Sunday, October 18, 2009

Introducing the Weekly BOMP!

Pet project of uber-fan Greg Shaw, BOMP! Records evolved from the early-70s magazine Who Put the Bomp--prototype for all Rock fanzines to follow--which in turn grew from its 60s predecessor, that mimeograph monument to San Francisco psych, Mojo Navigator.

Shaw’s obsession for cataloging and collecting, and his admiration for Ralph Gleason’s writing (SF Chronicle jazz crit who was among the first to give “serious” consideration to that newfangled rock music), along with his ability to operate that mimeo machine laid the groundwork for him to eventually become one of the earliest rock critics. Shaw wrote not only for Who Put the Bomp, but also contributed to CREEM, Phonograph Record Magazine, and others, his work appearing alongside Dave Marsh, Richard Meltzer and Lester Bangs. Meanwhile he also compiled and released the legendary Pebbles 60s punk series. Shaw’s influence grew during the 70s and he eventually became instrumental in bringing the Flamin’ Groovies, DMZ, and others to Seymour Stein’s Sire Records. It’s safe to say that without Greg Shaw the Sire catalog, and thus the whole golden temple of CBGBs NY RnR as we now know it, would look a lot different.

Greg Shaw

Anyway, you can read all about Greg Shaw, who died in 2004, and his various projects in the recently published pair of books BOMP! Saving the World One Record at a Time, edited by Suzy Shaw and Mick Farren, and BOMP!2 Born in the Garage, edited by Suzy Shaw and Mike Stax, of Crawdaddys and Ugly Things fame. Both are worth checking out, even if there seems to be considerable overlap between the two. Among the highlights are essays by Bangs, Phast Phreddie, Marsh, the Ig, Kim Fowley, and others, plus lots of great pix and repro’d pages from various past issues.

Gemini Spacecraft would like to offer its own sort of tribute by launching a new series called The Weekly BOMP! Just as the name suggests, the idea here is to turn the GS spotlight on another BOMP! (and BOMP! imprint VOXX) band each week until we run out of records or the game ceases to be fun, whichever comes first. And since BOMP! is still very much in business, etiquette and copyright rules limit use to two or three streaming tracks only. (Thanks Suzy!)

Nikki Corvette

First up is the great Nikki and the Corvettes. Hailing from Detroit, Nikki Corvette cut her teeth on MC5 and Stooges shows, girl groups, and other vital ingredients of good old RnR. She talked long enough about wanting to start her own band that Romantics guitarist Pete James finally booked a show and pushed her in front a microphone. Thus began the career of Nikki Corvette, or so the legend goes, and this during a time when a female’s contributions to the form tended to garner less attention than they would in later years. The original Nikki & the Corvettes LP, from 1980, while something of a forgotten milestone of power-pop, left the singer less than satisfied with vocal mix. “The original LP left us sounding like the Chipmunks,” Nikki has said. So what you get here are a few tracks from the remastered eponymous album released in 2000, twenty years after the original.

Nikki Corvette circa '80 or any of a thousand Williamsburg girls 2009?

BOMP! Saving the World One Record at a Time (2007 Ammo Books)
ed. Suzy Shaw & Mick Farren.

Songs: Nikki & the Corvettes LP, BOMP! 1980/2000:
Young and Crazy
Criminal Element
He's a Mover

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