Days of Lore

Wicked Lester: Where’s Gene and Paul?

Wicked Lester: Where’s Gene and Paul?

“DYSTOPIAN CESSPOOL OF SINISTER THOUGHT” Marty Parker, singer for the Yule Logs and the Electric Pie Band and all-around kick-ass dude, shot me an e-mail with a link to an equally kick-ass Web site for Irwin Chusid, a DJ for WFMU in New Jersey who’s spent the past 30 years or so trawling for obscure music—records, tapes, what-nots and what-have-yous.

And Chusid’s site is loaded with his radio show archives with titles like “Noisily emerging from a debilitating post-Wordsworthian melancholy” and “A dystopian cesspool of sinister thought, destructive impulses, anti-social behavior and malevolent mind-control.” The archives include decades of kooky gems and rarities from more well-known artists like Leonard Cohen and Devendra Banhart to more pretentious offerings from groups like The Closet Queen and Peter Pan & the Good Fairies.

Go check it out if you want to listen to some oddities, or simply dazzle your friends with useless musical knowledge. Chusid’s peculiar choice in music has even landed its own genre called “Outsider Music” and he now has people from all over sending him records, tapes, CDs and links. If you’re so inclined to see what this guy’s is all about, check this out:

FOR THE TRULY RIDICULOUS I received a li’l gem of a package this week from a friend of mine with a sticker that read: “Gene Simmons for president.” Yeah, KFM DJ Mark Arnone is a weirdo, but a good friend for finally hunting down a pristine copy of Wicked Lester’s CD to replace the tinny, muffled version I have. Now I can hear that majestic cowbell I’ve been missing.

So, what the hell is a Wicked Lester, you ask? Well, it was Gene Simmons’ and Paul Stanley’s band before KISS, who recorded an album for CBS Records in 1971. It’s goofy good fun—sort of a cross between ’70s porno music, Jethro Tull and ’60s garage rock. Needless to say, it sounds nothing like KISS, save for Gene and Paul’s vocals, but a few of the songs like “She” and Lover Her All I Can” did end up on 1975’s Dressed to Kill. Not only that, it’s full of demos and such.

For all the fellow morons out there who would like a copy, hit me up and I’ll burn it for you. Hello? Anyone? Bueller?

WORTH REPEATING Stealing someone’s property is probably the lowest thing a person can do. I don’t know what drives it. Greed? Desperation? It doesn’t matter, it’s fucked up.

Those in the local music community already know that members of Slow Down Theo and Sleepyhead had some of their equipment stolen at their shared practice space just north of town, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t desperation that drove it.

Among the swiped gear was Slow Down Theo guitarist Rob Reeves’ black hollow body Gretsch Brian Setzer Hot Rod guitar, SDT vocalist John Simcox’s 1972 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar, a matched pair of Rode NT-5 overhead condenser microphones (just the mics, not the cases) and a red A/B/Y guitar pedal.

Anyone who’d seen Rob’s guitar knows that it’s a beautiful piece of equipment and that he saved up for months to buy it. And the stolen mics were all being used for upcoming recordings by both bands. Anyone with info on the stolen property can contact Rob at (530) 680-6538.

I think John Simcox summed it up the best in a bulletin on MySpace: “If you have stolen our shit, we hope you die. If you know who did and don’t tell us, we hope you die. SERIOUSLY.”

A HEADLINE AS READ IN SUNDAY’S ER “Giants lost to Dodgers they cheat.” Well, everybody knows that.