John Felice is one of rock’n’roll’s unsung heroes. A founding member of the Modern Lovers at the age of 15, he quit the band before the sessions that resulted in their classic album, and was subsequently written out of the history of one of the most influential bands of the ‘70s.
The band he left to form, the Kids, made some local waves but ultimately went nowhere, pretty much coming to an end when he went off to New York to audition for the Heartbreakers - a job he turned down.
Back in Boston, he formed the Real Kids, and finally wrote his own chapter in rock’n’roll history with an album for Marty Thau’s Red Star label that goes down as one of the greatest ever – a perfect blend of Eddie Cochran, the early Stones and the Velvet Underground, with killer tunes, energy and feel, and some of the most honest and affecting lyrics ever put to music.
The recent passing of legendary American guitarist Dick Wagner is as good an excuse as any to look back on his long and incredible career. Philadelphia-based record label head, manager, writer and all-round music maven Geoff Ginsberg conducted a landmark I-94 Bar interview with Dick in 1999. It's reprised below. - The Barman
Loose Pills (fron left) Stu Wilson, Matt Galvin, Ryan Ellsmore and Bill Gibson
Remember when ‘super groups’ played ‘pop music’ that rocked? Yes, both terms have been bludgeoned into redundancy but Sydney’s Loose Pills are doing their level best to re-introduce some relevance.
The membership should be enough to make you prick up your ears - New Christs, The Eastern Dark, Lemonheads, Orange Humble Band, The Scruffs (the Aussie edition), Pyramidiacs and too many more to mention dot the collective history. The debut album, “Rx”, seals the deal with a dose of raucous guitars, powerful dynamics and pop smarts.
We spoke to singer-guitarist Ryan Ellsmore to get the lowdown and what makes a great Heavy Pop record.