Agony Shorthand

Thursday, June 19, 2003
UNKNOWN LEGENDS OF ROCK AND ROLL – MY SEQUEL…..You may have read Richie Unterberger’s revealing “Unknown Legends of Rock and Roll” book a couple of years back, or his follow-up "Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers". I really enjoyed the former; the latter contained far too much English folk and novelty twaddle for my curmudgeonly, set-in-stone tastes, but the concept – the concept – was excellent. These sorts of books (another is “The Secret History of Rock” by Roni Sarig, and of course the much-discussed, praised and maligned Michael Azzerad book) might only validate the refined palettes of those of us who smugly believe we know and have heard everything, but imagine falling upon these books at age 15 and watching your musical world explode in the months to come (allowance or Der Weinerschnitzel salary permitting). I hope these books are available in high school libraries around the world; they sure would’ve done me a lot of good x number of years ago.

In any event, I’ve got a hypothetical sequel in mind for Unterberger’s books. Sure, he nailed The Creation, Lee Hazelwood, Love, Can, The Dils, Flying Nun records, Hampton Grease Band and the Young Marble Giants (among many other worthies) in the first one, and that’s a fine start. Here’s the rock music the youth of today really need to be learning about in my volume of previously-undocumented musical heroes, “Eveybody’s Entitled To My Opinion – Agony Shorthand Tells You What To Listen To Next”:

1950s: Freddie Cannon, Bunker Hill, Charlie Feathers, Jack Scott
1960s: Hasil Adkins, Davie Allen & The Arrows, The Birds, John Fahey, Os Mutantes, Seeds, Sonics, The French “Ye Ye” sound
1970s: The Bags, Desperate Bicycles, DMZ, Electric Eels, Gordons, Modern Lovers, Pagans, Saints, Simply Saucer, Swell Maps, Urinals/100 Flowers
1980s: Birthday Party, Dream Syndicate, Flesh Eaters, Flipper, Gun Club, Thee Mighty Caesars, Spacemen 3, Union Carbide Productions, Vaselines
1990s: Cheater Slicks, Come, Gories, Night Kings, World of Pooh / Barbara Manning

I’m hoping to secure funding by close of FY2004, and will report my progress in your quarterly prospectus.