testors - The I-94 Bar

Igneous rock

ultramafic coverUltramafic – Sonny Vincent (self released)

 Ultramafic: An igneous rock with a very low silica content and rich in minerals such as hypersthene, augite, and olivine.

This is a short run of 12-inch vinyl, each copy with its own bespoke, hand-painted artwork. They were put together for a series of art exhibitions in Switzerland, New York City, Holland, Germany and France about 10 years ago. It will look great on your wall and sound devastating on your turntable.

The music was recorded by Sonny Vincent and various bands from 1976 onwards – much of it in tiny studios while on endless tours of Europe and the USA. Some of it has been heard in other versions.

The line-ups include Vincent’s Max’s and CBGB staples, Testors, as well as members of Rocket From The Crypt, Sonic Youth, The Damned, the Stooges, Dead Boys, the Velvet Underground. There’s even an appearance by Ernie Knapp, a guy who drummed for Charles Manson as well as the Beach Boys (I shit you, not.)  Don’t expect polish. It’s all uncompromisingly raw, but always passionate.

Punk rock therapy

snake pit therapy bookSnake Pit Therapy by Sonny Vincent (Far West Press)

Don’t let its diminutive size lull you into thinking this book is in any way insubstantial. It’s pocket-sized so you can carry it on your person - like a concealed weapon.

Punk survivor Sonny Vincent’s first formal foray into being A Published Author packs a hefty punch in its 91 pages. Is it a memoir, a collection of prose or a bunch of musings from a hyperactive, creative mind? All of the above. 

It’s not just punk rock and roll. “Snake Pit Therapy” bounces from childhood rejections of authority to tripped-out excursions around a dry-cleaning shop (‘You get $100 a day and all the cocaine you can snort,” read the note on the laundromat’s bulletin board’.) 

There’s a bizarre vignette (“My Evil Little Krishna”) arguing with itself in the finest post-modern style, an ode to formica and an impenetrable prayer. There’s a story of a doomed smalltown newspaper run scam.

You also get to hear about pulling one over ex-Velvets member Sterling Morrison on a road-trip around Europe and going to therapy with onetime-Replacements guitarist Bob Stinson. You find out why Scott Asheton was not just a Stooge but also one of nature’s gentlemen.

Ever wonder what it was like to crawl through the decaying underbelly of downtown New York City’s punk scene with Max’s Kansas City and CBGB as your musical playgrounds? Sonny Vincent opens the window on that and gives us all a whiff – so inhale hard. Nobody will see those days again.  

Sonny’s writing is a mirror image of his music: Urgent, aggressive and propelled by a passion for music, and pent-up energy.

You can smell Burroughs in the way chapters of “Snake Pit Therapy” become an evolving stream of consciousness with bubbles of sharp humour bobbing about on top. And just when you think you have the man’s format nailed, an odd passage of abstract prose will jump out at you like a mugger on an Alphabet City alley.

If you want a copy you’re going to find it easily enough online or direct from the publisher, and if you’re in Australia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and save on shipping. Word is there’s plenty more words where these came from.

three mcgarrett

 

Sonny Vincent gets Spiteful with Pistols, Stooges and Damned members

One of our favcourite punks, Sonny Vincent of Testors and solo band fame, is packing a new album for release in November with a band made up of Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Rat Scabies (Damned) and Steve MacKay (Iggy & The Stooges.) The project is called Spiteful and here's a taste.

Sonny Vincent teams with Pentagram, ex-Stooges member for new album

 
Eternal punk rock outsider Sonny Vincent is re-emerging after years off to manage the fall-out of a family tragedy with a new group, The Limit, comprising members of the Stooges, Pentagram and infamous Portugese metal band Dawnrider,  Their album "Caveman Logic", comprising Vincent-penned songs, will be released via Finnish label Svart Records on April 9 and can be pre-ordeered here.
 
For the unitiated, Sonny Vincent is a proflific solo artist and played with culy CBGB and Max's Kansas City band Testorsas well as people like Scottand Ron Asheton, Bobby Stinson, Spencer P Jonesand Mo Tucker.  Vincent is joined by Pentagram singer Bobby Liebling, singer and main-man of Pentagram, Jimmy Recca(the Stooges, and New Order),guitarist Hugo Conim on Guitar and João Pedro Ventura on dums
 
 

Spiteful – Sonny Vincent & Spite (Still Unbeatable Records)

spitefulSonny Vincent’s address book is fuller than a well-hung pornstar’s underpants so it’s no surprise to see him working with another star-studded gang on his latest album.

With his band drawn from the ranks of the Sex Pistols, the Stooges and The Damned, “Spiteful” is a gold-plated punk rock blast from go to whoa.

There's logic in this meeting of Doom and Punk

caveman logic the limitCaveman Logic – The Limit (Svart Records)

Trust me on this if you haven’t heard the evidence first-hand: Sonny Vincent’s music punches harder than just about anyone else in the same space.

When those histories of New York punk are written, he and his late-’70s band Testors are never mentioned. Testors didn’t play well with others, in the “industry” sense, and never climbed off the lower rungs of the Max’s-CBGB ladder. History gets written by the few and it’s the way that Vincent has kept the torch of dirty, street-level, rock and roll burning since that really deserves credit.

For 40 years, Sonny’s been punk rock’s ultimate networker, working with members of The Damned, the Stooges, MC5, the Velvet Underground, The Replacements, Dead Boys and too many more to count, always with a vision that’s equal parts visceral power and lingering melody.  

Tie yourself in Knots

knots epAction; 1980 Three Tracks - The Knots (Rave-Up)

For those of you who aren't familiar with the name, Joey Pinter, he is like an angrier, tough as leather, hard as nails, punk rock Billy Gibbons. Or if Johnny Thunders was still alive and vital and never lost his mojo. Roughly, he's the American equivalent to Spencer P. Jones-in that he is also a formidable and prolific singer/songwriter in his own right, who is best known for having played soulful, emotionally charged, white lightning guitar in beloved cult bands.

I first discovered Pinter's legendary American punk gangs, the Waldos and the Knots, back when I was 20-years-old and pin-balling back and forth between Boston, Hollywood, and New York City. I was a pencil thin scarecrow, would-be vocalist, back then, trying to forge my own dangerous glam rock band ala Smack, Hanoi Rocks, and Dogs D'Amour, but I never had the money or social skills, to keep a band together for long.

When one album isn't enough

pissalbumNew York City punk original Sonny Vincent is taking to the European touring circuit in support of not one but three albums.

The massive tour of eight countries spans April, May and June and includes three supports to the Dead Kennedys. 

Already in the record store racks is “Spiteful” by Sonny Vincent and the Spiteful, whose ranks include Rat Scabies (The Damned), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Steve Mackay (Iggy and the Stooges.)

Out on Swami Records on March 28 is “Vintage Piss”, a woodshedded 2003 studio recording from Sonny, Speedo, ND and Ruby Mars from Rocket From the Crypt, his onetime US touring band.

Hot on its heels is “Psycho Serenades” on Spanish label H-Records, and features members of Rocket From The Crypt, Doc and the Medics and Stiv Bators solo band, as well as the late Scott Asheton.  

If that’s not enough, there’s also a single from Sonny’s pre-Testors NYC band, Liquid Diamonds, out on Hozac Records.  Tour dates in full after the break. 

I-94 Bar