Posts Tagged ‘New York CBGB’

Left us on this day (May 31) in 2004: celebrated cult guitarist Robert Quine (suicide by heroin overdose, age 61, due to despondency over the loss of his wife);Robert Wolfe Quine (December 30, 1942 – May 31, 2004) was an American guitarist, known for his innovative guitar solos. he first came to prominence in the late-’70s with New York CBGB’s-scene band, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, but he was not your typical ‘punk rock’ guitarist – he embraced fractured guitar runs & discordant noise but also a wide range of jazz, rock & blues influences; his thoughtful technique & uncompromising approach led to stellar collaborations with many visionary musicians, including Lou Reed (notably on ‘The Blue Mask’), Brian Eno, John Zorn, Marianne Faithfull, Lloyd Cole, Tom Waits, Matthew Sweet (Matthew’s biggest hit, “Girlfriend,” is anchored by Robert’s frenetic, squealing guitar work), They Might Be Giants & many more; as a solo artist, he recorded the collaborative albums ‘Escape’ (1981, with Jody Harris) & ‘Basic’ (1984, with Fred Maher)…Lester Bangs wrote Someday Robert Quine will be recognized for the pivotal figure that he is on his instrument. He was among a series of innovative guitarists that worked intently with Lou Reed including: Mick Ronson, Steve Hunter, and Chuck Hammer. As a guitarist, Quine was influenced by the angular breakthroughs of early Lou Reed and James Williamson and worked through them to a new, individual vocabulary, driven into odd places by obsessive attention to On the Corner-era Miles Davis.

A short clip from the movie Blank Generation  Produced by Andy Warhol (1980), featuring Richard Hell and the Voidoids playing the song Blank Generation at the legendary punk club CBGB. Directed by Ulli Lommel,

Blank Generation” is the title track of Richard Hell and the Voidoids 1977 debut album Blank Generation. A rewrite of Rod McKuen‘s 1959 record “The Beat Generation,” Richard Hell wrote the new lyrics during his time with the band Television, and performed it live with another band, The Heartbreakers. The Sex Pistols‘ song “Pretty Vacant” was directly inspired by “Blank Generation”.

“Blank Generation” was previously released on the Another World EP in 1976. Other versions of the punk classic were available as demos and on one 1975 limited-edition pressing as well. An earlier live recording by The Heartbreakers, recorded at CBGB on July 7, 1975 appeared on the What Goes Around... album.Demo recordings of the song also have survived. A live March 1974 recording at CBGB with Television can be found on Spurts: The Richard Hell Story. 

Because Hell first performed the song when he was in Television, then he formed The Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders & Jerry Nolan & this is the demo/version he did with them. Later they went their separate ways: Hell formed his own band, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, & would re-record the song – the version everybody knows and love, while Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers would go on to do Born To Lose, Chinese Rocks, etc.. The original song credits read: Dee Dee Ramone/Hell/Thunders/Nolan