20 notes and, laughing, with a wave of his hand indicates that he doesn’t want the change.

I pocket the $40.

Then a few shows later he ends up playing live with us.

A gentleman.

BP Fallon – vocals
Danny B Harvey – guitar
Joe King Carrasco – guitar
Mike Mills – bass guitar
Clem Burke – drums
Annie Marie Lewis – backing vocals/percussion

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Video: BP Fallon – Does Anyone Care What Anyone Says In Rock’n’Roll

‘Does Anyone Care What Anyone Says In Rock’n’Roll’ from the albums BP Fallon & The Bandits ‘Still Legal’ and ‘BP Fallon Live In Texas’. Written by BP Fallon/Aaron Lee Tasjan/Nigel Harrison/Clem Burke

Video & freeze-frames by Radek
with extra appreciation to Kim Galusha & Alejandro Escovedo

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:)

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BP Fallon – Thoughts On BB King

Posted by BP Fallon on Friday May 15, 2015 Under Brown Bread, Magic, Music, The Blues, Writing

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I first saw BB King in 1969, at The Royal Albert Hall in London.

There was this party for Release – the organisation set up by Caroline Coon and pals to assist in the legal defence of people who were getting busted – and suddenly Sgt Pilcher and his drug squad were pouring in, the smell of hash suddenly overtaken by the smell of bad vibes.

“Where’s George? Where’s Eric?” Pilcher wanted to know. Pilcher was told that George Harrison and Eric Clapton had left. “They’re gone, mate”. On hearing that his pop star targets were no longer present and now there were no big names to fry, Pilcher and his forces withdrew immediately and everyone started skinning up again.

George and Eric had gone to The Albert Hall, to worship at the alter of BB King. Seemed like a good idea. At the backstage door a bunch of guys were trying to scam their way in, telling the aged fellow guarding the door in his uniform that they were in a band too and loved the blues, they simply had to get in.

The stage doormen in those days seemed like relics from the Boer War, doddery old codgers, mostly sweet but not much of an idea about this rock’n’roll thing. Better at handling opera punters.

“Excuse me, would you be kind enough to show me to the dressing-room?” you say authoritatively to the old geezer, waving your briefcase at him. “Oh certainly sir” says he, not a clue as to who you are or who you aren’t, ushering you in past the Fleetwood Mac chaps still trying to get in.

And BB King was amazing.


BB King – Live At The Regal (1965) Complete album

BB King ‘Live At The Regal’ in 1965 opened the door for me. I loved the rougher guys – Muddy, Howlin’ Wolf – but B has this sensual caress to his guitar-playing like no-one else. He flew and even when he cried the tears of his music elevated you and washed away the pain. And what a singer – listen to BB and Bobby Bland together on ‘The Thrill Is Gone’…


BB King & Bobby Blue Bland – The Thrill Is Gone (1977)

BB is gone now too. I am blessed to have seen BB in many different settings, from riding the monster with U2 and their ‘When Love Comes To Town’ to following him around Mississippi for four days as he tithed the money from the four gigs to the Medgar Evers Foundation, something he did every year, The King Of The Blues BB King playing what was left of the down-home chitlin’ circuit where the sheriff on the horse was black.

God bless you, B. You were a gentleman. We salute you. Fly on, sir.
Sept 16th 1925 – May 14th 2015

– BP Fallon May 15th 2015

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‘Upward and Onward’- Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan Remembered

Ian McLagan died suddenly last December in his adopted home town of Austin. Today would have been Mac’s 70th birthday.

A bunch of his friends gathered at SXSW this year to pay tribute to their pal, this very loved man who’d been the keyboard player in the Small Faces, The Faces, with the Stones and in Dylan’s band and so much more, so much more.

On the panel – singers BP Fallon and Patty Griffin both of whom Mac recorded with, bass-player Jon Notarthomas of Ian McLagan & The Bump Band who played with Mac solo too, KUTX radio personality Jody Denberg, Jo Rae Di Menno who did Mac’s press and David Fricke Senior Editor of Rolling Stone.

Says BP Fallon here – “What is stardom? Stardom is generosity of spirit and the joy of life made contagious and in that context Ian McLagan was as big a star as anyone”.

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BP talks about Mac watched by Patty Griffin and David Fricke. Photography by Radek

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David Fricke & BP Fallon & Jody Denberg & Jo Rae Di Menno & Patty Griffin & Jon Notarthomas. Photography by Radek


Ian McLagan with Patty Griffin ~ ‘Never Say Never’ ~ The David Letterman Show

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Ian McLagan & BP Fallon during the recording of the BP Fallon & The Bandits album ‘Still Legal’. Photography by Radek

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Even in the dark Mac was a beacon of light. Recording at Red Horse Ranch Studio ~ BP Fallon, Hector Munoz, Clem Burke, Ian McLagan & Aaron Lee Tasjan. Photography by Radek

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Ian McLagan’s home in Austin. Photography by BP Fallon

Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan
May 12th 1945 – 3 Dec 2014
Rest In Peace, Mac. And thank you. We love you x

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Johnny Thunders – 24 years gone but not gone

Posted by admin on Thursday Apr 23, 2015 Under Brown Bread, Magic, Music, Rock'n'Roll, Timeless

On the 24th anniversary of the death of the great Johnny Thunders, we present this reflective and moving piece by his former manager BP Fallon. From the book ‘My Generation: Rock’n’Roll, An Imperfect History’ (Lilliput Press 1996).

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Johnny Thunders in Dublin 1990 by & © BP Fallon

BYE BYE JOHNNY
by BP Fallon 1996

The New York Dolls, particularly their gutter peacock guitarist Johnny Thunders, they were gods to the whole of 1976 punk, and The Sex Pistols, The Clash, they carved themselves from the shadows of
Iggy And The Stooges, Lou Reed and The Velvets, Bolan and Bowie and The MC5 and a boy called Johnny.

You meet Johnny in 1972 in the after midnight of a dentist’s surgery in Harlem. He’s a flash peacock in rags of glitter, platform boots and a jet-black plumage of shoulder-length backcombed hair as if a buzzard has been nesting on his head. On-stage upstairs at Max’s his streetwise Italian face pouts as he poses, a cross between Keef Richard and an urban subterranean gutter glam outlaw. A punk. Plus of course Johnny plays the bestest, most exciting, powerful vicious guitar in town.

Come ’76 The Dolls have collapsed in a storm of too much drink and too many drugs, rejected at large for their Neanderthal rock’n’roll, and Johnny is in England fronting The Heartbreakers, he and The Dolls’ second drummer Jerry Nolan. The first, Billy Murcia, he accidently OD’d on Mandrax. Johnny and Jerry, they’re junkies and they celebrate their stupidity with songs like ‘Chinese Rocks’ and ‘Too Much Junkie Bizness’. The Heartbreakers collapse.

At a party for Patti Smith, Johnny Thunders asks you to be his manager. Listen, heroin is the horrors, the darkest of darknesses, a hole into which junkies pour their very life. If you wanted an ad against heroin, Johnny Thunders was it to a T. A rock’n’roll genius turned into shambolic mess. We managed some gigs at The Speakeasy, Steve Jones and Paul Cook from The Sex Pistols playing with their hero. Sid Vicious got up once. He idolized Johnny and wanted to form a group with him called The Junkies. One gig was billed as ‘The Living Dead’.

In interviews, Johnny has kindly said that I was responsible for putting together his best LP, the album ‘So Alone’. Loyal musicians who lent their support came from The Sex Pistols, The Only Ones, The Heartbreakers, even Traffic. Chrissie Hynde sang backing vocals. On the storming version of Derek Martin’s R&B classic ‘Daddy Rolling Stone’, first Johnny, then Phil Lynott, then Steve Marriott sing a verse. Phil, he was concerned at Johnny’s health. “He’s too out of it, knowarramean?” And then there was Johnny’s most beautiful, sensitive tragic song. It was titled ‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory’ but Johnny, he always sang it “You can’t put your arm around a memory”. Christ, Johnny.

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BP Fallon & Johnny Thunders 1990 by Paul Murphy

Sunday afternoon at the tail-end of April 1990 and Johnny is over at your house. He’s been in Ireland a week or so and the previous night appeared in Dublin at the New Inn. Naturally, it was chaotic. And sad. And brilliant sometimes, like when Johnny’s into a rambling blues and he’s saying “And there’s you kids, the reason, the reason why. I tell ya, if it wasn’t for the kids!” and the guitar, it cries, a flurry of notes weeping the blues. Johnny is playing his heart out.

Sunday afternoon, sunny, we sit here and play records and talk and Johnny plays a tape of some new stuff he’s recorded.

Heroin? Naw, he’s just on methadone now he says, gets it on prescription. Doesn’t do heroin, no not never. Well… hardly ever.

He’s hoping for a record deal somewhere. His wife Julie is back in Michigan with the kids, has been for years. He’d been living with his girlfriend Susanne in Sweden but that … well, that isn’t happening either.

And then you put on The Shangri-La’s song ‘Give Him a Great Big Kiss’ from Johnny’s So Alone album and Patti Palladin, her voice all Noo York sass like all of The Ronettes chewing gum, she teases “Well I hear she’s pretty bad” and Johnny, he responds “Well she’s good bad but she’s not evil”, and sitting here now Johnny’s lived-in face, the mouth grins lopsidedly and there’s a twinkle from under the drooping eyelids and for a moment he looks so happy and so vulnerable, the wounded artist touching the sunlight for a moment and you understand again why you love him.

Johnny’s leaving now, leaving for the airport. He has no home, no number. Says maybe he’ll go to New York after he’s played in London, maybe go back to Paris. Says he’d like maybe to live in New Orleans.

Johnny gathers his plastic bag of medications and in the street we hug. Once, he’d had a muscled torso like Iggy. Now underneath his pinstriped suit he seems suddenly frail. This battered artist who sings from the slums of his soul is on the home run.

Six days short of a year later, Johnny Thunders is in New Orleans. He’s just done a tour of Japan. Two days ago he’s recorded with the group Die Toten Hosen, recorded his Heartbreakers favourite ‘Born To Lose’. He’s thirty-eight years old. And he’s dead. The police find vials of methadone, and in the toilet a syringe. The coroner’s report says the cause of death may have been drug-related.

Bye bye Johnny.

– BP Fallon 1996


Johnny Thunders ~ So Alone (full album). Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Directed by BP Fallon

Johnny Thunders July 15th 1952 – April 23rd 1991
Billy Murcia October 9th 1951 – November 6th 1972
Jerry Nolan May 7th 1946 – January 14th 1992
Arthur Kane February 3rd 1949 – July 13th 2004
plus
Chris Wood June 24th 1944 – July 12th 1983
Phil Lynott August 20th 1949 – January 4th 1986
Steve Marriott January 30th 1947 – April 20th 1991
John ‘Irish’ Earle 1944 – May 8th 2008
Billy Rath 1948 – Aug 2014
RIP

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