Tuesday, June 03, 2014

RIP Doc Neeson

Well, I guess we all have been kind of expecting this since the announcement in late April that Doc Neeson's brain tumour had returned. He passed on today, 7:15 AM Australia time, in a Sydney hospital, in his sleep, at the age of 67, after - what was it, a seventeen month battle with cancer? So many of the best Angels songs - or Angel City songs, if you prefer - are about being trapped, doomed, cornered, or otherwise disempowered that it's almost like he'd been writing about his fate his whole life: "No Exit," "Can't Shake It," "Straightjacket," "Devil's Gate." I'm saddened, but not surprised, to hear he's gone... he fought a good long battle. My condolences to all concerned...

Alas, I couldn't afford to buy any of the official merch that's been being flogged on eBay to support his treatment, but I've been listening to the Angels' music very, very frequently this last year, and wishing him well. Plus I did manage to snag two original Australian pressings of Angels albums - The Angels' Greatest - with alternate Australian versions of some of their best known songsand Night Attack. In fact, the track listing for the American version of Night Attack is better, since it has a great added song, "Back on You," and spreads out the good songs a bit more evenly (they sort of cluster on side two of the Australian pressing, though that's a killer side indeed - "Nothin' to Win," "Living on the Outside," "Talk About You," and "Storm the Bastille," one after the other). But the cover on the Australian version is way cooler than the American, and, hell, it's the Australian release, under the band's proper name; that counts for a lot, too. Anyone who likes power pop or pop-punk or just flat-out-solid rock should check this stuff out - Darkroom and Face to Face are also terrific albums and very easy to find on the cheap. (By the way, thanks to Dale Wiese of Noize To Go, and his multitalented henchman Scott Beadle, for hooking me up with the Australian version of Night Attack!)

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