This NBC Nightly News report of July 31st 1973 suggests that there is a link between organised crime and the US record business, mentioning drug dealing, payola, mob connections and high living – and then reports on Led Zeppelin with rare film of the band and friends on their private plane Starship.
“The Shah Of Iran? No. J Paul Getty? No. The occupants of these limousines don’t rule countries, don’t make oil deals, they don’t even make million-dollar movies – but they live as if they did all of those things. In their 20s, they are rich, powerful, temperamental and pampered. They are The (sic) Led Zeppelin.
“To get around, Zeppelin uses a chartered 707 – the kind of plane President Nixon uses. The President’s plane doesn’t have an organ nor a fifteen-foot mirrored bar nor in the private quarters does it have two bedrooms and a fireplace. Nor does The President travel with an entourage that looks like this…”
Screengrab ~ The Media Guru on Led Zeppelin’s plane Starship 1973
UNCUT EDITOR’S DIARY by ALLAN JONES Uncut Magazine June 2013
‘Blame it on Jack White…’ Introducing BP Fallon & The Bandits
BP Fallon & The Bandits – Barrie Cadogan & BPF & Aaron Lee Tasjan by Christopher Durst
The last time I had occasion to write about my old friend BP Fallon in Uncut was in March, 2010, when he’d just released his debut single, produced by Jack White and released by Jack’s Third Man Records as the first in the label’s new Spoken Word-Instructional Record Series. “Fame #9” was backed with “BP Fallon Interview By Jack White” and “I Believe In Elvis Presley”, on which White played some viperish slide guitar, with The Raconteurs’ Patrick Keeler on drums. There was also a video, featuring some of BP’s many friends, including Kevin Shields, Bobby Gillespie and Gemma Hayes.
Readers whose memories are still more or less intact may recall me writing about Beep as someone who had loomed large in my life since my very early days on Melody Maker, which I had just joined as a ‘junior reporter’. I first met him in 1974, at a Roy Harper show I was reviewing at Kensington Polytechnic. I recognised him from a photo that had appeared in MM of him interviewing John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Amsterdam Hilton, where they were holding what I think was their first Bed-In. Lennon was smitten enough with him for Beep to later turn up on Top Of the Pops as a member of The Plastic Ono Band, ‘playing’ bass on “Instant Karma”.
Beep was, famously, a self-styled ‘media consultant’, often also described as controversial, since he had an inclination towards the kind of colourfully outlandish behaviour that had made him as legendary as some of the people he has worked with over many years, including Marc Bolan at the height of his popularity, Led Zeppelin, Harper, Ian Dury, The Waterboys and U2. He was what I suppose you might call a ‘scenester’ and that night backstage with Harper I introduced myself and was very quickly regaled with many hilarious tales that he told in a hipster Esperanto of his own sublime invention that was nothing like anything I’d ever heard.
I was beguiled to the point of impressionable infatuation and many colourful adventures ensued as we became friends, a night out with Beep not something you would easily forget. Wherever we fetched up, there would be people he knew, and what they had in common was that they all clearly loved Beep, who was popular with everyone, including people his various antics had at times in their relationships with him caused them no end of exasperation. His company is a blessed thing to recall.
Anyway, I return to BP now, because when I recently got back from a quick trip to Los Angeles on urgent Uncut business, there was a package waiting for me at home, sent from Texas, that when I opened it to my amazement contained a CD called Still Legal, credited to BP Fallon & the Bandits. And there Beep was on the cover, unmistakably groovy in a picture where he was flanked by his band, The Bandits: former Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison, Aaron Lee Tasjan who has played guitar with The New York Dolls and Blondie drummer Clem Burke.
The CD turned out to be a gas and was followed not long after by an email from Beep, who had just played the South By Southwest festival in Austin, with The Bandits, augmented for the occasion by Stooges drummer Scott Asheton and Primal Scream guitarist Barrie Cadogan, pictured below with The Bandits.
BP Fallon & The Bandits – Nigel Harrison & Aaron Lee Tasjan & BPF & Barrie Cadogan & Scott Asheton & Clem Burke by Christopher Durst
Here’s what Beep wrote, inimitably, plus a clip of him and The Bandits roaring through a version of “Gloria” from one of their SXSW shows:
“Never thought I’d be sitting here in Texas emailing you re my rock’n'roll band. Never thought I’d be sitting anywhere telling anyone about my rock’n'roll band. Yesterday I played the test pressings of our LP ‘Still Legal’ from United Record Pressing in Nashville. Fuck, Allan. To hold this 12″ record with my music on it, to look at the grooves, to look at my little message in the matrix… to play the thing, round and round and now – nervously, excitedly – the very first hit of the needle going into the vinyl… and then – bam! – Clem’s drums kicking off this crazy mad rock’n'roll adventure.
“All this is ludicrous of course – the 109 year old rock singer and his lyrics and his bunch of… well, Bandits. We write the tunes together. Unhumbly, I believe we’re fucking great, what rock’n'roll is meant to be, an incredible band on fire with the guitar player Aaron Lee Tasjan a young legend-in-waiting. Catchy songs written in New York about lust and mutual infidelity, drugs and Jesus and models and – as one does – Bob Dylan and Columbus… and sometimes love and the passing of time, age and agelessness… Us Bandits, we have a laugh and we take it very seriously. I’m having the time of my life. Never thought that this would happen. Thank/blame Jack White for lighting the… whatever he lit/set free/unwittingly unleashed. I mean it (man).
“At SXSW the promo said “BP Fallon is the most interesting new singer in rock’n'roll”. It might even be almost true. If I could wave a wand, we’d do dates in Britain and Ireland with The Strypes and Jake Bugg – it’d be three new bands all loosely drawing on the same well, which is rock’n'roll unfettered and unhomegenised. Rock’n'roll should have a hard-on, not some limp-dicked weediness. Sensitive, yes, but not dribbling like a wimp. Get a grip! And it should be fun and uplifting and out there – and it’s time for less segregation between the band and the audience. We’re all in this together. Good morning.
BP Fallon & The Bandits – Van And Gloria
“Whatever… it’s a crazy story. I’ve discovered that being in a band is one of the best ways to hear music. If, say, I want to hear more drums, I simply have a choogle nearer to Clem… or to Scott Asheton. It’s a hard life. Seriously, I’m more than blessed to have guys of this calibre allowing me to have a band with them. Someone said ‘Put a sticker on your album – “Contains 3 Members Of The Rock’n'Roll Hall Of Fame!”’ Well… no. Sometimes I do go ‘Fuck! That’s Scott who played on “I Wanna Be Your Dog”’ or it flashes on me that my friends playing behind me are the chaps who powered all the Blondie hits like ‘Heart Of Glass’ or ‘Atomic’ or ‘One Way Or Another’ which Nigel wrote with Debbie Harry and has just been a huge hit again, for One Direction which is a hoot. Am I the new Debbie Harry? I feel more like Gene Vincent on acid.
“I wore his leather jacket once, the one with the medallion on his LP covers, at York Rialto when I was a schoolboy and he was doing a sound check. I asked him ‘May I put on your leather jacket, please?’ and he took it off over his head and the greasy grapes of quiff falling into his eyes unfurled even more and I put it on and it was quiet tacky close up and The Outlaws who were backing Gene coaxed him into singing the Bill Monroe hepped-up country viber ‘Rocky Road Blues’ and Gene clung onto the the mic stand and his eyes gazed up forlornly to God knows where and then a gleam came into them and this miraculous voice of wounded freedom soared out, ‘Weeeell, the road is rocky but it won’t be rocky long…’ Ah yes. Magnificent. And then suddenly these little old ladies, these little blue haired old dears, are swarming into the auditorium like enthusiastic ants, all cardigans and handbags and excited chatter. It’s – God help us – afternoon bingo time. Gene and the band grind to a halt and Gene haltingly asks me for his leather jacket back, saying ‘I’d better put it back on before the faces see me.’ The faces. Wow. Cool American slang. But bingo? What the fuck. What about ‘Be Bop A Lula’, mister?”
There was more, as there always has been with Beep, including a recent picture of him with Willie Nelson (see below). “Did we have a joint or two?” Beep asked. “A gentleman doesn’t tell.”
Wang Dang Doodle Adventure Of The Week – from Heresy Records –
On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics
00:00 BP Fallon 4 play
00:27 BP Fallon’s Wang Dang Doodle – Ronnie Drew
00:37 Devilcock! (Instrumental) – Princess Tinymeat
05:20 Left Handed March (3rd Movement) – Brian Ó hUiginn
07:11 Tralee Trembles – Lilt
12:25 BP verbal
13:28 Lucky’s Bad Day – Daniel Figgis
18:14 Centurion – Spectac
20:09 Second City Bicycle Bounce – Cathal Coughlan
22:49 Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal – Dr Strangely Strange
27:39 Mother Blues – Ray Wylie Hubbard
33:32 Count My Blessings – Ray Wylie Hubbard
37:44 BP rabbit
38:44 Getchya Hip Thrust – The Ghost Wolves
42:04 Jukebox Of Steel – Son Volt
44:55 I Saw My Baby – Joe King Carrasco & El Molino
48:04 BP ghosting
48:49 Cause And Effect (Fucking Idiot) – BP Fallon & The Ghost Wolves
52:12 Comedown Baby – The Masons
55:02 Snow din – Vincent Doherty
57:10 Stupid – The Master Switch
59:38 BP over the rainbow temporarily
60:52 Baby Grand – Roger Doyle
64:42 And the jingles jangling go auld triangling
65:03 That’s All 4 Now, Folks!
Wang Dang Doodle Band Of The Week – from London – Turbogeist
00:00 BP Fallon on top of Ol’ Smokey
00:21 BP Fallon’s Wang Dang Doodle – Ronnie Drew
00:31 Up Front – Turbogeist
03:12 Rock’n’Roll Motherfucker – The D4
05:11 Does Anyone Care What Anyone Says In Rock’n’Roll – BP Fallon & Aaron Lee Tasjan & Lenny Kaye
08:05 BP verbal
08:53 Rats – Turbogeist
12:23 Psychedelic Music – Lightning Raiders w/ Steve Jones & Paul Cook
14:45 The Montgomery Manuscript – Endless Boogie
28:47 General Admission – Endless Boogie
34:56 Wang Dang Gramophone
35:03 Mermaid’s Revenge – Turbogeist
37:46 Black Hole – Turbogeist
40:09 Lux 4 – Brian Eno
56:48 BP a bientot
58:07 Zero Friends – Turbogeist
60:19 And the jingles jangling go auld triangling
60:36 That’s All 4 Now, Folks!
Still Legal – the debut album by BP Fallon & The Bandits – is released! Buy digitally here
We’re getting the goodies out to our PledgeMusic supporters.
To mark the release of Still Legal, The Bandits play three shows in Austin during SXSW 2013
Friday March 15
2.30pm Full Irish Breakfast at BD Rielys, 204 E 6th Street, TX 78701
4.00pm The Future Of Music Showcase at Shiner’s Saloon, 422 Congress Avenue, TX 78701
Sat Mar 16th
Bandits SXSW Official Showcase
12:00am midnight Dirty Dog Bar 505 E 6th Street TX 78701
BP Fallon & The Bandits – Aaron Lee Tasjan & Nigel Harrison & BPF & Clem Burke. Photography by Christopher Durst
BP Fallon & The Bandits live in Austin!
BP Fallon – vocals
Aaron Lee Tasjan – guitar
Nigel Harrison – bass guitar
Clem Burke – drums
Scott Asheton from The Stooges – additional drums
Barrie Cadogan from Primal Scream – additional guitar
BP Fallon & The Bandits – Still Legal by name & Still Legal by nature
00:00 Robert Plant & BP Fallon do the intro rabbit
00:15 BP Fallon’s Wang Dang Doodle – The Blind Boys Of Alabama
00:28 Robert Plant & BP Fallon on nubiles & other silly stories
02:29 Nobody’s Fault But Mine – Blind Willie Johnson
05:38 Getchya Hip Thrust – The Ghost Wolves
08:58 Black Crow – The Ghost Wolves & BP Fallon
12:41 Cause And Effect (Fucking Idiot) – BP Fallon & The Ghost Wolves
16:10 BP here & there & now & zen
18:11 Intro – Led Zeppelin, Southampton, England 1973
19:11 Does Anyone Care What Anyone Says In Rock’n’Roll – BP Fallon & The Bandits
21:51 If I Had My Way – Blind Willie Johnson
24:58 Now We’re Nowhere – Little Barrie
29:01 Tip It Over – Little Barrie
34:21 Eagle Flies On Friday – Headcat
37:39 Pure White Cadillac – Big Rig Jackknife Rock w/ Danny B Harvey & Jimmy Quill
41:49 Taking Out The Trash – Endless Boogie
48:19 Will There Be Enough Water – The Dead Weather
54:30 Onwards To The Wall – A Place to Bury Strangers
58:16 BP over the rainbow
61:02 Peace In The Valley – The Rev Lonnie Farris
63:31 The jingle jangles go auld trianguling with Ronnie Drew
63:59 That’s All 4 Now, Folks!
00:00 BP Fallon says “It’ll be all White on the night”
00:22 BP Fallon’s Wang Dang Doodle – Ronnie Drew
00:32 Sixteen Saltines – Jack White
03:08 I’m Mad – The Dead Weather
06:22 Sugar Baby – The Kills
10:40 This Is The End – Steve Conte
13:32 High And Happy – Steve Marriott
16:04 BP machine head
16:59 American Beat – Headcat
18:37 Could Be, Doesn’t Matter – The Heads
22:38 Psychedelic Music – Lightning Raiders w/ Steve Jones & Paul Cook
25:00 More Then Your Mouth Can Hold – Silverhead
28:22 Honeyskippin’ – The Hot Sprockets
35:20 Drug Through The Mud – Joe King Carrasco
39:36 Rockblocker – Tierrausaur
42:47 Dr Winston O’Boogie for Gene & Eddie & Elvis
43:03 Failed Christian – Henry McCullough
47:12 The Devil’s Guitar – Pete Holidai
49:59 6.10 Special – The Radiators From Space
52:55 That’s Alright – The Radiators From Space
55:05 Trouble No More – Honkytonk Homeslice
58:12 BP plane sailing
60:36 Baby I Just Wanna Go Home – Kevn Kinney
63:16 And the jingle jangles go old triangling
63:41 That’s All 4 Now, Folks!
Wang Dang Doodle Artist Of The Week – from Richmond, Virginia
- Matthew E. White
00:00 BP Fallon wonders “Where does the morning spend the night?”
00:27 BP Fallon’s Wang Dang Doodle – Ronnie Drew
00:37 Will You Love Me – Matthew E. White
04:53 Dishonest John – The Jim Jones Revue
07:05 Bright New Way (Hillbilly Mix) – Noel Redding
11:00 BP Goes Spacehog
11:52 One Of These Days – Matthew E. White
17:08 Getchya Hip Thrust – The Ghost Wolves
20:27 Cause And Effect (Fucking Idiot) – BP Fallon & The Ghost Wolves
23:51 Dr Winston Gets Sanguine
23:55 Fame #9 – BP Fallon
27:15 BP Fallon Interview By Jack White
31:50 Comme Ci Comme Ca – Jeanne Marine & BP Fallon
34:20 Hot Toddies – Matthew E. White
39:57 I Saw My Baby – Joe King Carrasco
43:06 Couch – The Radar Brothers
46:52 Seamless Boogie Woogie – Clinic
50:22 BP in the amen corner
52:27 Brazos – Matthew E. White
62:16 And the jingles jangling go auld triangling
62:39 That’s All 4 Now, Folks!