TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

There is a happy land where only children live / They don’t have the time to learn the ways / Of you sir, Mr. Grownup

There’s a special place in the rhubarb fields underneath the leaves / It’s a secret place and adults aren’t allowed there, Mr. Grownup / Go away, sir

Last week The Idelic Hour featured an hour of “the class of 77” punk 45s. I guess it was not a coincidence, I started reading the Dalai Lama’s The Art Of Happiness. Putting together the set and then listening back time and again, I was remembering gigs, friends, and the very inspiration that has brought me here. I guess I’m a lucky dude. It only takes and hour of songs to make me truly happy.

Ironically, on a sad note, rock ‘n’ roll lost another friend this week. I don’t want make my little IH column an obituary, but with a few lines I often try to simply celebrate rock ‘n’ roll. So here is a memory from childhood and that “class of 77.”

Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen had moved into the Chelsea Hotel in the summer of ’78. The couple must have been running low on dope money so they set up a few shows at Max’s Kansas City. At that time neither The Sex Pistols or The Clash had played New York City. I would guess many of us had been burned by the Pistols cancellation/rip off at the Elgin Theatre the year before. Maybe it was Sid’s image? That night was unlike any Max’s had seen before or since.

There were of course Max’s regulars and junkies, but a sense of danger filled the air. The Hells Angels were heavily represented and so were other street gangs including members of “The Go Club” who I rolled in with. Unlike me, my friends had little interest in the music, which despite a punk rock dream line-up—The Clash and NY Dolls—kinda sucked.

Also in attendance where a punks I recognized from shows. Rockets Redglare for sure, and the band The Blessed. Somehow I knew they were kids from Queens and knew everyone on the scene. I longed to know all the cool punks making the scene.

Eventually I would meet one of them. His name was Howie Pyro. Howie had cool punk hair and played bass. I’m not the jealous type, but I wish I had cool hair and could play bass. It took a decade but eventually I got enough guts to buy a guitar, start a band, and my hair got cool. D Generation and Fudge Factory Inc. played shows, and Howie and I ended up back in LA as friends.

We’ll miss those happy days, but we’ll always have ’em.

Long live rock ‘n’ roll.

Idelic Single of the Week: Andrew Pitrone – Locket

Cool runnin into you.


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