David Bowie & Lemmy Kilmister ROCK [in] POWER…and how Mick Ronson helped Ziggy, Iggy & Lou

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     All we can do is try to honor the 3 fallen wizards Ornette, Lemmy & Bowie. Mick Ronson sure gave it his best shot enabling the peak music by Bowie, Lou Reed and even helped mix Raw Power which David is either thanked or blamed for, yet Ronno prolly salvaged what he could from the completely stoned/washed multitrack masters and also was only trying to honor Iggy’s ma~sonorous goal of. HeI wanted the music to come out of the speakers and grab the listener and shake them physically and no matter how loud or bright we made it it was never enough, I wanted the most aggressive mix ever attempted and the results were what they are” (my paraphrase from many interviews on the subject of the insane mix on Raw Power). Legend has it that MainMan management and CBS label literally was going to pass on/delete the whole project when they heard Iggy’s first mix, which is when Bowie was called in to ‘save’ this album and make it more ‘palatable’.
     Of course the contents w/ the song titles, lyrics and a Vox AC30 top boost w/ James Williamson’s Les Paul Custom w/ both pickup covers removed? Really not a whole lot of friendly/dull/mellow/sweet/reasonable from the Detroit rockers around the time Ig would strut around London in the same silver leather toreador pants and the infamous cheetah jacket loaded on Chinese roxxx, of course the latter later a Heartbreakers/ Johnny Thunders during the Richard Hell inception of that band. Rock Action the drummer didn’t say much but had that hitman vibe, and James Williamson’s glare made then antagonistic Ig looks downright welcoming. Ron Asheton was rocking the ‘WWII officer~villian’ fashion well before Lemmy, who in fact very clearly stated that Motorhead was his answer to the MC5 and Little Richard, who Lemmy respected musically and for being a genuinely fearless original. So all things heavy in rock’n’F’n’roll work there way geographically from south to north, and stylistically from blues/ R&B to heavier metals. All roads traveled by trublu rock’n’F’n’roll inevitably end up leading back to Detroit Rock City.
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     As for Ronno his exquisitely devastating use of his 1968 Gibson Les Paul Custom paved the way for James Williamson era Stooges (though he had his onstage w/ the Stooges by very early 70’s too in the notoriously badass sounding twin guitar lineup w/ Ron on 2cd lead and James Recca on bass, so there’s that to consider, yet Ronno had his ’68 LPC for all the work w/ Bowie studio & live and was prolly using it in his Hull band The Hype before David ‘annexed’ them the way Neil Young would later tap Crazy Horse (really Neil, no pun intended!?) or Bob Dylan before w/ The Band, each pre-existing units who could not be more perfect for the sound the frontman needed then. Oh yeah Sylvain Sylvain in the New York Dolls’ later ‘red patent leather/ hammer & sickle/ Malcolm McLaren mismanagement’ phase rocked a white Les Paul Custom, which urban legend (despite Steve Jones admitting to selling not-real-deal similar guitars to suckers) says was the same instrument used to record Never Mind the Bollocks and in most of the best Sex Pistols photographs onstage.
     Than another well circulated rock mythology goes that he and future Pistol’s drummer Paul Cook “lightened up” some of the gear from a…wait a minute… WHO? Yes a David Bowie gig in London circa ’74/’75!?! Which would explain how some broke geezers on the dole suddenly appeared in concert around town w/ a Marshall full stack, wouldn’t it? Malcolm sure as hell was never one to spend a dime on a starving artist he could squeeze a half-pence more out of, right? Aside: please excuse the mixed currency metaphor, mates?! Had he bought the gear they would have been playing on toy drums, a Fender Champ w/ a car speaker in it and had fuckin’ Sid Vicious on his “low-rent Dee Dee Ramone’s” white P-bass, not Glen Matlock on a superior sounding Rickenbacker, right?! Oh wait, we could blame Johnny for drafting in one of the least qualified remaining ‘4 Johns’ (Rotten, Vicious, Wobble and some bruiser w/ the Bromley Contingent).
     Yet let’s instead blame McLaren because he is a miserable rat bastard. Really we got nothing against dear old Sid and urban legend further conjures that Rockets Redglare {btw 1 of the greatest ‘punk’ names ever?) knew that some dirty dealer along the lines of AC|DC song ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ was the one who offed Spungen. Then again, in Rotten/Lydon’s eyes the world was a better place w/o her as he squarely accuses her of getting his pal Vicious hooked on, here we go again, Chinese roxxx. Sid should have listened to Lemmy and done anything but what he did do daily, again something even worse for the health and longevity then Spungen!. That still may not have helped the bass playing, a far cry from Matlock who could write songs even. Really if Rotten had drafted Wobble in the Sex Pistols  instead of Sid they might  have done the whole Public Image vibe later on and never broken up. Conjecture or co-inspirational?
     Though the truth prolly there is Jerry Nolan & Johnny Thunders introduced the scene to the mean ‘soft machine’; and now that doesn’t mean NJ groupie freakshow Nancy Spungen ahaha! I mean w/ a name like that what else was she gonna do, porn?! Really back then adult cinema did not have an awards show for it’s own industry so maybe being a groupie was a better career opportunity. Ever hear the one about how a future Hole singer couldn’t get laid by anyone in Gee Wah Ore? I mean that’s scary when you consider early in their career Odorous’ standards were 1. legal 2. pulse. You’ve gotta figure that if even the road crew of a punk/metal crossover shock rock band won’t sleep with the fishes, the fish has gotta be rotten! She was actually semi-brilliant IMHO in 2, and we may reduce that to 1 later instances: 1. the first hole LP as co/ghostwritten by one Kurdt Cobain. 2. The People Versus Larry Flynt. I mean a pill popping loudmouth nympho w/ a violent to self & others destructive streak isn’t far from her own future biopic! If we knew her manager how about a remake of Sid & Nancy, except instead of Gary Oldman her and a GG Allin impersonator? Call it ‘Sick & Fancy’ ahahah.
     What does any of this have to do w/ Alladin Sane aka Ziggy Stardust aka the Thin White Duke you might at this point, for those brave/gullible enough to still be reading at this point? Absolutely it’s certain Bowie had a sense of humor and an existential surrealist bent to his entire life and creativity. He would only feel honored completely by a eulogy barely about him, for as egotistical as the stage personae was he at hear was just a guy who did not want to end up in a loony bin as he brother had, What other gig ya gonna rock besides an alien who fell to Earth, did enough snow white to fund a Central American dictatorship and recreate popular music and fashion more times the Miles & the proverbial clothes horse combined. As they say never look a regifted British clothes horse in the mouth, right?
     Seinfeld was a show about nothing and conjured 90’s tv, why can’t this blog be a writeup about nothing and rule the interwebs. Hey we heard the whole shitty cheapy bang~bang shrimp toast world wide web of sin & cosign waves not big enough to algorithm surf was a series of tubes?!? Wow our legislators are really with it, like when one of those elephant candidates / war heroes (well not the swift boat guy who really did see action despite the naughty fox’s claim he needed a bigger flag pin or more dynamic speaking voice*). Was it supposed to be endearing to the voting public that a candidate who admitted he needed his wife’s help to check his emails when this same person wanted to commander in chief, leader of the free world while maintaining the computer skills (not) of a Luddite Amish renunciate?
     *Whichever comes with a side of Metallica going to that pathetic sweater-vest wearing band therapist. How the fuck did they devolve from writing Creeping Death in the Cliff Burton ‘Whiplash/Anesthesia {Pulling Teeth}’ era to sipping chamomile tea with some dumbfuck who wouldn’t know heavy metal music from his Perry Como and Lawrence Welk K-Tell greatest hits. I mean how can you trust a band that sues there fans, cut their hair in blatant sell-out and drinks Chardonnay? We’re not even going to talk about Lulu by Loutallca, an abomination of both heavy metal and the avant~garde! What happened to jean vests, Flying V’s and Metal up Your Whaaaaattt?!? Well according an ex-Born the Price is Right member (no not Judas, th0 Judas Iscariot is 1 of the better band names for the metal genre since Judas Priest, oops maybe not as original as it seemed) who toured with them for close to 2 years they never don’t bring it then leave it all on the state every night.
     So we’ll forgive them as if multi-million heirs who at least did grow their hair back {th0 WTF was up w/ the drum sound on Death Magnetic?!} actually give a flying schnitzel or jumping squirrel from Hazard County about this writeup’s critique anyway, blog or no blog? I mean in the ‘Zine times bands actually gave kool interviews w/ some unknown cat w/ a distribution less then the cylinder count on the latest Bugati Veyron, I mean hell the damn thing has  four freaking turbo chargers which is 1 more then the cylinder count on some hybrids. Lazarus doth puketh on his 1st fanboy Motor-tour, which may or may not have been photo-documented on the inside gatefold of Orgasmatron. Does some of this strike you as more than slightly misinformation? Well what else is opinion, muthafuckas? Merely ones imposition of the will as described by Friedrich Nietzsche (name drop bonus points for philosophy degree holders who can name which books Wagner or that mean guy w/ the lil’ ‘stache were partial to!), who btw did he prefer Fedders or Carrier air conditioning? Maybe he dug on them new-fangled mini-splits, no I don’t mean pretzels or guitar pickups or the new all improved all aluminum body pickup trucks… did anyone mention that Jag was building some aluminum bodied XK-120s or Benz offered it’s Gullwing 300 coupe in aluminum?
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     Ok there is just no way to tie that tie-rod back to the black tie white noise of David Bowie now , is there? Well yes we just pulled a rabbit out of Jack Bruce’s ‘coon skin fur hat {his only mistake as a human being besides agreeing to break up the Cream… I mean if Ginger had gotten off the juice and ridden in a seperate tour bus ala late 70’s Led Zep… although Pagey was no certain poster child for clean living then was he?!}, because the Sales brothers, sons of Soupy the comedian, were in Tin Machine whose debut LP was titled Black Tie White Noise! They also were Iggy Pop’s rhythm section in late 70s at times crossing over with the David Bowie on keyboards lineup/tour in ’77 for ‘The Idiot’, correct my Stooges/Bowie glam fanatics? Coming full circle it was poignant of the then very Thin White Duke to bust the Igster out of the nuthouse and revive his career. Yet the whole pretense of a {your fave soda goes here) colahead and a monkey man moving to Berlin at the tail end of a generally surreal decade to ‘clean up’ & ‘go straight’ is as laughable as Berlin was decadent then. Which is to say moreso then the Weimar era that Bowie also glamorized. Then again what didn’t Aladin Sane glitter up?
     Well that’s the whole target of these tangents, deer/doe John the baptist0 reader. See we’re equal opportunity word hunters, and although veganism is the best diet for a future sustainable earth ya gotta admit that venison cooked over an open flame is indeed some high protein free range delight. Yet trophy hunting is despicable as aboriginal people never thought of sustenance & survival as a sport, and typically gave thanks to the animal itself for the gift of it’s life force as food and used all parts of the beast even the non-edible parts. Which is precisely how Bowie approached songwriting, with extreme care, respect and professionalism. Yet with a heart as big as the Jupiter he prolly came from and and intensity as it’s never ending storm eye; a soul as intricate & deep as the topography of the Grand Canyon and a mind as sharp a a 16th century fire~forged samurai sword.
     All bow to the master of mime (“mime is money!”~ Spinal Tap), ‘Fame’/’Fashion’, dance, painting, films, video, performance art… oh yeah he could sing lead, overdub harmony parts, alto saxophone, all manner of keyboards, guitars, and the studio itself as an instrument as his own producer. A frontman unparalleled and bandleader equivalent to Miles in jazz insofar as having an ear for talent and timing the moment from Ronno to Fripp to Belew to Alomar to SRV to Reeves he was never short of a sparring partner, though our vote in Bowie context for a 6string slinger goes to Ronson. To survey Bowie’s career: Not too shabby for a androgynous space alien who fell to earth  from a life on Mars ro a Moonage Daydream who became the Black Star Lazarus, the man who sold the world. Hold on to yourself or let yourself go, he never caught a glimpse. We can be heroes forever and ever; may godspeed be with you . . .
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