Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Bad week for rock'n'roll: Black Flag lawsuit, Motörhead stops show short, Sharon Jones' tumor, Tim Wright dies

Apparently Greg Ginn is suing both Flag and Henry Rollins for trespass against his ownership of the Black Flag brand. Not sure how I feel about it. On some level it makes sense that he'd be upset by some of the shenanigans described, since - at least according to Ginn - Keith Morris and Rollins attempted to trademark the Black Flag name and logo last year; but on another level, isn't it like pouring a cold pitcher of water across the crotches of people you're planning to have sex with? Having TWO versions of Black Flag out there was kind of hot, after all; surely a "the more the merrier" attitude would have been the more magnanimous, rock-positive move, contributing to an atmosphere of infectious enthusiasm for the Black Flag back catalog: enthusiasm which the suit puts rather a damper on. But then, Ginn doesn't come across particularly well in the book on the Negativland lawsuit, either. Rock 'n' roll is best served without litigation... more from Black Flag on the matter here (and hey, the new Black Flag song is pretty good).

Also not great news: Motörhead went ahead with a performance at Wacken open air recently - their first time back onstage since they cancelled a bunch of shows due to Lemmy's health issues. It was intended to be a one-off show, but Lemmy still wasn't feeling up to snuff; he had to bow out after six songs. Half of their set is circulating on video - it actually sounds pretty good, considering. Lemmy seems the sort of guy who would perform himself within an inch of the grave, so if he had to stop, he must have been feeling pretty goddamn lousy. One wonders how the Wacken crowd received it: I remember nasty chants of "bull-SHIT" when Cradle of Filth ended a Vancouver show without an encore because their singer was feeling ill, but I somehow imagine the Wacken crowd, who, unlike the Cradle of Filth fans, were doubtlessly in the know about Lemmy's health concerns, would have been kinder and much more worried. I imagine 85,000 metalheads trying to rush backstage to ask "is Lemmy okay?" Rather than wishing him a speedy recuperation, it seems best to wish him a nice long slow one - because no one wants to see him drop mid-concert; the band still has shows scheduled for November, but jeez, guys, at this point you've got nothing to prove to us, and we will wait for you... (official statement on Lemmy here).

Finally - this is news from awhile back, and more of a soul/ funk thing than rock, but anyone wondering why Sharon Jones hasn't had an album out lately can find the answer here: she's being treated for bile-duct cancer (and expected to make a full recovery). In fact, the Dap-Kings new album is complete, but will be shelved until the band are able to tour behind it. Meantime, Daptone fans can go see the documentary about Charles Bradley at the Rio tonight, and/or see him at Deer Lake Park this weekend... if I were in Vancouver, that's where I'd be tonight.

Edited to add: Tim Wright of DNA (and the original lineup of Pere Ubu) died at age 61 this week...! That sucks!

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