Friday, January 16

Kim Fowley LA Legend Dies Aged-75

 

Sunday, January 11

1979 Lost Project: "I Don't Want No Nuclear Power Plants (In My Life) EP"


Paris, 1979

Background

In 1979, while still with Beserkley records, Jonathan was involved with yet another "lost" project.

Something that would be fairly rare throughout his career, an EP with entirely new material, was planned.

From a comment that came with an old bootleg (7/13/79 shared on Dime):

"I Don't Want No Nuclear Power Plants (in My Life)" was scheduled to be released as a single on Beserkley, backed by an instrumental called Nuclear Nightmare. Jonathan was VERY into the anti-nuke movement at the time. But, his split with the label scuppered the release, and I guess he lost interest, because the song disappeared completely from his life."

Another comment, sometime later from the same source:

"I believe Jonathan told us about that back in 1978. He was all excited about the anti-nuke movement and my friend was skeptical about whether it would accomplish anything. Jonathan doesn't like it when you disagree with him, so he got all pissed off."

Tim Mitchell's book

The book "There's Something About Jonathan" by Tim Mitchell talks about the 1979 Gold Star Studio Sessions, but doesn't mention "Nuclear Nightmare" which I believe was also recorded at the same session.

I think "Nuclear Nightmare" is also part of the Gold Star sessions because it comes with the bootleg and the recording sounds similar in quality/timbre to "Up In Sky Sometime" which Mitchell mentions was recorded at the sessions.

Paraphrasing Mitchell:

In November 1979, Jonathan, who was about to transition from Boston to Maine, contacted Andy Paley with an idea to record with an orchestra.

Paley had a connection with Phil Spector while recording with the Ramones. Phil Spector "purely as a favour" got together an orchestra and horn section, along with bassist Ray Pullman.

The recordings at Gold Star Studios were run by Spector's staff.

So, my conjecture, (and something not mentioned in Tim's book), is that part of what Beserkley wanted to get out of the recording sessions was related to the potential nuclear power-plant EP.


What would the EP have sounded like?

As far as I know, there are two known recordings of "I Don't Want No Nuclear Power Plants (In My Life)", both live from 1979, and only the one "Nuclear Nightmare" version.

Just for fun, here's the closest I think we can come to hearing what the EP may have sounded like:

Downloads:

I Don't Want No Nuclear Power Plants (In My Life)
1979-04-01 Apeldoorn, Netherlands - Gigant
This has a sound stoppage in the middle from the original recording.

Nuclear Nightmare
1979 Gold Star Studio Demos
Jonathan is barely audible at the beginning saying "Nuclear Nightmare!"

I Don't Want No Nuclear Power Plants (In My Life)
1979-07-13 Chicago, USA - Gaspars
Complete version of the song.



I Don't Want No Nuclear Power Plants (In My Life)
Well now we've already seen giant factories
cover up the prairie land and the dell
And we smell laundries blowin' laundry fumes where rose-blooms once did dwell
And now I don't want no nuclear power-plants, not in my life

Now, I do not hate those guilds who'd build 'em
They must think that power-plants are the best
But not only are they poison
they're the ugliest

And if we let them build new power-plants
we're gonna have to pay the price
So I don't want no nuclear power-plants in my life

There must be many a granny and grandpa in New Hampshire and Vermont
Who now at a glance these little plants are not really what they want
well, I'll do anything to try and help 'em
fact, I'll gonna tell 'em most every day and night
that I don't want no nuclear power-plants in my life
no, I don't want no nuclear power-plants in my life, no





Update

I've been told that Jonathan was already performing "I Don't Want No Nuclear Power Plants (In My Life)" as early at 1978 and performed it both sets of a Oct 12, 1978 Chicago, Gaspars show.

Also, can anyone confirm when Jonathan actually left Beserkely?
Was it immediately after "Back In Your Life" which was summer '79?
I would like to verify that he was still signed with Beserkely when the Gold Star Studio recordings were made (which were late '79).

Wednesday, January 7

I (almost) got the modern sounds of modern Massachusetts

Efforts by to make "Roadrunner" the official rock song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have failed in the legislature. Certainly, there are bigger problems facing the citizenry than choosing an official rock song, but one State Senator vows to go faster miles an hour again in January. Radio on!


UPDATE (7 Jan 15): A last-minute push in the legislature has finally failed. Bill H 3573, which if passsed would have enshrined Roadrunner’s status, had to pass by January 6, 2015, before a new Massachusetts state legislature was sworn in. Supporters say there are no plans to resurrect it in the next session of the state legislature.