RE Rodney, Brendan "Neutron Bomb," Kim Fowley: Rodney was/is not hated by early punks, Brendan did indeed put quotes into mouths (certainly mine!) and Kim, well, the less said, the better.
The director of Rodneyís film just didnít get it. He could/should have told an AMAZING story. If I didnít know his story, I would be confused as to why he is so legendary and why the Mayor of the Strip. I donít know about Rodney being afraid of his friends telling tales, but I would have stood up for him, had I been approached. As much as I adore both Michael and Pamela des Barres, I wondered why so much emphasis on glitter and the early to mid-1970ís, which really isnít much interest to people these days. Glitter vs punk? No contest. Why not both?
The biggest problem I felt with the movie was the MINIMAL punk coverage. Rodney was VERY VITAL to punk! It was a huge part of his life Ė how could Rodney on the ROQ have survived without us punks? Or us punks without his show and his participation in the scene? That should have been a HUGE focus of any doc or book or anything about Rodney.
My site, www.jennylens.net,
exists to balance the various myths being perpetrated as truths, to raise questions, and to give voice to those of us over-looked by the documentarians and authors who can't handle the truth. It's a mainly photo-based forum covering the many chapters of early LA punk, with performers who were influenced by LA or we influenced by those from NY, England and elsewhere.
I encourage people to share their stories and many are now posting their own websites and/or blogs, with stories, timelines and photos (if they took them) -- because I inspired them (they write and tell me that). Even if they hate me or disagree with me or write nasty things about me, I still take pride in encouraging all to get their wonderful photos and stories out there.
I post emails, stories and links (soon on my blog too) from people who were there because we all saw through our own eyes from our own life perspectives. Unfortunately it has taken so many of us so long to do this, allowing other people to claim their egotistic drunken past (and often fantasies with clearly inaccurate dates, places and people) as the truth in books, liner notes and docs. The only way to balance that is to keep an open mind, read and see as much as you can. Even then, the truth will always be debatable.
I am thrilled to read Robbie's posts and concur with him on many points. Robbie and I met at the Pistols show, January 14, 1978. I have great shots of him during the closing night of the Masque and various parties. The early punks, like any group of people, didn't all get along nor like each other. It is totally wrong to say we hated Rodney. Those who say it donít want to share the credit, jealous of him, or speaking for just a few. Rodney was and is a vital component of our story. As I continue the huge process of organizing, scanning and posting my photos, I canít help but see how Rodney supported and championed a lot of people, quite often for no payment and no career advancement.
I havenít created a Rodney section yet due to time. But when I do, it will be HUGE. I have shots of him during the early days of Bomp Records, Ramones during their first summer in LA, August, 1976, Blondieís hotel room when he brought Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen to visit (my pix were published), MCíing an early Nerves show at SIR recording studios, and so many more ready to post when I have time. Brad Elterman was very close to Rodney and shot him in the studio with the Ramones, at parties, backstage, onstage. Brad and I could do a book verifying Rodneyís importance to music, whether itís punk, glitter, hard rock (Van Halen, anyone?) and so much more.
Kim Fowley is another matter: "Funny and charming"? Kim makes it very clear in the movie how he feels about people, and believe me, that's no exaggeration. I leave it to Cherie Currie and others to be more detailed. Kim is all about Kim. Rodney truly loves the music, the musicians, the scene. Many of us appreciated and appreciate what he brought/brings to the scene. I only wish I could stay up til 3 AM with the music blaring every Sunday night/Monday morning. But I have neighbors and no way to tape his shows.
I thought the film pathetic. I haven't seen the DVD, but I know the film hurt Rodney. He's very skittish about being interviewed and filmed, and that's a shame.
However, I am not a huge fan nor groupie of his. Au contraire, he's said some things that make me shake my head, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. But I know where he's coming from and I forgive him. I just can't forget all he's done for music, especially music that NO ONE else wanted to promote. And I have the photos to prove it.
Finally, people in this forum know some real stories, i.e., Backstage Pass and the beginnings of the Masque. As I progress with my documentary based on my photos, books, and my website, people are opening up to me. Thereís so many wonderful stories to share, especially about the Masque, because its importance cannot be denied, although so many involved with it are denied their credit. Itís a shame Brendan has made this more difficult by his constant arguments with people, always trying to establish himself as the one true leader of LA punk. We all were part of the scene and process Ė all the photographers, all the writers, all the fans, all the performers. Itís important not just to set the record straight.
Like my long-time close friend, Alice Bag, I want to encourage the youth of today and tomorrow to continue to create art, music and scenes. And to realize one person canít do it all, but to take those first steps, never give up, and build a movement. With the net, itís much easier, even though everything is so much more expensive. Itís important for those of us who lived this to share our stories, photos, etc to inspire others. For me, itís a chance to reclaim my life and legacy, to connect with great people from the past, present and future, to learn to persevere, be patient and diligent and re-visit an amazing era that changed my life and I changed that era. When we remind people that we ALL contributed, we empower the individual. And thatís a lesson that too many, in all walks of life, forget. And thatís part of the power of punk. We all gave voice to it, now and then.