all pics by Amanda Millius
Mistah Kurtz, he dead
"money for nothing, chicks for free"
Part 3 by Jim Hayes
They come from a time when a band built a body of work and gathered fans. Now they make sound clouds and concentrated band camps that appear for a minute and then dissipate. Seemingly with every band being a downloadable file, by not being a manufactured fetish object, all these bands are part of the apparatus. And of course every band in this society gets a good review, every band gets some type of plug some type of ammunition and Royal Trux becomes just another name on a list.
I left Queens to kick junk. When Cats & Dogs was new I was in some remote New Hampshire village trying to kick- I fled hit Penn Station. That last Christmas, me and my old lady ever spent together we hit Penn Station from Boston dope sick; took a cab to Saint Marks, she puked all over the shooting gallery. Fucking Royal Trux man- yeah yeah I was at the Jim Spring party- fucking Royal Trux man- I can only write about them when I listen to Missing Foundation. THOSE guys, that's a LONG story- I wanna get Spencer to cover them, think about it. Said Jerry Lee Lewis in one of Tosche's better pieces: THINK ABOUT IT! the Blooze Explosion! Neil's great rivals, the trigger happy motherfucking kings of NY Rock. Jon calls it "punk" but it's not- he got too commercial for the punk label, it's a complicated distinction based on certain market forces. But fucking Spencer he's got to cover Missing Foundation, especially if he's such inheritor of New York Scum Rock15 And of course he is, he's brilliant- his brain works on all these different levels, you know he meets the fan he meets the promoter he meets the parasitic rock critic. Neil's too self-absorbed and too cool to cover Missing Foundation but BOTH of them would acknowledge their importance. New York City in the ‘80's was like the thirties man- you shoulda been there.
The first time I relapsed. I'd pretend to be going to meetings and I'd drive around Marietta and I'd be listening to the new album. The follow up to Cats and Dogs the major label back covert cover photo of Royal Trux in a train station (Penn? DC? I recognized it). Yeah, they're in a train station cos Neil won't fly. Good lord. I asked him about that and he said it was so the record company would pay for the boat, the ship- whatever it was. Convincing people.
"One in ten thousand would come for the show." "The Greatest Story Ever Told" was about charisma- one in ten thousand: the music the sound- the Dead were considered the hippiest of the hippy bands and then there was Royal Trux- who were they? why do bands need second drummers? Trux needed one- they played off each other. Like the Mothers but Neil would disagree and counter with the Dead.
But then you have the highly personal experiences and you think the BAND is part of it- when you're a kid and you think the music talks to you- keeps you warm, gives you dreams- gives you hope makes you imagine a community- have you ever seen the rain? Passion is no ordinary word. Mercury poisoning working for MCA.
Royal Trux: power can stage its own murder to rediscover a glimmer of existence and legitimacy.16 They died so they could come back.
Jimmy Page said that a moment of true magick was when the crowd had all lit their lighters before they hit the Baltimore stage. 1973 magick, you can look it up and pinpoint it.17
Stevie is the most beautiful song about Steven Seagal. We've been talking about Stevie Nicks and her watchfulness, her persona or is it a persona? or the do the so called "tribute" bands slide in and out of identities- like a rock star shoving coke up their ass to save their throat face- does the pretend Stevie Nicks practice pretend witchcraft? or is all witchcraft pretend?
This Pittsburgh writer could not help but imagine herself into the story about the covers band. She pretends to be the beat reporter (rock criticism is the bottom rung of so called journalism: in the thirties it was sports reporting and now the ‘60's were the thirties) fading to fears of a black planet (a long line out of Tower Records on South Street that day).
The Grateful Dead are like Starfleet Academy stickers on the backs of cars. Drinking beer and listening to the Grateful Dead; are there other things to do in THIS society? I suppose I could always pretend to be a rock star. Or I could pretend to be a rock critick and somehow insulate myself into the story.
"Stevie was my shield, my power suit, my persona." This was because the chick had to integrate herself amongst the story. Royal Trux was my shield, my power suit, my persona. The critick does not exist. It's like a piece of electric play-dough.
Many moons ago, I showed up at a house party dressed as Jennifer. Another Jennifer answered the door. We tipped our top hats, embraced, and twirled in our shawls. Our purses held weapons and Jager. Strangers before that moment, we Jennifer's were fast friends, merciful sisters of the moon, connected by our spirits and our blue tambourines.
Rock musicians guarantee disappointment what right does the fan have to expect anything? (I remember when I lost my mind. I was dropping a tab with a dead junkie in the Holland Tunnel queue, by the time y'hit th'city you'd be PEAKING. Back in the early 90's we were all peaking all right, who do you, who do you think you are?) (Cat Marnell: Dash Snow is on line two; wait he doesn't have a phone- I think it's an imposter).
Carolina Rainbow always wished they were Royal Trux but they just didn't have the chops. Besides being a hipster in San Francisco just doesn't have the New York east coast edge- y'know? I quite like Vale though and of course Monte Cazazza is my hero.
"Hungry like a Wolf" blares on the jukebox- I drain it w/ Brown Reason to Live, that's the counter narrative. I asked Neil if he played "Shaker Life" ‘cos he was in Ohio, land of Shakers. He replied in the negative, saying something like he didn't know about the lack of sex amongst the Shakers. Flash to talking with Genesis about the Shakers, she gyrated her hips saying that the circles the Shakers danced stimulated Kundalini energy (that night, Hagerty zeroed in on me in Baton Rouge- he has this stare, this glance; he saw me alright. He actually looked at my old lady when he shook her hand).
I was on the Royal Trux tour in 1999. I was driving to Athens Ohio in this drizzly grey rain and the hills were so green. I saw an Amish man pushing a plow while "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" came over the radio. I burst into tears. I never understood that. Why was I crying? did I know that my life was over and that following Royal Trux on their defining tour was going to be the pinnacle of my pathetic existence? Did I know it then? Yes I did. My life was all over. I write about Royal Trux to reclaim the emotion like Proust. The rock critic is the lowest life form. "yo whatcha need bro? I need a twenty and a nickel bag of weird yo."18
Do you know how to hit the side and not cash out the whole hit? dope game aint no joke. Good music includes timelessness. You can intersect at any point. Charlotte Higgins of the Guardian was kind enough to point out that R.G. Collinwood supposed "the past lives on in the present; suppose, though encapsulated in it, and at first sight hidden beneath the present's contradictory and more prominent features, it is still alive and active?" 19
There's nothing worse than a washed up elderly rock critic explaining to the orange robed youth of today the facts of rock and roll music. Perhaps it's time to hang up various personas, put the rock and roll animal in the closet, parole into space.
These comments on Royal Trux are sure to be welcomed by ten or twelve people, a large number given the times in which we live and the gravity of the matters under discussion. but then again, in some circles I am considered an authority. Aww you got a real imagination man.20 nobody calls me anyway, nobody loves ya when yr down and out21- naah I told you man "Ariadne I love you," was Nietzsche's last postcard t'Wagner's Vidow and that postcard was merely a simple long firm sentence22- well the wind done gone- and all that remains shows that she led him out of the labyrinth. It was his love for music that gave him a way out. But was this golden thread a string, a noose, or a whip? when the whip comes down23, after all wouldn't you?24
I don't think there's anybody home anyway (today's special is geto dope processed in Marietta Georgia right off the 120 Loop) 25 after that last episode on fire baby's on fire South African duo she's skinny junky looking she rants with 54 million hits; "apocalypse now I'm dropping this bomb." I find her freaky and I like her a lot, 26 I find rock criticism itself freaky- I find south afrika to be at the bottom of the earth- like the rock critic, the lowest of the low unless of course you manage to flip the script and you turn the earth upside down. Yeah I'm with the band. Yeah I'm on the list. I'm always on the list. Like Gysin said to Giorno: if you can't be the first, be the last; the VERY last.
no Monday yeah Monday it was the first scene in Apocalypse Now- yeah I make rock criticism look easy cos it is to me, apocalypse now I'm dropping this bomb27- it's like Royal Trux, in the sense of the Tertullian quotation from "on the genealogy of morals," it's false, it's out of context- Tertullian (like an alt-rock band) he cannot fight back and in the case of Royal Trux they can't throw me off tour. 28 Being a rock critic is like gluing your floor to the arm of a gallery during an opening. 29 The aesthetic authorities need to call the security forces to extract you from the event. a critic gets welded to a band and only a crowbar can extricate them from the mess. Rock criticism is like a medieval form of possession: from a distance the bands look like witchcraft covens that snare you like a honey trap. 30 The audience at the games. Nietzsche the Uber-Ur rock critic. His last postcard to Cosima: "Ariadne, I love you." Send On Kawara a postcard care of Sean Flynn, care of Thomas Kincaid photocopied by Dash Snow. The baby's in fact, on fire: 31 Cleveland rocks? It's a temptation inside of your heart to fill up your east river pipe32. Apocalypse now? yeah it's over, we blew it33- rock criticism's dead, let's have a discussion.34 All the times I told Royal Trux I loved them: I really loved them.
United States of America
Sun in Capricorn moon in Aquarius 2016
15. Whatever happened to the Reverb Motherfuckers?
16. The Precession of Simulacra, page 37
18. Geto Boys
19. Under Another Sky. Charlotte Higgins NY: Overlook, 2015.
20. "Tell Me When It's Over," 1982
21. Walls and Bridges, 1974
22. John Bennett of Columbus Ohio, he worked on WSB's "everything lost"
23. Some Girls, 1978
24. Naked Lunch, 59
25. Geto Boys, 5th Ward, Houston 1990
26. Die Antwoord
27. "Babys On Fire," Die Antwoord
28. The night I heard they were playing gigs again I dreamt there was a demon in my bed
29. who did this? Please advise
30. copyleft Michael Alig
31. Eno was the name of a British laxative in the '20's, see Diary of a Drug Fiend (1922)
32. the band sucks but it's a great name
33. Electric Kool Aid Acid Test (1967)
34. Howls for Sade film, 1952
See Part One of this Royal Trux article
Also see our interview with Jennifer Herrema/RTX, our Royal Trux article and our interview with Neil Hagerty of Royal Trux
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