Barbed Wire Kisses
By Zoe Howe
St. Martin's Press
Jim, William, Douglas and Bobbychanged my life for the better. I owe those guys a profound debt of sincere gratitude. They are the coolest cool, the blackest black, the grooviest of the groovies.
All those bands who imitated the Mary Chain? I never liked any of 'em. That shoegaze shit was not for me. I was not into acid house or even that much Brit-Pop, really. For me, the Mary Chain was the zenith, the high point of standalone excellence. 1995 was the year The Man killed punk dead in my little underground world, when media consolidation under Bill Clinton ate up all the medium-sized labels that actual real garage bands used to have some remote hope of making records for, corporations bought up all the smallish venues, closed most of 'em, jacked up ticket prices with extra added fuck you fees, like hospitals, at all their enormo-dome sports coliseums, moneybags promotors started pushing those big five hundred dollar festivals in daylight with all the sunburnt sports assholes starring some heir and his laptop, ushered all those idiot normies into music scenes with their by numbers "Alternative" hoax bands.
Every big city had the trust fund Clones impersonating all our favorite bands, but with none of the soul or truth, or pathos or originality-just the surface gimmickry and expensive fancy vintage gear, paid for by their Little Lord Fauntleroy family fortunes. I dunno if it was me who coined the phrase, imitation generation, but no one I saw was putting anything much of their own on to the stage, just cheap, tacky impersonations of good bands the mainstream locals had never heard of, so they all seemed way more impressive and innovative, in their grunge era small ponds, than they really were.