RIP Keith Levene

Clash clash clash. ¡VIVAN LOS NORTEAMERICANOS DEL IMCT Y LAS BRIGADAS DEL CADILLAC NUEVO!
Dr. Medulla
User avatar
Atheistic Epileptic
Posts: 105808
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 2:00pm
Location: Neighbourhood of Infinity

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Kory wrote:
17 Nov 2022, 7:48pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
17 Nov 2022, 7:31pm
Kory wrote:
17 Nov 2022, 3:57pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
15 Nov 2022, 4:50pm
I remember being in Arizona in '88 and finding KL's Violent Opposition and Back to Black ep (the latter on white vinyl). It wasn't what I expected, but it grew on me, especially when I compared it to what PiL were putting out at the same time.
I'm surprised a KL album even found its way to that godawful state.
It was in AZ that I found an original copy of Joy Division's "Atmosphere" (the version released on that French label). Almost bought it, but I'm not a collector and I already had the Factory release. Also found (and bought) the great Wire bootleg comp, And Here It Is … Again.
What city was this? I have to seek out my fellow post-punkers when I'm down there. So far it's been a cultural wasteland.
I know the Wire one was in Tucson and the JD, I think, was in Phoenix. And, of course, this was around 35 years ago.
"And so the sailor goes, 'I don’t know, but it’s driving me nuts!'” - Woodrow Wilson to David Lloyd George, Paris Peace Conference, 1 February 1919

Dr. Medulla
User avatar
Atheistic Epileptic
Posts: 105808
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 2:00pm
Location: Neighbourhood of Infinity

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Chuck Mangione wrote:
17 Nov 2022, 7:18pm
Wow. Why did I write that? Sorry. RIP Keith, thanks for convincing Joe to join the only band that mattered. Groundbreaking musician as well.
You'll always be a legend here, Chuck. ;)
"And so the sailor goes, 'I don’t know, but it’s driving me nuts!'” - Woodrow Wilson to David Lloyd George, Paris Peace Conference, 1 February 1919

Marky Dread
User avatar
Messiah of the Milk Bar
Posts: 55122
Joined: 17 Jun 2008, 11:26am

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by Marky Dread »

Chuck Mangione wrote:
17 Nov 2022, 7:18pm
Wow. Why did I write that? Sorry. RIP Keith, thanks for convincing Joe to join the only band that mattered. Groundbreaking musician as well.
He didn't he convinced Joe to join...

The Weak Heart Drops
The Psychotic Negatives
The Mirrors...
Image

Forces have been looting
My humanity
Curfews have been curbing
The end of liberty


We're the flowers in the dustbin...
No fuchsias for you.

"Without the common people you're nothing"

Chuck Mangione
Spitting Image
Posts: 6735
Joined: 17 Jun 2009, 10:45pm
Location: Up your boulevard.

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by Chuck Mangione »

Marky Dread wrote:
17 Nov 2022, 10:01pm
Chuck Mangione wrote:
17 Nov 2022, 7:18pm
Wow. Why did I write that? Sorry. RIP Keith, thanks for convincing Joe to join the only band that mattered. Groundbreaking musician as well.
He didn't he convinced Joe to join...

The Weak Heart Drops
The Psychotic Negatives
The Mirrors...
See edit.

Marky Dread
User avatar
Messiah of the Milk Bar
Posts: 55122
Joined: 17 Jun 2008, 11:26am

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by Marky Dread »

Chuck Mangione wrote:
18 Nov 2022, 2:40pm
Marky Dread wrote:
17 Nov 2022, 10:01pm
Chuck Mangione wrote:
17 Nov 2022, 7:18pm
Wow. Why did I write that? Sorry. RIP Keith, thanks for convincing Joe to join the only band that mattered. Groundbreaking musician as well.
He didn't he convinced Joe to join...

The Weak Heart Drops
The Psychotic Negatives
The Mirrors...
See edit.
It's okay Chuck. It's not really about those earlier names. I just don't like "the only band that matters" tag line. Obviously I think they were a great band. But in a thread about Keith Levene we don't really remember him for being in The Clash but for the great guitar work etc in PiL.
Image

Forces have been looting
My humanity
Curfews have been curbing
The end of liberty


We're the flowers in the dustbin...
No fuchsias for you.

"Without the common people you're nothing"

Chairman Ralph
Long Time Jerk
Posts: 656
Joined: 20 Mar 2009, 10:59pm

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by Chairman Ralph »

It doesn't matter- the point of art is to capture magic, which is by definition ephemeral. And Keith Levene's baffling sonic wizardry will linger on, drifting the electronic highways and by-ways like a phantasm.

I think you really nailed it right there. In some ways, I don't think he fulfilled his whole potential. He had a great run at the beginning of PiL, peaked with Metal Box and then, set that guitar phantasm on full -- to me, "Go Back" was his last great PiL moment, his last truly flaring guitar part.

His post-PIL stuff is hit, and a fair bit of miss -- some I liked more (Side one of that Back Too Black EP), some, a bit less (Violent Opposition). So I'd say your description definitely applies ("deadly-dull Dad-Dub"), especially when you consider that the reunited Levene/Wobble band actually did gigs with a JR soundalike, of all things -- that struck me as a bit strange, at the time.

Have to say, though, it takes a brave man to admit that he sat through an album like This Is What You Want, which definitely ranks as bottom of the barrel PiL -- and I did, too, of course, being such a loyal fan at the time! But I remember getting Keith's Commercial Zone version in a Chicago record store at the time, and not being terribly taken with it, either.

For all the huffing and puffing that John and Keith did publicly about who qualified as PiL's Rightful Creative Architect (drum roll and trumpets, please), I thought it was odd that both ended up traveling down the same underwhelming road, of mostly crappy, half-hearted, paint by numbers electro-disco.

And I didn't have much time for either of their versions -- John's and company's is basically all the half-heartedness shined to a gimmicky, glossy chrome, while Keith's version is all the half-heartedness before it got buffed and waxed that far -- pick your poison, I suppose. Both abound with all the dreadful sonic cliches of the time -- the watery synth tones, battering ram drums, and that horrible dik-dik-dik-dugga-dugga-dugga-doink-doink-doink bass slapping.

But why did I react that way? Well, it was interesting that you mentioned "Where Are You," from the Channel gig -- that song also hit me like an A-Bomb on that Live In Pasadena bootleg, which I also got during my week-long stay in Chicago that summer of '84.

Now thatwas really something -- his guitar sounds massive on that gig, too which spoiled me, I guess, because that's what I'd been expecting when I tried to get through all those dueling PiL escapades during the summer of '84. As that show demonstrates, when he was on, Keith was blinding -- I just wish we'd had more of that guy show up, more often, instead of the fits and starts we got more and more of, as time went on. Anyway, thanks for posting, enjoyed it for those memories that it stirred back up again.

gkbill
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 3722
Joined: 23 Jun 2008, 9:21pm

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by gkbill »

Chairman Ralph wrote:
23 Nov 2022, 5:13pm
It doesn't matter- the point of art is to capture magic, which is by definition ephemeral. And Keith Levene's baffling sonic wizardry will linger on, drifting the electronic highways and by-ways like a phantasm.

I think you really nailed it right there. In some ways, I don't think he fulfilled his whole potential. He had a great run at the beginning of PiL, peaked with Metal Box and then, set that guitar phantasm on full -- to me, "Go Back" was his last great PiL moment, his last truly flaring guitar part.

His post-PIL stuff is hit, and a fair bit of miss -- some I liked more (Side one of that Back Too Black EP), some, a bit less (Violent Opposition). So I'd say your description definitely applies ("deadly-dull Dad-Dub"), especially when you consider that the reunited Levene/Wobble band actually did gigs with a JR soundalike, of all things -- that struck me as a bit strange, at the time.

Have to say, though, it takes a brave man to admit that he sat through an album like This Is What You Want, which definitely ranks as bottom of the barrel PiL -- and I did, too, of course, being such a loyal fan at the time! But I remember getting Keith's Commercial Zone version in a Chicago record store at the time, and not being terribly taken with it, either.

For all the huffing and puffing that John and Keith did publicly about who qualified as PiL's Rightful Creative Architect (drum roll and trumpets, please), I thought it was odd that both ended up traveling down the same underwhelming road, of mostly crappy, half-hearted, paint by numbers electro-disco.

And I didn't have much time for either of their versions -- John's and company's is basically all the half-heartedness shined to a gimmicky, glossy chrome, while Keith's version is all the half-heartedness before it got buffed and waxed that far -- pick your poison, I suppose. Both abound with all the dreadful sonic cliches of the time -- the watery synth tones, battering ram drums, and that horrible dik-dik-dik-dugga-dugga-dugga-doink-doink-doink bass slapping.

But why did I react that way? Well, it was interesting that you mentioned "Where Are You," from the Channel gig -- that song also hit me like an A-Bomb on that Live In Pasadena bootleg, which I also got during my week-long stay in Chicago that summer of '84.

Now thatwas really something -- his guitar sounds massive on that gig, too which spoiled me, I guess, because that's what I'd been expecting when I tried to get through all those dueling PiL escapades during the summer of '84. As that show demonstrates, when he was on, Keith was blinding -- I just wish we'd had more of that guy show up, more often, instead of the fits and starts we got more and more of, as time went on. Anyway, thanks for posting, enjoyed it for those memories that it stirred back up again.
Hello,

I'm curious about the Live in Pasadena bootleg you mentioned. Is that easily found? Is it PIL or Keith Levene or some other concoction?

Thanks!

Chairman Ralph
Long Time Jerk
Posts: 656
Joined: 20 Mar 2009, 10:59pm

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by Chairman Ralph »

Hello,

I'm curious about the Live in Pasadena bootleg you mentioned. Is that easily found? Is it PIL or Keith Levene or some other concoction?

Thanks!
Sure! This show features the post-Wobble era lineup, so -- you have John, and Keith, plus Wobble's successor, Peter Jones, and the ubiquitous Martin Atkins, on drums. So it's PiL, all right.

If the retailer had been trying to flog a bootleg featuring the so-called "Holiday Inn" lineup, I doubt I'd have bothered to pick it up. Might have looked at the cover art, out of curiosity, and then, stuck it back in the bin. There are shows circulating from that era, too, of course, though I find them rather wooden. Figures, eh?

Of course, their presence lends an ironic polish -- as Trouser Press observed, of the official release that does feature them, Live In Tokyo -- to the likes of "This Is Not A Love Song." Crossing over into free enterprise, indeed. :mrgreen:

But, anyway, to answer your other question, it's not at all hard to find. Here's what the original vinyl boot looks like:
https://www.discogs.com/release/2900367 ... ber-8-1982

Here is the inevitable YouTube upload:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCy1EjTQBQo

And here is a video clip from that same show, as well. of which I've seen several circulating:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y04kOTq0uTQ

One technical note: the YouTube upload features a red color paper insert, but the banned Discogs one is a green paper insert, which is the original that I bought, and remember seeing.

As I said, this is one of the more commonly circulating PiL boots out there -- I always saw it in record shops, back in the day -- so it shouldn't be a stretch to track one down.

This boot documents a hastily-added second show -- the band was doing its typical "hit and run" gig thing, which at this time included a string of dates in Southern California.

The band had already booked a show in Pasadena on November 7th, but apparently, felt sufficiently jazzed by the responses they were getting on this outing to add a second show at the last minute, which meant it was poorly attended.

But the overall sound and vibe should give you an idea of why I reacted, like I did, to the relatively wet souffle that John and Keith unleashed in the studio two years later, in their respective runs at the PiL mantle.

Keith's guitar sound here is monstrous, and the band is truly on fire -- obviously, Wobble's absence is the biggest difference, but Jones holds up his end well, and Atkins proves himself as deft a drummer as always.

There's lots of audience baiting and confrontation, of course, which made this show a favorite of mine for years and years. One of my favorite bits happens when one of the bouncers says, "This -- is --- the voice -- of St. Nicholas. And if you all don't get off the stage, you're going to get coal for Christmas!"

I used extracts from those little run-ins when I recorded a parody of "Poptones," retitled, "Popcans" -- as in, "The angry crowd throws..." -- since they fit the vibe quite nicely.
Now just imagine my shock and awe (of the negative kind) when I heard what emerged in 1984! Anyway, I trust all this surplus info should help your quest.

gkbill
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 3722
Joined: 23 Jun 2008, 9:21pm

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by gkbill »

Chairman Ralph wrote:
23 Nov 2022, 9:56pm
Hello,

I'm curious about the Live in Pasadena bootleg you mentioned. Is that easily found? Is it PIL or Keith Levene or some other concoction?

Thanks!
Sure! This show features the post-Wobble era lineup, so -- you have John, and Keith, plus Wobble's successor, Peter Jones, and the ubiquitous Martin Atkins, on drums. So it's PiL, all right.

If the retailer had been trying to flog a bootleg featuring the so-called "Holiday Inn" lineup, I doubt I'd have bothered to pick it up. Might have looked at the cover art, out of curiosity, and then, stuck it back in the bin. There are shows circulating from that era, too, of course, though I find them rather wooden. Figures, eh?

Of course, their presence lends an ironic polish -- as Trouser Press observed, of the official release that does feature them, Live In Tokyo -- to the likes of "This Is Not A Love Song." Crossing over into free enterprise, indeed. :mrgreen:

But, anyway, to answer your other question, it's not at all hard to find. Here's what the original vinyl boot looks like:
https://www.discogs.com/release/2900367 ... ber-8-1982

Here is the inevitable YouTube upload:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCy1EjTQBQo

And here is a video clip from that same show, as well. of which I've seen several circulating:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y04kOTq0uTQ

One technical note: the YouTube upload features a red color paper insert, but the banned Discogs one is a green paper insert, which is the original that I bought, and remember seeing.

As I said, this is one of the more commonly circulating PiL boots out there -- I always saw it in record shops, back in the day -- so it shouldn't be a stretch to track one down.

This boot documents a hastily-added second show -- the band was doing its typical "hit and run" gig thing, which at this time included a string of dates in Southern California.

The band had already booked a show in Pasadena on November 7th, but apparently, felt sufficiently jazzed by the responses they were getting on this outing to add a second show at the last minute, which meant it was poorly attended.

But the overall sound and vibe should give you an idea of why I reacted, like I did, to the relatively wet souffle that John and Keith unleashed in the studio two years later, in their respective runs at the PiL mantle.

Keith's guitar sound here is monstrous, and the band is truly on fire -- obviously, Wobble's absence is the biggest difference, but Jones holds up his end well, and Atkins proves himself as deft a drummer as always.

There's lots of audience baiting and confrontation, of course, which made this show a favorite of mine for years and years. One of my favorite bits happens when one of the bouncers says, "This -- is --- the voice -- of St. Nicholas. And if you all don't get off the stage, you're going to get coal for Christmas!"

I used extracts from those little run-ins when I recorded a parody of "Poptones," retitled, "Popcans" -- as in, "The angry crowd throws..." -- since they fit the vibe quite nicely.
Now just imagine my shock and awe (of the negative kind) when I heard what emerged in 1984! Anyway, I trust all this surplus info should help your quest.
Hello,

Thanks! I'm listening now. The sound is pretty good - it's very good early PIL sound.

Chairman Ralph
Long Time Jerk
Posts: 656
Joined: 20 Mar 2009, 10:59pm

Re: RIP Keith Levene

Post by Chairman Ralph »

Hello,

Thanks! I'm listening now. The sound is pretty good - it's very good early PIL sound.
Great, glad it worked out! Now that you've heard it, I think you can imagine why I felt so let down by what happened a couple years later. Though, in a sense, the triumph of Album more than made up for that weak, half-hearted stuff that I couldn't stomach from either of those guys. Anyway, that '82 boot is one of my favorites -- it's a monstrous show, with a great overall vibe, so you can't go wrong there, as you hear.

Post Reply