TROUBLE AT THE CUP
(and everywhere else)
Nearly twenty years after his death, it was Black Randy's dick that really
prodded me into action. I'm sure you understand. I'd collected a few odds,
ends, and artifacts that cried out for sharing, but it wasn't until Rand McNally
proffered a personalized copy of the first Black Randy EP that I felt the need to
get this page posted. It's time to float a turd in the punchbowl, time to exhume
but a few examples of Black Randy's dark genius to the delight of those who dig
and the dismay of those who would rather forget. Gadfly. User. Instigator. Liar.
Entertainer. So many things to so many people.
Your plan to google an up-for-anything Negress or perhaps a metal
drummer living in Germany has gone horribly awry. Perhaps poor typing skills or terminal
boredom... or fate... have brought you here. Or maybe you heard a BR track here and
there and don't get what the fuss is about. Fair enough.
First things first, get the
Pass The Dust, I Think I'm Bowie LP... the title betrays
its essential nature. When Sympathy For The Record Industry first reissued this on CD in 1994, it included bonus tracks and extra photos but strangely, unforgivably neglected a key part of the package: the lyric
sheet. The Metrosquad cranked out some tight beats, but the genius
is in the lyrics. True believers should settle for nothing less than the original
1979 Dangerhouse vinyl release, though the Vinyl Countdown 2xLP reissue is quite nice.
As for the written word, Black Randy gets a well-deserved chapter in the
amusingly snarky book
WE GOT THE NEUTRON BOMB: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk.
Many as-yet untold BR tales lurk in Dangerhouse label co-founder Rand McNally's
Late last year, I dropped in at Dave Brown's place and among
some various cassette tapes (Screamers, Eyes, Nervous Gender, Metrosquad practice
sessions) lurked a Maxell C46 marked "Jenny Takes A Ride/Randy-Paul".
We popped it in the player and wound up chortling no end. By day, Randy
plied his gift for gab as a telemarketer hawking office supplies. By night,
he could turn the phone from earner to entertainer. And hit the record button.
CALL #1: Paul Rat
For his San Francisco debut, Black Randy
wanted all the underpinnings for infamy in place. When it came to offense for
offense's sake, Randy knew there was only one up-and-comer to provide the requisite
foundation of filth: El Duce and his band the Mentors. In this first call, Randy
calls Paul Bachavich (a/k/a "Paul Rat") who booked for Temple Beautiful. In the
background, Joe Nanini (Wall of Voodoo) can be heard egging on the action. Randy's
impassioned pleas for the Mentors and against both Tuxedomoon and the Go-Go's are sinister
punk comedy at its finest.
CALL #2: Jenny Lens
Sometime in 1979, Black Randy and most
of the Metrosquad (Dave Brown, Joe Nanini, Bob Deadwyler) made an appearance on Richard Meltzer's
KPFK radio show. Brown infuriated their host by doing a surprise on-air reading of an article Meltzer had written
for Crawdaddy magazine, one fawning over Jim Morrison. Nanini stoked
the fire by prompting Stan Ridgway (Wall of Voodoo) to call in again and again.
At some point during the show, Randy announced that local photographer Jenny Lens
had, um, an additional vocation.
In this follow-up phone call, Randy manages to
move from backhandedly apologizing to spinning his radio appearance as good business
promotion to threatening further trouble. Poor li'l Jenny never stood a chance!
Currently, Miss Lens can be found offering punk rock snapshots at
jennylens.com. If you happen to have a
million dollars and a high tolerance for self-promotion, do stop by.
For an initial glimpse into the darkness, this page here will have to suffice. For more about
Black Randy releases, check out my Dangerhouse
page. Though it won't be anytime soon, I do plan to post clippings from
Flipside and Slash where many Black Randy exploits are chronicled.
I'd love to see some clips of "Mexican Randy" from
Ladies & Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains
Like a wolf or a
bat or something...
— Ryan Richardson
Please forward stories, suggestions, and complaints to the
Minister of Information